1611 King James Bible: Why "He" and "She"?

1611 "He" KJV Bible.  A Rebacking we did in 2015.

1611 "He" KJV Bible.  A Rebacking we did in 2015.

We're often asked why we distinguish between "He" or "She" when we're talking about a first edition King James Bible, also known as the Authorized Version.  Simply stated:  In the first printings of the 1611 KJV Bible there is a printing error, there were many printing errors throughout, but one specifically known is in the book of Ruth 3:15, "and he went into the city."  The correct printing should have been, "and she went into the city."  The first authorized printing of the King James Bible took three years, so in the collectors' world if one owns a 1611 "He" edition it is considered a true first printing, and those owning a "She" edition are considered to have the second printing anywhere between 1611 - 1613.  

Technically they're all 1611 versions, but in the collectors' world the "He" is more rare than the "She" and so it's important to distinguish between the two.  The first printing of the Authorized Version was split between three different printers:  Robert Barker, Bonham Norton, and John Bill.  They were all printing different sections of the Bible, and so there are several printing errors throughout, and any given copy probably has different printing errors from the others.   

1611/1613 "She" KJV Bible. This is a rebind we did in 2014, using old boards from a German Bible.

1611/1613 "She" KJV Bible. This is a rebind we did in 2014, using old boards from a German Bible.

We think the history of the King James Bible is fascinating, but we think all history is fascinating.  There are several online resources if you're interested in learning more.  Be sure to check with your local bookstore to see what books about the Bible they have.  We've listed a book below that may interest you as well.