April 27, 2011

The Wicked Bible

W is for The Wicked Bible (A-Z Blogging Challenge)

Whatever would make a Bible wicked?  Well, here's the story!

In 1631, two printers in London, Robert Barker and Martin Lucas, printed a reproduction of the King James Bible.  Unknown to them, there was one typographical error in the Book of Exodus that made a very serious difference!

It involved the Ten Commandments.  The translation of the seventh commandment should have read, "Thou shalt not commit adultery." The word not was left out, so it read, "Thou shalt commit adultery."  Of course this caused a stir among the religious people, since it appeared that the Bible was giving a command to commit adultery.

When England's King Charles I and the Archbishop of Canterbury heard about the error, a special investigation was held.  As it turned out, Barker and Lucas were ordered to pay a fine the amount of a month's salary.  They were also ordered to give up their publishing license.

The Bible with the error was given the name, Wicked Bible, also sometimes known as the Adulterous Bible, or Sinners Bible.  The king ordered the copies of the Wicked Bible be burned.

Somehow, at least eleven copies of it survived and are extremely valuable with collectors of rare books.  One copy is the New York City Library.  Another copy is on display in a Bible museum in Branson, Missouri.  It is thought that other copies of the Wicked Bible are owned by private collectors.  January 17, 2011, a copy went on display at Cambridge University.  Reportedly there is one Wicked Bible for sale now at a rare and antique Bible website.  It is selling for $89,500.
Article Source:  Wikipedia


  1. Well, I don't have the bucks to buy this wicked bible but would be happy to catch a glimpse of one of them!!!

    with warm regards
    CatchyTips for Writers

  2. Fascinatingly wicked. I know from my own personal experience, having a Catholic Bible with some typos, that some Bibles are incorrectly typed, but an error of this magnitude is significant. Please find my latest A-Z Challenge here: http://myheartblogstoyou.blogspot.com/