In 1631 a terrible
typesetting error occurred
that cost a printer
Just one 3-letter word…
1000 Bibles were printed.
All were ordered to be destroyed.
Almost all were.
[For more use the DOOR]
The following appears in Leland Gregory’s Stupid History (Kansas City: Andrews McMeel Pub., LLC, 2007). A Dozen Seconds confirms this info finding 3 other sources with a similar account.
In 1631, King Charles I ordered 1,000 Bibles from an English printer named Robert Barker. Printing was not an exact science in those days, and sometimes mistakes were made and usually overlooked–but not in this case. Barker inadvertently left out a single word in the Seventh Commandment in Exodus 20:14–the word not. Readers were shocked to find out that God had commanded Moses “Thou shalt commit adultery” as opposed to “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” King Charles was not amused by this mistake and ordered all the Bibles destroyed, fined Barker 300 pounds sterling (a lifetime’s wages in those days), and revoked his printing license–Barker was out of business. Not all the Bibles were destroyed; there are 11 known to still exist. Because of the infamous mistake, this printing of the official King James Version is referred to as “The Wicked Bible.”
As of this posting, only one “Wicked Bible” is for sale. The asking price: $99,500.