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A 385-year-old typo is up for auction

A 385-year-old typo is up for auction

Well, the Bible that contains it is. In 1631, almost 1,000 Bibles were collected and burned because of a rather unfortunate typo in the Ten Commandments: “Thou shalt commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14).

One of the few “Sinners’ Bibles” that survived the recall is up for auction on November 11 in London, reports Ministry Matters and Religion News Service, “and bids are expected to top 16,000 British pounds (or $24,727).”

The error wasn’t as lucrative for the Bible’s publishers:

Royal printers Robert Barker and Martin Lucas begged forgiveness from both the archbishop and the monarch.

They didn’t get any.

The two were fined 300 British pounds (or $463), the equivalent of roughly 40,000 British pounds (or $61,817) in today’s currency.

Barker later went bankrupt, was thrown into prison and died behind bars in 1645.

The typo may have been an act of sabotage by a printing rival. No one knows for sure:

“In a sense the jury is still out on why the misprint happened,” said Bonhams specialist Simon Roberts [interviewed in The Guardian]. “Originally it was thought that it was just a mistake which didn’t get noticed, which to me seems slightly unlikely – if you’re going to check 10 things, then you’d think you would check that page.”





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Philip B. Spivey

Without a doubt, a Freudian slip of Biblical proportions. 🙂

John B. Chilton

“Royal printers Robert Barker and Martin Lucas begged forgiveness from both the archbishop and the monarch.

“They didn’t get any.”

Some people have no sense of humour.

JC Fisher

“Thou Shalt Commit Adultery”

Think I’m going to go chat up my neighbor’s wife… ;-D

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