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Top 7 Worst Typos in Bible

#1 Thou shalt commit adultery

By Kamna KirtiPublished about a year ago 3 min read

Every year, the Holy Bible sells over 100 million copies and it consistently ranks as the top-selling book in the world. Evidently, it has done more to shape literature, history, entertainment, and culture than any book ever written.

With the invention of the movable-type printing press in Europe in the 15th Century, the Bible could now be published with high quality and at relatively low prices.

Whether or not it is the true word of God is a matter of belief. What is true, however, is that in its physical form the Bible is produced by the hands of fallible humans. The collision between the machines and Bible however led to typographical errors that were downright funny and often punishable by law.

These versions of the Bible were promptly destroyed; those that remain are collector's items today.

1. The Adulterous Bible

The Adulterous Bible sometimes called the Sinners bible or the Wicked Bible was an edition published in 1631 by Robert Barker and Martin Lucas at the royal printers in London. It was a rendition of the King James Bible.

Baker and Lucas omitted an important "not" from Exodus 20:14. Thus the seventh commandment read -

"Thou shalt commit adultery." 

instead of 

"Thou shalt commit not adultery."

A section of a page from the Adulterous Bible of 1631. "Thou shalt commit adultery".

The absent negative is apparently quite a common mistake. However, in addition to this, there was another blunder in Deuteronomy 5:24. It states -

"Behold, the Lord our God hath shewed us his glory and his great-ass…"

instead of 

"Behold, the Lord our God hath shewed us his glory and his greatness…"

The mistake was not discovered until after 1000 copies were already sold. Needless to say, King Charles I was outraged with the typo. The publication was brought to court and fined £300 (£35,000 in today's money) while being stripped of their printing license.

2. Cannibal's Bible

Printed in 1682, in this King James Version of the Bible, Deuteronomy 24:3 reads -

"If the latter husband ate her"

instead of 

"If the latter husband hate her"

3. The Unrighteous Bible

This is another instance of omitted negative. Printed in 1653, this version was marred with two bloopers, both concerning the word 'righteousness'.

Corinthians 6:9 read - 

"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall inherit the kingdom of God?…"

instead of 

"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?…"

Romans 6:13 read - 

"Neither yield ye your members as instruments of righteousness into sin…"

instead of 

"Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness into sin…"

4. The Fool's Bible

In this King James Version, Psalm 14:1 reads -

"the fool hath said in his heart there is God"

instead of 

"the fool hath said in his heart there is no God"

All the copies were destroyed and the publisher was fined £3,000.

5. The Vinegar Bible

John Baskett, the "printer to the King's most excellent majesty", published this King James Version in 1717. Luke 20 reads -

"The Parable of the vinegar" 

instead of 

"The parable of the vineyard'

This version is famously called 'Baskett full of errors' due to numerous other errata. One collector's copy sold for $5,000 in 2008.

6. The Lions Bible

An 1804 edition offers a zoological twist to reproduction. Instead of loins as in "fruit of" - ie children, it mentions lions. This Kings 8:19 reads -

"Thy son that shall come forth out of thy lions"

instead of 

"Thy son that shall come forth out of thy loins"

This edition had another error in which Numbers 35:18 reads -

"The murderer shall surely be put together" 

instead of 

"The murderer shall surely be put to death"

7. The Murderer's Bible

In this King James Version, published by Thomas Bensley in 1795, the Gospel of Mark has a glaring mistake. It reads -

"Let the children first be killed"

instead of 

"Let the children first be filled'

There is another Bible version with the same nickname where the word 'murmurers' was misspelled as 'murderers'.


1. Bible errata

2. Ancient rare Bibles


About the Creator

Kamna Kirti

Art enthusiast. I engage with art at a deep level. I also share insights about entrepreneurship, founders & nascent technologies.

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