SMU Bridwell Library, Perkins School of Theology SMU, Bridwell Library, Perkins School of Theology SMU Bridwell Library Perkins School of Theology

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Bibles of the Reformation in Europe

The Protestant Reformation in Europe continued to broaden the Bible’s intended audience, making vernacular Bibles available to the literate public. The reformers also brought about a fundamental redefinition of the process by which vernacular Bible translations were made. Beginning with Martin Luther’s German translations of 1522-1523, Protestant Bibles were based not on St. Jerome’s Latin Vulgate, but on the best available witnesses to the “original” sources: the Hebrew Bible and the Greek New Testament. Whereas Protestant translators claimed to provide their readers with Bibles of superior accuracy and readability, Catholic authorities countered that these translations altered or abandoned the traditional teachings of the Church.

Also exhibited in the galleries:

[Low German New Testament]. Dat Nye Testament vlytlich verdüdeschet. Wittenberg: Hans Lufft, 1524. 

[French Bible]. La Bible, Qui est toute la Saincte escripture. En laquelle sont contenus, le Vieil Testament & le Nouveau, translatez en Francoys. Le Vieil, de lebrieu: & le Nouveau, du Grec. Neuchâtel: Pierre de Wingle, 4 June 1535.

[Swedish Bible]. Biblia, thet är, All then Helgha Scrifft, på Swensko. Uppsala: Georg Richolff, 1540-1541.

[Danish Bible]. Biblia, det er den gantske Hellige Scrifft, udsaet paa Danske. Copenhagen: Ludowich Dietz, 1550.