Today we tell the story of a most horrific document known as the Wicked Bible.

This story starts in 1631, when the King of England gave permission to two London printers to reproduce the King James Bible.

These printers, Robert Barker and Martin Lucas, began setting the type and laying out the pages and preparing to produce these Bibles for sale.

And along the way, a mistake was made.

Now, anyone who’s ever typed or written anything up knows how easy it is to make a mistake.

You’re typing a word, but you have another word in your mind and so you type one word while meaning to type another.

Or you hit the wrong key on the keyboard, or autocorrect changes the text for you… the point is, we’re human, we make mistakes.

This is true even when printing the Holy Bible.

The Atlantic once wrote about a Bible that accidentally called a part of the Bible known as the Parable of the Vineyard “the Parable of the Vinegar.”

But the mistake in Barker’s and Lucas’s Bible was not a small one.

It was in the Ten Commandments.

Their Bible said, “Thou SHALT commit adultery.”

They’d forgotten to add “not” in the commandment!

Or, maybe they hadn’t: there’s a theory that a rival printer may have actually sabotaged the printing and made the typo on purpose.

There’s another typo elsewhere in this print that refers not to God’s “greatness” as the traditional suggests, but His “great-asse.”

That was probably not a typesetting mistake there.

Whoever did it, it was Barker and Lucas who got blamed for it by a very unhappy king.

He took away their printing license and fined them 300 pounds.

Barker would eventually die in debtor’s prison.

The king also ordered that every single copy of the so-called Wicked Bible be destroyed, though a few survived.

One of them sold at auction in 2015 for 31,250 pounds, and there was so much sinning going on afterward (probably).

In the summer of 2022 the Eastern Fort Museum of Fort Gerhard in Poland sent a message on Facebook.

Their security cameras had caught multiple couples getting, as they called it, “amorous” in what the couples thought were hidden or discreet spots on the grounds.

“Not all those captured on camera want their love to be watched by outsiders,” they wrote, and they encouraged people to keep their clothes on, no matter how excited they got by the historic military artifacts.

Sometimes a cannon is just a cannon.

Thou Shalt Commit Adultery (The Atlantic)

Polish Museum Implores Visitors to Stop Having Sex on Its Premises (Hyperallergic)

Thou shalt back this show on Patreon

Photo by Narrington77 via Wikicommons/Creative Commons