08:30 am - Thursday 18 December 2014
Advertisement

“Early Printed Bibles in Europe” Case from “In the Beginning was the Word” Exhibit

By admin - Fri May 04, 8:42 am

Check out these Language Translation images:

“Early Printed Bibles in Europe” Case from “In the Beginning was the Word” Exhibit


Image by Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library
Christianity’s influence permeates western civilization, reaching into every nook and cranny of our history and culture. The Bible, Christianity’s scripture, is likely the best-selling book of all time. Even as American society has become more secular and many Americans turn away from organized religion, the Bible itself is available in an ever-expanding variety of languages, translations, and editions with all manner of supplements for its readers.

This exhibit explores not the history of the Bible itself but the history of the printing of the Bible. It begins with Gutenberg and other early printers in continental Europe, then moves across the English Channel to examine the publication of Bibles in England, Wales, and Scotland. The exhibit then turns its attention to Bibles and related scriptures, some in English, some not, in the American colonies and later the United States.

All of the Bibles in this exhibit are the property of Swem Library, except the Aitken Bible of 1782, which is the property of Bruton Parish Church but is normally stored at Swem. We thank Bruton Parish for permission to display it.

EARLY PRINTED BIBLES IN EUROPE

Johannes Gutenberg revolutionized the world of Bible reading when he printed Bibles in the mid-1450s. On his heels came numerous editions of printed Bibles, some the work of entrepreneurial printers and others the work of scholars. Their efforts enabled laypeople to read the Bible in their native languages and study it in its original languages, helping spark the Protestant Reformation.

Johannes Gutenberg and the First Printed Bible

Up until the mid-1400s, producing a new Bible typically took a scribe at least a year, copying the text by hand. That changed when Johannes Gutenberg (?-1468), a goldsmith and printer in Mainz, Germany, developed a printing press using movable type. He spent several years creating his masterpiece, a double-folio edition of the Latin Vulgate Bible used by the Catholic Church, then completely dominant throughout much of western Europe. By 1455, Gutenberg had printed approximately 180 copies, some on paper, some on vellum. Costing three years’ wages for an ordinary worker, the book was less expensive than scribes’ copies, but still not affordable for ordinary people. Most copies likely ended up in monasteries and other institutions rather than in private hands. An amazing 47 or 48 survive today, mostly in research libraries, a tribute to the key role the Gutenberg Bible and movable type played in spreading both the Renaissance and the Protestant Reformation.

The copy on display here is a facsimile printed in 1961. Note how the blackletter text resembles that of the small manuscript Dutch Book of Hours (a medieval devotional book for laypeople). Gutenberg deliberately made his type to resemble manuscript letters in hopes of gaining acceptance for the movable type.

Anton Koberger, Modern Entrepreneur

These leaves are a fragment from the ninth Germanic Bible printed by Anton Koberger (ca. 1440-1513) in 1483 in Nuremburg. Koberger in the late 1400s printed about 1500 Bibles at a time. An excellent businessman, he ran an international printing empire, employing a network of printers in other cities and sold his books through agents and correspondents around Europe.

Scholarly Editions: The Complutensian Polyglot Bible

The more widespread availability of the Bible and the religious ideas swirling around Europe in the late 1400s and early 1500s stimulated interest in studying the Bible in its original languages and early translations. Cardinal Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros (1436-1517) personally organized and financed a project at the University of Alcalá in Spain to produce a polyglot Bible, a Bible in which text in several languages would appear in parallel columns. The scholars worked from 1502 to 1517, creating what is known today as the Complutensian Polyglot Bible. The columns on the original leaf presented here have text from Hebrew, Latin Vulgate, and Greek Septuagint manuscripts. The columns on the bottom are Aramaic and a Latin translation produced by the project.

Scholarly Editions: Robert Estienne

Robert Estienne (1503-1559), also known as Robert Stephani, of Paris was a printer with a very scholarly mind. To make sure that the editions of the Bible that he published were as accurate as possible, he collected earlier manuscripts and compared them, studying carefully the changes in the text. His editions are known for annotations and margin notes with variants of the texts, citing his sources. To be able to connect the notes with the appropriate text, Estienne divided the Bible into chapters and verses, an innovation that gained widespread acceptance. On display here is his two-volume 1545 edition of the Latin Vulgate and Zurich texts in parallel columns; one volume is still in its original binding. The Zurich translation was associated with Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531), a Protestant reformer. Though raised a Catholic, Estienne increasingly favored Protestantism. Theologians at the University of Paris forced him to leave the city, and he relocated in 1550 to Geneva, one of the great centers of Protestantism.

