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1631 Was a Good Year for Bibles

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It was a rainy afternoon in London.  It was, however, not raining fish.  Having survived the Apoca-wot? Crowley was inclined to take what he could get – especially when what he could get was a quiet afternoon with his angel.  Aziraphale had taken one look at the weather, turned the bookshop sign to “Closed” and locked the door.  Now he was happily immersed in one of his repair projects.

Crowley sprawled across the bookshop’s sofa, browsing the Internet on his phone and shooting off random remarks in Aziraphale’s direction.  He was well aware that the angel was paying minimal attention, but this hardly mattered.  It was not raining fish.  The bookshop was not on fire.  They were free to be together, Aziraphale radiating contentment and Crowley basking in his angel’s mood.

A particular news item caught Crowley’s eye.

“Angel, they found another copy of the Wicked Bible.  The ‘thou shalt commit adultery’ one?”


“In Christchurch – apt name, that – in New Zealand.  You ever been?”


“New Zealand.”


“Me neither…  Hey, you ever heard of a great ass Bible?”


Crowley looked up from his phone and considered Aziraphale, head bent over his work, pale curls shining in the lamplight.


Aziraphale looked up, frowning slightly.  “Really, my dear, there’s no need to yell.”

“Okay, what was the last thing I said?”

“Something about an ass.”

“Says here that there was a print run of Bibles in 1631 with a line that was supposed to read ‘the greatness of the Lord.’”

“And instead read…”

“The great ass of the Lord.”

Aziraphale’s lips twitched.  “Oh, dear.”

“Hmmm, also says there aren’t any copies of that particular misprint in circulation.”

“That sounds likely,” Aziraphale replied, but he dropped his eyes very slightly as he said it.

“Really, angel?” Crowley drawled.

Aziraphale turned slightly pink.  “Well, I’m not saying that there might not have been a copy that survived, but it certainly wouldn’t be ‘in circulation’!”

“Course not,” said Crowley fondly.