King James 'She Bible' worth £50k found in village church


A King James "She Bible" dating from 1611 and worth £50,000 has been discovered in a village church in Lancashire.

The Bible, which will be be displayed at St Mary's Parish Church in Gisburn in the Blackburn diocese on Saturday, was found by parish clergy Rev Anderson Jeremiah and Rev Alexander Baker.

It is known as the She Bible because Chapter 3 verse 15 of the Book of Ruth incorrectly reads: "And she went into the citie." This was an error introduced to the King James Bible of an earlier edition which had other errors, but which is known as the "He Bible" because this line from Ruth is correct.

The Antiquarian Booksellers' Association has authenticated the find. The Bible is rare, and other editions exist at Oxford and Cambridge universities and at Salisbury, Exeter and Durham cathedrals.

The clergy found the Bible stored in a cupboard at the back of the church.

Mr Baker told the BBC: "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 it was a significant find."

Dr Jeremiah said: "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.

"This English language version of the Bible was created to encourage ordinary people to discover the Good News of Jesus Christ for themselves and it is likely that it was the book that first took God's word into many people's homes in this part of Lancashire. Now we hope to encourage the people of Lancashire and elsewhere to visit our church and discover this Bible for themselves."