Matthew Carey & William Young
Matthew Carey was a journalist in Ireland who attacked the English government for persecution of Irish Catholics. After being apprehended and serving a one month jail sentence, he fled England and arrived in America in 1784. Five years later, he announced plans to publish a Roman Catholic Douay-Rheims Version English Bible, if he could secure 400 pre-paid subscribers. He secured 471, and on December 1, 1790 delivered it to his subscribers. As there was very little demand for Roman Catholic scriptures in colonial America, it is unlikely that more than about 500 copies of the Matthew Carey Bible were ever printed, making it quite rare today. It is the first non-King James version English Bible printed in America.
Also in 1790, Philadelphia printer William Young produced a press-run of likely not more than a few hundred copies of a very small coat-pocket sized King James Version Bible. This was the first American Bible to be printed together with a Psalter. It was marketed as a school edition for students. William Youngs Bible is also unspeakably rare today.
The Aitken Bible Of 1782
Robert Aitken emigrated from Scotland to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1769. He opened a bookshop and began The Pennsylvania Magazine, to which Thomas Payne often contributed. Starting in 1776, Aitken became the official printer of the Journals of Congress.
Aitken printed the New Testament in English in 1771, 1778, 1779, 1780, and 1781. Under the trade embargoes Britain had placed against the rebelling American colonies during this time, Aitken began to worry about Americans being able to acquire Bibles, which were previously imported from England.
On January 21, 1781, Aitken wrote to Congress,
To the Honorable The Congress of the United States of America
The Memorial of Robert Aitken of the City of Philadelphia, Printer
That in every well regulated Government in Christendom, The Sacred Books of the Old and New Testament, commonly called the Holy Bible, are printed and published under the Authority of the Sovereign Powers, in order to prevent the fatal confusion that would arise, and the alarming Injuries the Christian Faith might suffer from the spurious and erroneous editions of Divine Revelation …
Though Congress did not fund Aitkens printing, it did authorize the project, and upon its completion, the two Chaplains of Congress approved Aitkens Bible. Thus, Congress officially declared its endorsement of the Aitken Bible, the first and only time Congress has ever endorsed a version of the Bible.
What Is The Gutenberg Bible
Five hundred and sixty-one years ago a man in Germany invented a new kind of printing press.
This printing press sparked a revolution in the distribution of information in medieval Europe. Suddenly, texts could be produced faster, in larger numbers, and at a lower cost than ever before. Over time, this printing technique enabled the spread of the ideas of movements such as the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and even the American Revolution.
The first book that was printed and made available using this new printing technique is known as the Gutenberg Bible.
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Charles Thomson & Jane Aitken
Charles Thomson was the Secretary to the United States Congress from 1774 to 1789, when he resigned to pursue his scholarly interests. Thomson was fascinated with the early Greek manuscripts of the New Testament and the Greek translation of the Old Testament called the Septuagint. He produced the first translation of the Septuagint into English, and the first new modern-English translation of the New Testament in the western hemisphere. Charles Thomson spent twenty years perfecting his translation, and then he sought a publisher
The publisher he found was the daughter of the famous Robert Aitken, who had produced the first English Bible printed in America in 1782. Her name was Jane Aitken. On September 12, 1808, in Philadelphia, Jane Aitken published Charles Thomsons translation of the Bible into modern English in four volumes, making her the first woman to ever print a Bible, and the first publisher of a modern-English Bible since the King James version of two centuries earlier.
The Complutensian Polyglot Bible
This masterpiece of Catholic scholarship was printed between 1514 and 1517 in AlcalÃ¡ de Henares , in Spain but was not issued until the Pope gave his permission in 1522.
There are three main columns of text on each page of the Biblethe Latin Vulgate, the original Hebrew, and the Septuagint, which is the Greek translation of the Hebrew.
Biblia polygotta . AlcalÃ¡ de Henares, Spain: Arnaldi Guillelmi de Brocario, 15141517. Page 2. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress
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Book Of Hours From Flanders
This is an excellent example of a late-fifteenth-century Hours of the Blessed Virgin, a prayer book celebrating the life of Mary and the annual liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church. It is decorated in Renaissance style with twenty-one large illuminated miniatures, three different border designs, and a striking series of illuminated initial letters.
The image represented here is of the Evangelist St. Luke, symbolized by the winged bull in the background. The portrait of St. Luke, with the emphasis on his shaded beard and distinctive facial features, is extremely well painted. The decorated floral borders reflect design characteristics attributable to workshops in Bruges and Ghent.
