Early Printed Bible Pages

[STH F-9]
Publication and document history taken from dealer’s description cards.

  • Polyglot
    • 1596–Hamburg Polyglot
      STH Bible Leaves 1-4
      Hamburg : Jacob Lucius Juni. 243 x 364 mm.
      Greek Septuagint, Vulgate Latin (Paginius’s O.T. and Beza’s N.T.), and Luther’s German.

      • Leaf 1: Original foliation 14. Job 14:20-15:30
      • Leaves 2-3: Original foliation 18-19. Job 20:1-21:34
      • Leaf 4: Original foliation 21. Job 23:4-24:16
    • 1655–London Polyglot
      STH Bible Leaves 5-7
      London: Robert Roycroft. 281 x 449 mm.
      Hebrew, Latin Vulgate, Greek Septuagint, Chaldee Paraphrase, Syriac and Arabic versions each with a Latin translation.
      Edited by Dr. Brian Walton. Type characters of English make, causing Charles II to may Roycroft “King’s Printer of Oriental Languages.”

      • Leaf 5: Original paging 451-452. II John 8:58-9:30
      • Leaf 6: Original paging 469-470. II John 12:5-34
      • Leaf 7: Original paging 479-480. II John 13:32-14:24
    • 1671–Stjernhjelm’s Polyglot Gospels
      STH Bible Leaves 8-9
      Stockholm : Nichoai Wankif. 164 x 209 mm.
      Gothic, Icelandic, Swedish, and Latin.
      Edited by G. Stjernhjelm.

      • Leaf 8: Original paging 347-348. Luke 5: 4-14
      • Leaf 9: Original paging 351-352. Luke 5:15-25
  • Hebrew
    • 1584–Plantin Hebrew Bible
      STH Bible Leaves 10-11
      Antwerp : Christopher Plantin. 222 x 343 mm.
      Hebrew Old Testament with interlinear Latin.

      • Leaf 10: Original paging 145-146. II Kings 5:3-7:31
      • Leaf 11: Original paging 183-184. Micah 6:1-7:9
    • 1587–Hutter’s Hebrew Bible
      STH Bible Leaves 12-13
      Hamburg : Johannes Saxon. 243 x 365 mm.
      Text edited by Elias Hutter of Leipzig.

      • Leaf 12: Original paging 563-564.
      • Leaf 13: Original paging 911-912.
  • Greek
    • 1800–Thomas Greek New Testament
      STH Bible Leaves 14-15
      Worcester : Isaiah Thomas. 101 x 170 mm.
      The earliest Greek Testament printed in America. The Worchester Press also produced some of the early American editions of the English Bible. Franklin called it the “Baskerville (Press) of America.” This testament was reprinted by the same printer in Boston (1814).

      • Leaf 14: Original paging 35-36. Matthew 14:20-15:19
      • Leaf 15: Original paging 39-40. Matthew 16:13-17:15
  • Latin
    • 1495–Froben “Poor Man’s” Bible
      STH Bible Leaves 16-25
      Basel : Johannes Froben de Hummelburg. 112 x 156 mm.
      This was the second issue of an octavo Bible, the first having been issued by the same printer in 1491. From its small size, this is known as the “Poor Man’s Bible.” Johann Froben was the celebrated Basel printer who for many years had as associates the famous scholar Erasmus and the noted artist Holbein. His Bibles were highly esteemed for their accuracy. There were the first editions in which references to parallel passages were given throughout the Bible.

      • Leaf 16: Leviticus 16-19.
      • Leaves 17-18: Numbers 1-6.
      • Leaf 19: Numbers 30-32
      • Leaf 20: Numbers 36-Deuteronomy 2
      • Leaf 21: Deuternomy 2-4
      • Leaf 22: Deuteronomy 6-9
      • Leaf 23: Joshua 21-24
      • Leaf 24: Joshua 24-Judges 2
      • Leaf 25: Amos 1-5. This is probably from a different edition by the same printer. Original foliation 364, with two-line initial letters.
    • 1495–Italian Incunabla Bible
      STH Bible Leaves 26-36
      Venetiis : Paganinus de Paganinis. 249 x 353 mm.
      First edition of the Latin Bible in which catch words were used. This edition contains N. de Lyra’s celebrated commentary, Postillae Litterales et Morales. The interlinear notes are in small type, which is seldom found. Most of the incunabula Italian Bibles were printed inroman rather than this gothic type.

