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Thou SHALT commit adultery: Misprinted bible goes to auction


The holy book, known for nearly 400 years as the Sinners’ Bible, gets one of the Ten Commandments wrong.

Instead of warning Thou shalt not commit adultery, the Seventh Commandment omits “not” and reads Thou shalt commit adultery.

The mistake was not spotted for a year after 1,000 copies of the Bible were printed in 1631.

Furious King Charles 1 ordered that they should all be burned but a few escaped the recall.

Amid the uproar, the Archbishop of Canterbury wrote: “I knew the tyme when great care was had about printing, the Bibles especially, good compositors and the best correctors were gotten being grave and learned men.”

It is not now known whether publishers Robert Barker and Martin Lucas, the royal printers, made a genuine error or if it was a mischievous act by a business rival.

Simon Roberts, from Bonhams’ books and manuscript department, said: “There are a few theories about how the error made it into print.

“It may have been a simple slip up but others think it was a plot to sabotage Barker’s reputation.”

Barker and Lucas were stripped of their printing licence and fined £300, more than £30,000 in today’s money.

After the error things only got worse for Barker.

In 1635 he was imprisoned for racking up huge debts and died behind bars in 1645.

Only nine copies of his controversial bible, also known as the Wicked Bible, exist today.

The volume being sold is tipped to fetch £15,000 when it goes under the hammer on November 11 at Bonhams in London.

bible-613430editor | Nigerian Beacon

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