Hebrew books were historically censored by Christian Church authorities until the late 19th century. In 16th and 17th-century Italy, censors appointed by the Inquisition were often converted Jews who were fluent in Hebrew and familiar with the subject matter. They examined both printed and manuscript books for heretical or other objectionable passages. Outright rejection meant that all copies of the book were hunted down and destroyed. If censors authorized a book conditionally, then any objectionable words or passages had to be expunged—either omitted from works that had not yet been printed, or physically rendered illegible in printed copies.