Horae Beatae Mariae . Germany, last quarter of the fifteenth century. Manuscript on vellum. Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of CongressCall number: Rosenwald #9
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First Bibles In English
The Aitken Bible, a King James Version, was the first English-language Bible published in America. This was at the close of the Revolutionary War. During most of the War for Independence , Bibles from England were unobtainable, and Congress seriously considered importing them from Holland and Scotland. In the Colonial era, England had banned the printing of the English Bible in America in order to give a monopoly to the three British publishers licensed by the Crown. Robert Aitken , a Scottish immigrant and Quaker, had been one of the five printers who had made bids to Congress to print Bibles. Aitken had already published the Congressional Quarterly and owned the largest bookstore in Philadelphia. His publication of the first New Testament in English in 1777 was a financial success, and he followed up with reprints of the Testament in 1778, 1779, and 1781. In 1782 Aitken published 10,000 copies of the whole Bible , a small duodecimo without pagination and with almost no margins. The Bible succeeded in being the only Bible ever authorized by Congress, but ruined him financially. He had published the nearly 2000-page Bible in a relatively large edition for the times. The Revolutionary War ended, and better-quality, imported Bibles became available. Aitken never again published Bibles.
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The Production Process: Das Werk Der Bcher
In a legal paper, written after completion of the Bible, Johannes Gutenberg refers to the process as Das Werk der Bücher . He had introduced the to Europe and created the technology to make printing with movable types finally efficient enough for the mass production of entire books to be feasible.
Many book-lovers have commented on the high standards achieved in the production of the Gutenberg Bible, some describing it as one of the most beautiful books ever printed. The quality of both the ink and other materials and the printing itself have been noted.
What Was The First Bible Printed In America
Early European settlers in America brought Bibles with them from their home countries. The first Bible to be printed in America was John Eliots Algonquin translation in 1663. The first full English version of the Bible wasnt printed until more than a hundred years later in 1782.
- Alyssa RoatContributing Writer
- 20209 Jul
This Fourth of July, the United States of America celebrated 244 years since the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the document that led to the American Revolutionary War and the eventual forming of the United States as a country.
Early Americans were a Bible-loving bunch, often immigrating to the Americas in order to pursue freedom of religion. Interestingly, however, a full English-language version of the Bible wasnt printed in America until 1782.
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Manuscript Bible From England
Creating a manuscript Bible was a complex and time-consuming task. By the thirteenth century, most Bibles were copied by scribes from an exemplar, or master copy, and were produced in greater quantity than before to meet the demand for the text.
Although the larger lectern or folio Bibles lent themselves to elaborate decoration and illumination, smaller, hand-held Bibles, such as this thirteenth-century English copy, were more modest in appearance and more affordable for the clergy and students who acquired them. Several copyists were responsible for transcribing this manuscript Bible, all of them writing in an extremely small cursive form of blackletter known as littera textualis currens that allowed more than 700 words per page.
Biblia latina . England, thirteenth century. Manuscript on vellum. Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of CongressCall number: Rosenwald #2
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Library Of Congress Bible Collectionother Bibles
Sections:The Giant Bible of MainzThe Gutenberg Bible
The Bible Collection at the Library of Congress offers an unparalleled opportunity to witness the Bibles transformation over 800 years. With 1,500 editions of the Bible in more than 150 languages, this splendid gathering helps to document the history of Western ideas, religion, art, printing, and illustration. Whether to understand the history of the text, its production, or its reception over time, the Librarys Bible Collection offers a portal to the history of the book.
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The Bible And Catholicism
Although the King James Version reigned supreme as the favorite Bible translation for American Protestants throughout the nineteenth century, American Catholics had a different view of the proper Bible translation altogether. The Catholic Douai Bible differed from Protestant Bibles in two significant ways: it was approved by the Holy Catholic Church while the King James Version held no such imprimatur, and it was filled with officially sanctioned commentary. Many King James Versions, particularly those produced by the millions by the American Bible Society, were published “without note or comment.” Catholics held that such bare Bibles were dangerous for Catholic youth because it taught them that private biblical interpretation was acceptable, thus degrading the central importance of the interpretative role of the Catholic Church’s priest-hood and hierarchy. The conflict between the two Bible translations might have been largely intellectual on one level, but its practical applications were felt most forcefully in a series of conflicts that broke out across the United States concerning the role of the Bible in the public school classroom.
Million Bibles Printed In China
NANJING, China 11 November is a day the worlds largest Bible printing press, Amity Printing Company , makes history once again. Today, APC celebrates the printing of 200 million Bibles and counting!
In a span of just seven years, Amity Press has produced yet another 100 million Bibles the first 100 million copies were printed in 25 years since the press was established in 1987.
Distinguished guests comprising Chinese church leaders and government officials, as well as leaders from the United Bible Societies Fellowship and representatives from various international organisations gathered on November 11th for this momentous celebration.
