I've been studying the Bible ever since I was 12 and my parents sent me to a YMCA summer camp in Tennessee. They take the C in YMCA seriously there, and after two weeks of relentless proseletyzing I finally saw The Light. For three glorious days I was born again and felt the Presence of the Holy Spirit. Then I went home and giddily told my parents the Good News.
My father's reaction was to tell me to study the Bible, which I did, and have been doing ever since. It only took me a day or two to conclude (as my father no doubt foresaw) that it could not possibly be the work of an all-knowing all-loving deity. It's just too chock-full of contradictions, weirdness, and out-and-out evil. But I've remained fascinated by it as a book, not only because so many people do believe that it's the Word of God, but also because it provides an interesting window into deep human history.
One of the problems with reading the Bible as an English speaker is that there are dozens of translations to choose from. My goto translation is the King James, but every now and then when reading the Old Testament I feel the need to go back to the original Hebrew. There is only one Hebrew version of the OT, faithfully copied through the generations changing neither jot nor tittle. Every time I've done this I've come away impressed by the fidelity of the KJV. Not only does it capture the literal meaning of the original Hebrew, it even captures its spirit because old Hebrew is stylistically different from modern Hebrew in much the same way that Shakespearean English is different from modern English.
But the other day I stumbled upon a bona-fide mistake in the KJV. It's in Job 6:6, which the KJV translates as, "Can that which is unsavoury be eaten without salt? or is there any taste in the white of an egg?" The Hebrew word for "egg" is "beitzah" (or plural "beitzim"). But the word in Hebrew that the KJV translates as "egg" is "hallamut" which is a kind of plant that in english is called a malva or a mallow. It's not a major mistake, but after all these years of being impressed by the KJV's scholarship I was really surprised to discover any mistake at all, let alone such a transparent one.
In case you're wondering, I was led to this through an on-line discussion on Reddit where /u/abram1769 was dissing the Jehovah's Witnesses for translating that passage as "the slimy juice of the marshmallow." I happen to be personally acquainted with some Witnesses, and they really take their Bible scholarship seriously, so I was skeptical that they would get something so ludicrously wrong. And indeed they didn't. It's the KJV that got it wrong. The Witness's Bible gets it right (and no, it's doesn't say "slimy juice of the marshmallow", it says, "juice of the mallow", which is the correct translation.)
So score one for the Witness's scholarship. (Too bad they can't seem to get the rest of their house in order.)