THE WICKED BIBLE
- The Bible Says What?
From the raggedy drawers in dingy motel rooms to the elegantly furnished bookshelves
of world famous libraries, one book sits with a story that started thousands of years ago and, to
this day, continues. Over the course of history, numerous books have risen and influenced the
contemporary world and its principles. However, none holds the phenomenal power over
individual lives and various cultures across the globe like The Holy Bible. The story of the Bible
is not one of clean edges and perfection. Rather this collection of Judo-Christian sacred texts has
been put through several years of intensive revisions, introspections, mutations, and evaluations
to become the well-renowned binding of Sacred Scriptures that is now found everywhere. In the
heart of Houston, TX, sheltered among the walls of Houston Baptist University’s Dunham Bible
Museum, sits a link to the story of the Bible—the infamous Wicked Bible.
The Wicked Bible is the product of “a blasphemous typographical error that made its way
into print” in the year 1631 under the hands of England’s royal printers, Robert Barker and
Martin Lucas (Bever). At the time, King Charles I of England had commissioned the duo to print
substantial copies of this small, pocket-sized Bible as to have “full-text copies of the [it]” more
readily and cheaply available for purchase around the kingdom (Green). However, nearly a year
later, an irrevocable mistake was discovered “after 1,000 copies were printed, [thus] causing an
uproar in [the old] conservative Anglican Britain” (Muhr).
Nevertheless, the question remains; what was this grave mistake? What typographical
error gave this edition of the Bible a permanent and significant spot in the history of Bibles?
Upon viewing the pages of the book, it is evident that the editors of the sacred texts “omitted the
word ‘not’ [from] Exodus 20:14” (Muhr), thus rendering the original verse from saying