The Wicked Bible, sometimes called The Adulterous Bible or The Sinners' Bible is a term referring to the Bible published in 1631 by Robert Barker and Martin Lucas, the royal printers in London, which was meant to be a reprint of the King James Bible. The name is derived from the compositors' mistake: in the Ten Commandments the word not in the sentence Thou shalt not commit adultery was omitted. This blunder was spread in a number of copies. About a year later, the publishers of the Wicked Bible were fined £300 and were deprived of their printer's licence. This edition of the Bible containing such a flagrant mistake outraged Charles I of England and George Abbott, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who said then:
“ 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, the paper and the letter rare, and faire every way of the beste, but now the paper is nought, the composers boyes, and the correctors unlearned. ”
By order of the king, the authors were called to the Star Chamber, where, upon the fact being proved, the whole impression was called in, and they were fined the equivalent of a month's salary.
The majority of the Wicked Bible's copies were immediately canceled and burned, with only eleven surviving. One copy is in the collection of rare books in the New York Public Library and is very rarely made accessible; another can be seen in the Bible Museum in Branson, Missouri.