Artistic Edition: Hans Holbein

This beautiful Bible includes woodcuts by Hans Holbein the Younger (1497-1543), some reproductions of which are displayed in this case. Holbein was a German artist from Augsburg who did much of his early work in Basel, where the Reformation spirit was strong. It likely was in Basel in the 1520s that he created a series of 90+ woodcuts of Biblical scenes. He painted the great humanist Erasmus, who recommended him to his friend Sir Thomas More. Holbein went to England from 1526 to 1530, painting More and the humanist circles in which More moved. After a brief visit to Basel, he returned to England in 1532. Holbein abandoned his former patron, who incurred the wrath of Henry VIII for opposing his divorce and was executed. Instead, Holbein gained the sponsorship of Anne Boleyn and Sir Thomas Cromwell, who themselves eventually fell out of favor and were executed. Holbein nonetheless became the great portrait painter of Henry VIII’s court. Over his career, Holbein worked for both Protestants and Catholics, and his religious views are unclear. This Bible, from Lyon in 1544, was one of a series of Bibles featuring Holbein’s woodcuts printed in the late 1530s and 1540s.

From the Special Collections Research Center, Earl Gregg Swem Library at the College of William and Mary. See swem.wm.edu/scrc/ for further information and assistance.

going home


Image by jessica jeanne
the sign language translation of "turtle."

“Bibles in Continental Europe After 1500″ Case from “In the Beginning was the Word” case


Image by Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library
Christianity’s influence permeates western civilization, reaching into every nook and cranny of our history and culture. The Bible, Christianity’s scripture, is likely the best-selling book of all time. Even as American society has become more secular and many Americans turn away from organized religion, the Bible itself is available in an ever-expanding variety of languages, translations, and editions with all manner of supplements for its readers.

This exhibit explores not the history of the Bible itself but the history of the printing of the Bible. It begins with Gutenberg and other early printers in continental Europe, then moves across the English Channel to examine the publication of Bibles in England, Wales, and Scotland. The exhibit then turns its attention to Bibles and related scriptures, some in English, some not, in the American colonies and later the United States.

All of the Bibles in this exhibit are the property of Swem Library, except the Aitken Bible of 1782, which is the property of Bruton Parish Church but is normally stored at Swem. We thank Bruton Parish for permission to display it.

BIBLES IN CONTINENTAL EUROPE AFTER 1550

The demand for printed Bibles in its original languages and Latin and vernacular translations continued to grow in Europe, as different Protestant sects developed and as nationalism became more important. The Bibles themselves frequently came with a variety of scholarly apparatus, such as margin notes, indexes, and commentaries.

Théodore de Bèze

Théodore de Bèze (1519-1605), a French Protestant, was a professor of Greek and theology at the academy in Geneva, Switzerland, and succeeded John Calvin as the leader of Geneva’s Protestant community. He shared Calvin’s theological views. Among his many contributions was a Greek version of the New Testament printed in parallel columns with the Vulgate Latin version and his own Latin translation. In addition, he added scholarly notes that provided a Calvinist interpretation of the New Testament. Originally published in 1565 in Geneva, Bèze’s New Testament was reprinted several times. On display here are versions published in 1580 and 1589, both printed by Henri Estienne, son of Robert, whose 1545 Bible is in the first case. A third version here was printed in 1598 but no publication information is provided. Bèze dedicated the 1598 version to Queen Elizabeth I of England, who had cheered Protestant Europe by defeating the (Catholic) Spanish Armada in 1588. The 1589 version belonged to William Webb, William and Mary Class of 1746, and the 1598 version to William Yates, William and Mary Class of 1744 and president of the College, 1761-1764.