      • Leaves 26-27: Original foliation 425 and 430, uncut. 425 contains de Lyra’s Prothemata in Librum Psalmorum and 430 contains Psalms 8-9 with de Lyra’s commentary.
      • Leaf 28: Original foliation 442. Psalms 23-24.
      • Leaf 29: Original foliation 513. Psalms 99-100.
      • Leaf 30: Original foliation 516. Psalms 102-103.
      • Leaves 31-33: Original foliation 552-554. Psalms 140-143.
      • Leaves 34-36: Original foliation 557-559. Psalms 146-150.
    • 1497–Koburger Latin Bible
      STH Bible Leaves 37-39
      Nuremburg : A. Koburger. 232 x 333 mm.
      A Vulgate text with the famous commentary by the brilliant Franciscan theologian Nicolas de Lyra (1270-1340), which “may be said to mark the first beginnings of a school of natural exegesis.” Luther, as well as many other reformers and humanists, was influenced considerably by these notes. Koberger, the most prolific of the great fifteenth century publishers, issued fifteen Latin Bibles from 1475-1500. The initials are rubricated by hand.

      • Leaf 37: Job 94
      • Leaf 38: Psalms 110
      • Leaf 39: 2 Esdras 25
    • 1519–Giunta Bible
      STH Bible Leaves 40-43
      Venetiis : Lucas Antonius de Giunta. 105 x 155 mm.
      The earliest of many Latin Bibles to bear the name of Lucantonio Giunta, the chief rival of hte Aldi. His press, which existed for nearly a century, became famous not only for its fine music printing, but also for the extensive use of small illustrations in cheaper editions of the Bible, apparently for their “sales appeal” to the humble class of book buyers.

      • Leaves 40-43: Original foliation 332-335. Ezekiel 11-20
    • 1532–Bible of the Low Countries
      STH Bible Leaves 44-45
      Lugduni : Jacobi Myt. 246 x 340 mm.
      A typical black letter (lettre de forme) Bible of the Low Countries. It is contemporaneous with the earliest editions of Tyndale’s and Coverdale’s Testaments and Bibles, many of which were printed in nearby Antwerp (1525-1535), and which also reflect, as did most of the English Reformation Bibles of the sixteenth century, this form of typographical design.

      • Leaf 44: Deuteronomy 24-28
      • Leaf 45: Deuteronomy 32-Joshua 1
  • Dutch
    • 1663–Elzevir States-General Bible
      STH Bible Leaves 46
      Leyden : Johan Elzevir. 266 x 424 mm.
      The Standard Bible of the Dutch Reformed Church, compiled by Biblical scholars from the various provinces of the Netherlands. These were appointed in 1619. Funds were furnished by the States-General to start work in 1628, and the first edition appeared in 1637. It is one of the greatest books in Dutch, and has helped to mold a national language. It corresponds in importance to Luther’s version in Germany, and the King James Bible in England. Printed by J. Elzevir, a distinguished member of the most important family of Dutch publishers, who, however, seldom printed religious works.

      • Leaf 46: Original foliations 256. Job 37:21-39:18
  • English
    • 1549–Matthew Bible
      STH Bible Leaves 47-52
      Imprinted at London by John Daye dwellyng at Aldersgate and William Seres dwellyng in Peter colledge towarde Ludgate. 190 x 297 mm.
      The second version of the Bible in English, edited by John Rogers, who wrote under the pseudonym of Thomas Matthew, either in fear of his life or to conceal the fact that a considerable part of his Bible was from the condemned translation of Tyndale. This edition is also known as the “Becke Bible” on account of the dedication to Edmund Becke; the “Indecent Bible” because of many objectionable notes; and the “Wife Beating Bible” from a note “to beate the feare of God into her heade.” Includes four copies of a modern reprint of the New Testament title page.

