“The Wicked Bible”

Collection ID

BIB.002902

Type

Bible - Printed Book

Date

1631

Geography

London, (England)

Language

English

Medium

Printed on paper

Dimensions

6.75 × 4.75 × 2.25 in. (17.1 × 12.1 × 5.7 cm)

Exhibit Location

Not on view


This edition of the King James Bible contains one of the most notorious typographical errors in Bible printing history. One of the Ten Commandments omits the essential command “not,” making Exodus 20:14, read “Thou shalt commit adultery” instead of “Thou shalt not.” The printer, Robert Barker, was said to have been fined £300 for the error, at that time, a sizeable amount. Most copies of the edition were either corrected or destroyed, as 1,000 copies of this Bible were ordered suppressed.

Printed in 1631 by Barker and Assigns of John Bill, London, England. Acquired by Sarah Clarke.[1] Acquired before 2010 by David C. Lachman, Wyncote, Pennsylvania;[2] Privately purchased in 2010 by Green Collection, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Donated in 2016 to National Christian Foundation (later The Signatry) under the curatorial care of Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC.

Notes: [1] Handwritten inscription appears on the page before the note to the reader. [2] David Lachman provided no additional information.

Published References

Museum of the Bible Publications:

Jennifer Atwood and Stacey Douglas, eds. Passages: Exploring the Bible in Four Movements. An Exhibition Guide. (Museum of the Bible, 2015), 21–22.

description

This edition of the King James Bible contains one of the most notorious typographical errors in Bible printing history. One of the Ten Commandments omits the essential command “not,” making Exodus 20:14, read “Thou shalt commit adultery” instead of “Thou shalt not.” The printer, Robert Barker, was said to have been fined £300 for the error, at that time, a sizeable amount. Most copies of the edition were either corrected or destroyed, as 1,000 copies of this Bible were ordered suppressed.


provenance

Printed in 1631 by Barker and Assigns of John Bill, London, England. Acquired by Sarah Clarke.[1] Acquired before 2010 by David C. Lachman, Wyncote, Pennsylvania;[2] Privately purchased in 2010 by Green Collection, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Donated in 2016 to National Christian Foundation (later The Signatry) under the curatorial care of Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC.

Notes: [1] Handwritten inscription appears on the page before the note to the reader. [2] David Lachman provided no additional information.

Published References

Museum of the Bible Publications:

Jennifer Atwood and Stacey Douglas, eds. Passages: Exploring the Bible in Four Movements. An Exhibition Guide. (Museum of the Bible, 2015), 21–22.


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