A Post-Vulgate Latin Edition

Immanuel Tremellius (1510-1580) was an Italian Jewish convert to Catholicism who quickly converted to Protestantism. After being exiled by the religious wars on the Continent, he served as Professor of Hebrew at Cambridge University and later became Professor of the Old Testament at the University of Heidelberg, from which he ended up fleeing to the College of Sedan. Tremelllius and his son-in-law Franciscus Junius, a professor of theology at Leyden University, translated the Old Testament directly from Hebrew into Latin. This translation was first published in the 1570s in Frankfurt. Tremellius also translated the New Testament from the Syriac into Latin, first published in Geneva in 1569. Swem’s edition of Tremellius’s work was published in London in 1580 and was dedicated to Prince Frederick III, the Elector of the Palatine. Frederick, a staunch Calvinist, greatly supported the Reformed tradition against the Lutherans and brought Tremellius to Heidelberg.

The Osiander Family

A father-and-son team was responsible for an updated edition of the Latin Vulgate. Lucas Osiander (1534-1604) and his son Andreas Osiander (1562-1617) followed in the footsteps of Lucas’s father, also Andreas Osiander (1498-1552), a German Lutheran theologian who published a corrected Vulgate in 1522. Lucas and his son also became theologians and they published a Latin Vulgate with extensive comments in 1600. Swem’s copy is the 1606 Tübingen edition. It is dedicated to Prince Frederick of Württemberg (1557-1608).

Later Bibles on the Continent

The remaining Bibles in this case are all from Europe. Giovanni Diodati (1576-1649) succeeded Théodore de Bèze at the University of Geneva and is best known for translating the Bible from Greek and Hebrew to Italian. The first edition was published in 1603; Swem’s edition dates to 1641. This was for many generations the Bible of Italian Protestants. The 1675 Greek New Testament is distinguished chiefly by its association with Emmanuel Jones, whose bookplate appears on it. Jones was a student at William and Mary and later led the Indian School at the College from 1755 through 1777. The 1684 Polyglot New Testament, published in Amsterdam, has French, English, and Dutch in parallel columns. Finally, the 1707 Lutheran Bible, distinguished by its hardware, was published with the approval of the theological faculty at Leipzig and is dedicated to Frederick Augustus (1670-1733), Elector of Saxony and King of Poland. To become King of Poland, Frederick had converted from Lutheranism to Catholicism, but he allowed Saxony to remain Lutheran.

From the Special Collections Research Center, Earl Gregg Swem Library at the College of William and Mary. See swem.wm.edu/scrc/ for further information and assistance.

9 Comments

Comments 1 - 9 of 9First« PrevNext »Last
  1. 0

    Terrific work! That is the kind of information that are supposed to be shared across the internet. Disgrace on the search engines for no longer positioning this post higher! Come on over and talk over with my site . Thank you =)

  2. 0

    You already know therefore considerably with regards to this matter, made me individually consider it from numerous varied angles. Its like women and men aren’t involved unless it is something to accomplish with Lady gaga! Your individual stuffs nice. All the time deal with it up!

  3. 0

    A person essentially assist to make seriously articles I’d state. That is the very first time I frequented your website page and so far? I amazed with the research you made to make this particular put up extraordinary. Wonderful process!

  4. 0

    Generally I do not read article on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very pressured me to check out and do it! Your writing taste has been surprised me. Thanks, very great post.

  5. 0

    Just want to say your article is as surprising. The clarity for your post is simply excellent and that i can suppose you’re a professional on this subject. Well together with your permission allow me to grasp your RSS feed to keep up to date with imminent post. Thank you one million and please carry on the enjoyable work.

  6. 0

    I am just getting started on the Internet. I am retired now. I can see that there is a rich diversity in the blogs I am reading and I am trying to leave some comment whereever I visit. You have made your blog more interesting than most that I read. Thanks for that. I am the proud owner of my own website and blog and i get ideas from blogs such as yours. Thank-you. There was a place to include an email and address, so I have done that. Is this acceptable? I hope this is allright. TheVeryBest2You 13 12

  7. 0

    What a great resource!

  8. 0

    Hello there, I found your website by way of Google whilst looking for a similar topic, your site got here up, it appears to be like good. I have bookmarked to favourites|added to my bookmarks.

  9. 0

    I simply could not go away your site before suggesting that I actually loved the usual information an individual provide for your guests? Is going to be back regularly in order to check up on new posts

Comments 1 - 9 of 9First« PrevNext »Last

Leave a Reply

Turn on pictures to see the captcha *

Powered by Yahoo! Answers