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Monday, 3 September 2007
Give Me That Old-Time Wicked Bible

"Then v. 43 tells believers not to come to prayers while drunk. Ibn Abi Hatim says this was revealed because one of the Muslims began to recite sura 109:1-3: 'Say: O disbelievers! I do not worship not that which you worship; nor do you worship that which I worship.' But the leader of prayer was drunk, and so he said: 'Say, O disbelievers! I do not worship that which you worship, but we worship that which you worship.' 4:43 was revealed shortly thereafter."
-- from Robert Spencer's latest thrilling installment of "Blogging the Qur'an"

There is a similar lapse, not in the Bible itself, but in a particular Bible, the one published by two Englishmen, Lucas and Barker, in London in 1632. In that Bible the hapless pair of printer-publishers, no doubt off on a wayzgoose frolic and detour of their own, overlooked the fact that someone had left out an all-important "not" in the Seventh Commandment, so that it now read, in the Bible they published, thus:

"Thou shalt commit adultery."

By dropping the "not" in the Seventh Commandment, thus resulting in the so-called "Wicked" or "Adulterous" Bible, Barker and Lucas left the authorities fit to be tied. And they had their publishing privileges taken away.

Modern conditions are such, we must regretfully report, that if the "Wicked Bible" were to be reprinted today, it might sell like hot-cakes. It might even be distributed by conscience-relieving slightly-naughty samaritans to hotel chains for discrete placement, next to the version offered by the Tribe of Gideonites, in bedside tables next to hotel and motel beds across this land, from sea to shining sea.

Posted on 09/03/2007 4:55 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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