I am currently working on a project for my Grade 12 religion class, and it requires (surprise, surprise) Biblical quotations. I have decided to use the 1611 KJV Bible and quote verses with very archaic spelling and grammar.It's within the guidelines.

My question is, do I need to use [sic] every time u and v are switched, or i and j? Or every time an e is randomly thrown on the end of a word? I will be specifically citing the 1611 KJV parenthetically.

To illustrate, must I write like this?

“Masters, giue [sic] vnto [sic] your seruants [sic] that which is iust [sic] and equall [sic], knowing that yee [sic] also haue [sic] a Master in heauen [sic].” (Col. 4:1, KJV 1611)

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    If it's clear that it's an archaic version then [sic] is unnecessary and distracting. – Hot Licks May 25 '20 at 18:36
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    The use of sic is only for errors. If the text in question was not an error, but appropriate for when it was written, then sic should not be used. – Jason Bassford May 25 '20 at 19:01
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    But you're probably cutting off your nose to spite your face. Making a lot more work for yourself (as well as her), probably prejudicing your results, and missing out on the vital content matter (not seeing the wood for ye treese). – Edwin Ashworth May 25 '20 at 19:02
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    @JasonBassford - What??? "Sic" means "thus" -- the text is copied as written. It does not imply an error. – Hot Licks May 25 '20 at 20:12
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    @JasonBassford - It's not necessarily an error, just something that's weird (by current standards). – Hot Licks May 25 '20 at 23:11

I should say that littering a text with "[sic]" is unhelpful. If it's obvious what you're quoting, then you're quoting it.

You might cite it as "(Col 4:1, KJV 1611 as printed)" or something.

Certain letters might cause technical difficulties, like yͤ. Bear in mind also that this is a transliteration, and probably incorrect. Although your text has giue because the blackletter v looks very much like the modern u, complete with a tail, the correct transliteration into modern Roman type as you have here is arguably v, because that's the letter which produces the sound the blackletter character did. It's a similar problem with transliterating Cyrillic: is Романовы "Pomahobbi", "Romanov", "Romanev" or "Romanoff"?

If your text had Roman characters, then it would be reasonable to copy those.

You might be interested in the King James Bible website — there is an edition of 1833 which does the Romanisation you want [and could therefore simply be copied verbatim, but is 1833 not 1611]; but note how the 1611 title page spells out, tongues and Churches; the blackletter text for those words would probably not use the look-alike 𝖚. However, revised does use a u as well as a long s. Transliteration is not straightforward. If you're going to do it, spend time to get it right. Don't get it wrong and annoy your teacher.

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    The printed giue really does have a u, not a blackletter v that looks like a u. The usage of u and v was different back then, with v used at starts of words (as in vnto, quoted by the OP) and u elsewhere (e.g. giue). – Rosie F May 25 '20 at 19:00
  • Exactly, but the matter of transliteration into modern Roman type isn't a straightforward substitution of letters which are superficially similar, as the 1611 title page shows. – Andrew Leach May 25 '20 at 19:01
  • @AndrewLeach I did wonder about the substitutions, but are those letters not actually u and v? Are they some kind of archaic letters that don't exist anymore? – Micah Windsor May 25 '20 at 19:04
  • Why would the KJV Bible be in blackletter? Was that ever common for printed English as opposed to German? The title page shown in Wikipedia is printed in Roman and Italic typefaces. – herisson May 25 '20 at 20:04

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