      • Leaf 47: Original foliation 53. Baruch (end) and Song of the Children (Daniel 3)
      • Leaves 48-49: Original foliation 104-105. Ezekiel 10-16
      • Leaf 50: Original foliation 108. Ezekiel 19-21
      • Leaf 51: Original foliation 16. Matthew 23-24
      • Leaf 52: Original foliation 99. Acts (endnotes)-Romans 2
    • 1549–Great Bible
      STH Bible Leaves 53-56
      London in Fletestrete : Edwarde Whitchurche. 199 x 305 mm.
      A revision by Coverdale of Matthew’s Bible under the patronage of Thomas Cromwell, hence sometimes known as “Cromwell’s Bible.” The first editions were large folios. In 1538 an order was given to the clergy that “one boke of the whole Bible, in the largest volume, in Englyshe, sett up in summe convenyent place within the churche that ye have cure of, whereat your parishioners may most commodiously resort to the same and rede yt.”

      • Leaf 53: Original foliation 32. Judith 14-16
      • Leaves 54-56: Original foliation 7-9. Matthew 13-19
    • 1575–Bishops’ Bible
      STH Bible Leaves 57-65
      London : Richarde Iugge. 188 x 274 mm.
      This small folio edition of the Bishops’ Bible, so called from the fact that eight bishops, under the direction of Archbishop Parker of Canterbury, were among the reviewers. The work of the bishops is of unequal merit, as they were all pioneers and worked independently with little editorial supervision. This version was never very popular, and only nineteen edtions seem to have been printed. Some of the marginal notes in the Bishops’ Bible are curious. Opposite Psalm xlv 9 we find: “Ophir is thought to be the Ilande in the west coast, of late founde by Christopher Columbo, from whence at this day is brought most fine golde.” Ten-line initial letter at beginning of Hosea and Amos.

      • Leaf 57: Original foliation 75. 4 Kings 4:2-5:12 (now called 2 Kings)
      • Leaves 58-59: Original foliation 116-117. Ezekiel 26:9-30:11
      • Leaves 60-61: Original foliation 119-120. Ezekiel 32:18-36:3
      • Leaf 62: Original foliation 136. Daniel 11:34-Hosea 2:7
      • Leaf 63: Original foliation 138. Hosea 6:1-10:1
      • Leaf 64: Original foliation 141. Joel 2:25-Amos 2:7
      • Leaf 65: Original foliation 344. Ezekiel 2:5-5:5 (Probably from another edition, with marginal notes in gothic rather than roman type, verse numbers indented, and caption at top of page within two bars.
    • 1611–King James Bible
      STH Bible Leaves 66-78
      London : Robert Barker. 280 x 410 mm.
      This Bible, known as the “Authorized Version,” has been given the tribute of being “the noblest book in the English language.” It represents the work of fifty committee members, and was seen through the press of Miles Smith and Thomas Bilson. This version soon displaced all others, and for over three hundred years was without rival. The name “She” Bible was applied to the second issue, from which these leaves are taken, because of the reading in Ruth 3:15 “she went into the city.” Includes eight modern reprint copies of the New Testament title page. Leave 67-68 and 70-71 have similar water stain at the top.

      • Leaves 66-68: Genesis 26:5-30:30 (leaves 67-68 attached)
      • Leaf 69: Genesis 29:7-30:30 (same as leaf 68)
      • Leaf 70: Genesis 31:41-33:6
      • Leaf 71: Leviticus 18:30-20:15
      • Leaf 72: Leviticus 22:13-23:34
      • Leaf 73: I Kings 20:16-21:15
      • Leaf 74: II Chronicles 6:31-8:7
      • Leaves 75-78: II Chronicles 10:2-19:2
    • 1635–Second Douai Bible
      STH Bible Leaves 79
      Rouen : Iohn Covstvrier. 170 x 224 mm.
      The second edition of the Roman Catholic Bible in English, which succeeded the first (1609-1610) by twenty-five years. No further issue appeared until 115 years later (1750). In general arrangement the 1635 edition follows the earlier text, but the 1750 one was a drastic revision by Richard Challoner, in which he weakened the forceful English of the original Elizabethan translators. The Douai Bibles are sometimes called “rosin” Bibles from the reading “Is there noe rosen in Galaad” in Jeremiah 8:22.

      • Leaf 79: Original pagination 697-698. 3 Kings 23:5-24:11
    • 1769–Baskerville Birmingham Bible
      STH Bible Leaves 80-82
      Birmingham : John Baskerville. 262 x 418 mm.
      Baskerville, England’s greatest type-founder and printer, had announced his retirement from active printing the year before. He returned to the press, however, and hastily printed this folio Bible to compete with a crudely printed one issued by his most vituperative enemy, Nicholas Boden, and his former senior workman, Robert Martin. This Bible, although far inferior to his Cambridge Bible, was a financial success.

