Bibles of the Reformation
The importance of the Reformation in the history of the Bible is demonstrated by several highlights from the Prothro Collection, including Martin Luther’s earliest translation of the German Old Testament (1523) and his German Bible of 1535, based on the early Hebrew and Greek texts. Following Luther’s example, other Protestants used ancient biblical texts as the basis of new translations into French, Spanish, Italian, and other languages understood by the common people. The “reform” of the Latin Bible was initiated by Erasmus of Rotterdam and Archbishop Francisco Xímenez de Cisneros of Toledo, humanists within the Church who were willing to compare the Vulgate version against early Hebrew and Greek sources. Their important contributions, as well as an early edition of the Hebrew Bible, appear in this section of the exhibition.