SHAWNEE—Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU), in conjunction with the Oklahoma Baptist Historical Commission and the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art, will be hosting a reception in celebration of the restoration and exhibition of a 1613 copy of the King James Bible. This will take place from 2 p.m.-4 p.m., Nov. 10 at the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art.

The rare Bible has an error in Ruth 3:15, using “he” instead of “she.”

Oklahoma City, Shields Boulevard recently donated the Bible to the J.M. and Helen Gaskin Baptist Historical Library and Archives at OBU. The Bible has undergone extensive restoration by conservators at the Museum of the Bible. This copy of the King James Bible is notable both for its age, and for a typographical error in the book of Ruth, which refers to Ruth as “he.” Thus, it is referred to as the “Great He Bible.”

Speaking to the historical value of the Bible, OBU Archivist Joshua Mackey reported the following: “Its publication date alone would make it notable. The first Authorized King James Bible was published in 1611, while King James I reigned (from) 1603 to 1625. This means that not only was this Bible among the first copies of the original KJV, but it also is contemporary to the king who authorized its translation and publication. It is a remarkable piece of history and a testament to both the craftsmanship of those early printers and the endurance of God’s Word.”

Oklahoma Baptists’ Historical Secretary Bob Nigh, center right, accepts delivery of the 1613 King James “He” Bible from Francisco Rodriguez, master conservator with the Museum of the Bible (MOB) in Oklahoma City. Others present for the Aug. 2 ceremony included, front row from left, Joshua Mackey, OBU Mabee Learning Center (MLC) archivist; MLC staff member Denise Jett; MOB conservator Patricia Rodriguez, and Julie Rankin, MLC director of library services. Back row, from left, are MLC library staffers Sarah Stevens and Charles Ackerly and Andy Latta, chairman of the Oklahoma Baptist Historical Commission and minister of music and finance administration at Tahlequah, First.

This reception is an opportunity for the university, denomination and broader community to celebrate the craftsmanship on display, as well as the good work the Lord has done to make this stewardship possible. The Bible will be on display alongside an exhibition of religious art from the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art collection. This exhibit will be on display through 2024.

The Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art, founded in 1919, is among the oldest museums in Oklahoma. The museum features Egyptian, Greek and Roman objects, art from the Middle Ages and Renaissance through the early 20th century, and large holdings of Native American, African/Oceanic and Eastern cultural artifacts. The museum is located on the grounds of OBU’s Green Campus at 1900 W. MacArthur Street in Shawnee. For more information, visit

This event is free and open to the public, with light refreshments provided. It will include a few brief statements from the university and Oklahoma Baptists, followed by a first look at the exhibit and time to explore the museum and visit with the OBU archivist, Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art staff, and Oklahoma Baptist Historical Commissioners who helped make this possible.

For more information about this event, contact Julie Rankin, library director, 405/585-4522, or Joshua Mackey, university archivist, 405/585-4520,