File photo: The other Great She Bibles are at Oxford and Cambridge universities, and at Salisbury, Exeter and Durham cathedrals.
File photo: The other Great She Bibles are at Oxford and Cambridge universities, and at Salisbury, Exeter and Durham cathedrals.

The ‘Great She Bible’ worth £250K

By JONATHAN PETRE Time of article published May 18, 2015

Share this article:

London - Vicars who found a dusty Bible in their village church were stunned to find it is worth a fortune - as it contains a rare 400-year-old spelling mistake.

It is one of a handful of the original King James Bibles, printed in 1611, in which a line in the Book of Ruth mistakenly reads “She went into the city” instead of “He”.

Volumes with the error are known as the Great She Bibles

and can be worth up to £250 000 (about R4.5-million). The latest copy - only the sixth known in the UK - was found in a cupboard at the back of St Mary’s Parish Church in Gisburn, Lancashire, by the Reverends Anderson Jeremiah and Alexander Baker. Its historical significance had not been noticed, so it had been stored in a cupboard at the back of the church.

Mr Baker said: “It was a really exciting thing to discover - it looks just like something out of Harry Potter.

“One of the wonderful things about worshipping in a church as old as ours is the sense of history that oozes from its walls and discovering the treasures it has to offer. But we were stunned to discover a treasure as rare as this.

“We knew as soon as we saw the date of the New Testament that it was a significant find.”

Dr Jeremiah added: “It’s amazing to think we are able to hold a book printed as the direct result of the command of King James 400 years ago.”

St Mary’s Bible has been assessed and authenticated by the Blackburn-based Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association and went on display at the church on Sunday.

It is called a Great She Bible because Chapter 3, Verse 15 of the Book of Ruth in the Old Testament refers to Boaz, a man, as “she”.

The other Great She Bibles are at Oxford and Cambridge universities, and at Salisbury, Exeter and Durham cathedrals.

Mail On Sunday

Share this article:

Related Articles