In his opening address, Board Chairman of Amity Foundation and APC, Mr Qiu Zhonghui paid tribute to the late Bishop K. H. Ting and Dr. Han Wenzao for establishing APC together with UBS, making a significant contribution towards the Bible ministry of the Churches in China and the global Church.
Out of the 200 million Bibles printed, more than 85 million copies were printed and distributed for the Churches in China, including Braille Bibles and Bibles in 11 ethnic minority languages Since 2003, APC began to grow their Bible printing for overseas distribution and to date, it has printed 115 million copies of Bible for more than 140 countries and territories.
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Editions Of The Bible In Early America
The English Bible was first printed in the United States in 1777. Before that date the Bible was held by royal copyright, and only certain British printers were allowed to produce the book. The American Revolution would change this practice. As the colonies broke off from England, American publishers found themselves free of the restrictions imposed by the royal copyright. If they had the substantial resources to produce a Bible edition, American publishers now found themselves free to do so.
Once it began to be printed in the United States, the Bible soon underwent a great many textual revisions and changes in format, as different editors and publishers appropriated it to meet a wide range of changing ideological and economic demands. By 1820 American publishers had already produced nearly 300 different editions of the Bible, and by 1870 the number of different editions had increased to almost 1,900 in the English language alone. The Bible’s myriad mutations played an enormous and often ignored role in determining its place in the hearts and minds of Americans. It is essential to realize that the Bible for nineteenth-century Americans was not in its purest sense a single book. It was a book whose core text was constantly adapted and repackaged to meet a wide range of needs in American religious, intellectual, and consumer cultures.
The Great Bible Or Cranmers Bible
Known by several different names, the Great Bible, or the Cromwell Bible, was the first English version of the sacred text to be authorized. King Henry VIII requested Myles Coverdale and Sir Thomas Cromwell to supervise its creation for use in the Church of England.
Today the book, especially the 1540 edition, is referred to as the âCranmer Bible,â in reference to the preface by Thomas Cranmer , first Protestant Archbishop of Canterbury. Much of the text has its origins in the earlier translation of the Bible by William Tyndale . The Psalms that appear in the Book of Common Prayer originate from this Bible, rather than the King James Bible of 1611.
The availability of an English Bible caused controversy during Henryâs reign. He grew concerned about the consequences of allowing the lower classes to read the Bible and later placed restrictions on its editions and uses.
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Book Of Hours From France
This is perhaps the most important sixteenth-century illuminated manuscript in the collections of the Library of Congress. It combines the highpoint of humanist letter design with a style of illumination unsurpassed in Renaissance France.
The manuscript is attributed to the Parisian workshop of Geoffrey Tory and contains many of the architectural and floral design elements found in his works. What distinguishes this copy is the extreme care and skill with which the illuminations were executed. The composition skillfully incorporates perspective with Maryâs face as the focal point, and the layering of architectural columns leads the eye from front to back.
Horae Beatae Mariae Virginia ad usum Romanum . France, 1524. Manuscript on vellum. Page 2 – Page 3 – Page 4 – Page 5. Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress
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No Mr Beck Congress Did Not Print A Bible For The Use Of Schools
Senior Research Director, Military Religious Freedom Foundation
For anyone who has been following the unholy new partnership between Glenn Beck and Christian nationalist history revisionist David Barton, no explanation for why I’m posting this is necessary. For anyone who hasn’t had the pleasure of watching Beck and Barton in action, here’s the background in a nutshell: David Barton, the pseudo-historian from Texas who’s probably more responsible than any other individual for spreading the erroneous belief that America was founded as a Christian nation, has now teamed up with Glenn Beck. Barton, who appeared on the radar recently as one of the history “experts” in the Texas textbook massacre, is also a former vice-chair of the Texas Republican Party, and, in 2005, was named one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in America by Time Magazine. Barton has now made several appearances on Beck’s show, armed with his usual scholarly schtick and pile of impressive historical items from his extensive private collection.
Now that Glenn Beck has started a weekly series of episodes called “Founders’ Fridays,” on which David Barton will no doubt be a recurring guest “historian,” I’ve decided to begin writing a series of posts debunking the historical lies being disseminated by this dynamic duo of Christian nationalism, starting with the one about the Aitken Bible. For this one, I’m posting both a video debunking and the relevant excerpt from my book.
Now, on to the story:
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Where Can You See The Gutenberg Bible
If you would like to flip through the pages of a complete Gutenberg Bible printed on paper, the Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin has digitized their copy and made it available through an easy-to-navigate interactive website.
The printing technique using movable metal type invented by Gutenberg dominated the printing industry until the introduction of the digitally based printing that is in use today. Heres a short film showing how a book was printed using movable type in 1942.