      • Leaf 80: Isaiah 41:21-44:3
      • Leaf 81: Jeramiah 26:9-28:17
      • Leaf 82: Jeremiah 44:4-46:10
    • 1791–First Thomas Quarto Bible
      STH Bible Leaves 83
      Worcester : Isaiah Thomas. 239 x 298 mm.
      The first quarto Bible in English printed in America. Printed by Isaiah Thomas, whom Franklin called the “Baskerville of America.” Its price was seven dollars, and to make payment easy, there was a provision that “the Publisher will receive one half the sum .. in the following articles, viz. Wheat, Rye, Indian Corn, Butter, or Pork, if delivered at his store in Worcester, or at the store of himself and Company in Boston, by the 20th day of December, 1790.” Thomas used thirty different editions of the King James Bible in preparing the text, and had every sheet examined by the clergyman of Worcester.

      • Leaf 83: Original pagination 615-616. Isaiah 8:6-10:16
    • 1881–Revised Version of the New Testament
      STH Bible Leaves 84-85
      New York : R. Worthington. 126 x 183 mm.
      In 1870 the convocation of Canterbury appointed a committee to revise the King James Version. Scholars of many denominations from England and America shared in this undertaking. Strict rules eliminated radicalism, yet 36,191 changes were made in the New Testament alone. The reception of this work was unprecedented. It was released in May, and before the end of the year over 2,000,000 copies were sold in London, and nearly 400,000 copies in New York. Several newspapers even went so far as to print the entire text (May 22).

      • Leaf 84: Original paging 451-452. Philippians 1:12-2:12
      • Leaf 85: Original paging 457-[458]. Philippians 4:20-Colossians 1:10
    • 1899–Polychrome Bible
      STH Bible Leaves 86-89
      New York : Dodd, Mead and Co. 186 x 258 mm.
      A new translation from the Hebrew into English under the direction of the great Shakespearean scholar, Horace Howard Furness. Original sources used by the translator are indicated by the background of different colors. Eight tints or colors were used in Joshua alone: dark red, light red, dark blue, light blue, purple, green, brown and orange. The cost of editing and color printing was so great, that only a few books of the Bible were issued, and the undertaking was then discontinued.

      • Leaf 86: Original paging 85-86. Isaiah 49:5-15:23
      • Leaf 87: Original paging 91-92. Isaiah 51:23-53:5
      • Leaf 88: Original paging 99-100. Isaiah 55:19-57:6
      • Leaf 89: Plate to face page 98. Memphis from the Village of Helwan
  • German
    • 1541–Suppressed Luther Bible
      STH Bible Leaves 90-91
      Leipzig : Nicolaum Wolrab. 228 x 342 mm.
      This Leipzig edition, published without Luther’s sanction, and afterward suppressed at his wish on account of its errors, probably was printed secretly because of a ban placed on Reformation literature by Duke George of Saxony.

      • Leaf 90: Original foliation 121. I Chronicles 17-18
      • Leaf 91: Original foliation 124. I Chronicles 23-24
  • Spanish
    • 1569–First Printed Bible in Spanish
      STH Bible Leaves 92-94
      Basel : T. Guarinus. 171 x 244 mm.
      Translated by C. de Reina, a monk who, becoming one of the Spanish Reformers, had to flee to England, and later to the Continent. This edition consisted of 2,600 copies, but so many disappeared that they were scarce when de Valera brought out the second Spanish Bible in 1602. It is also known as the “Bear” Bible from the device on the title page.

      • Leaf 92: Columns 1057-1060. Esther 8:4-10:2
      • Leaf 93: Columns 1149-1152. Psalms 33:9-37 Intro.
      • Leaf 94: Columns 1157-1160. Psalms 40:6-44:23
    • 1602–Second Printed Bible in Spanish
      STH Bible Leaves 95
      Amsterdam : Lorenco Jacobi. 198 x 279 mm.
      C. de Reina’s translation revised by C. de Valera, a Spanish monk who came under the influence of the Reformation, escaped from persecution in Spain, and took refuge in England, where he devoted the last twenty years of his life to this work, his “evening sacrifice.” Nearly two hundred years later (1793) a Spanish Bible was first printed on Spanish soil.

      • Leaf 95: Original foliation 9. 4 Esdras 6:7-7:45