Monday, November 21, 2011

Historic Bibles Online

A few months ago, scrounging the net for a particular verse reading in the Coverdale Psalter -- tricky to find, if you care about spelling and punctuation -- we stumbled over something truly remarkable: a website featuring page-by-page photo-reproductions of historic Bibles.

Truly, friends, we live in astonishing times. A poor parish priest can sit in his study and flip pages through the first English New Testament, from 1390 -- as well as Erasmus' diglot, Luther's 1522 NT and his 1530 Bible, and plenty more. These are not easy books to find, even in reproduction. (And yes, the site is run by a company which does sell reproductions of historic Bibles, but even those ain't cheap. We've checked).

This is incredibly cool, at least for readers with an interest in incunabula, typography, and so forth. It's not perfect, of course. For example, the most important part of the Geneva Bible was its extensive annotation, which was sufficiently antiepiscopal and anitmonarchical to require a more C-of-E-friendly translation, duly commissioned by King James I. Well, the Geneva Bible is there, all right, but we couldn't zoom in close enough to read the notes as easily as we'd like. No problem on a bigger monitor, we expect. Also, the page includes Foxe's Book of Martyrs but not the Douay Bible. Showing bias much, guys?

Still, it's a striking site, and we'll click back often.

It's called The commercial site has the unhumble monicker And yet, for all our Lutheran disdain for self-promotion, we have to say that this is a pretty great site.

1 comment:

mark said...

Thank you! The notes show up fine, here.