Novum Instrumentum Omne, Erasmus’s New Testament

Collection ID



Bible - Printed Book




Basel (Switzerland)


Greek and Latin


Printed on Paper


11 × 9 × 1 in. (27.9 × 22.9 × 2.5 cm)

Exhibit Location

On View in The History of the Bible, Revolutionary Words

Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam (1466–1536) was the first to prepare a complete Greek New Testament for publication. Erasmus titled this first edition Novum Instrumentum Omne. In it, he presented his own Latin translation as well as critical notes on textual variants in the Vulgate that were not supported by the Greek manuscripts he consulted. His hurried work, which was done in just ten months, resulted in hundreds of typesetting errors. After the success of the first edition, from the second edition onward, Erasmus simply called his work Novum Testamentum.

Printed in 1516 by Johann Froben, Basel, Switzerland. Acquired, probably in the 1930s, by Hellmut Albert Feisenberger (1909–1999), London bookseller;[1] Privately purchased by Carrie Estelle Doheny (1875–1958) private collector, Los Angeles, California;[2] Donated in 1947 to St. Mary’s Seminary, Perryville, Missouri; Purchased at auction in 1994 by a private collector;[3] Purchased at auction in 2001 by Lou Weinstein, Beverly Hills;[4] Privately purchased in 2010 by Green Collection, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Donated in 2014 to Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC.

Notes: [1] H. A. Feisenberger was a prominent bookseller who moved to London from his native Germany in 1933. He partnered with Irving Davis shortly thereafter and began acquiring a broad range of rare books until the start of World War II in 1939. It is likely he purchased this book at that time. [2] Carrie Estelle Doheny, the famous Los Angeles bibliophile, did not provide a date for her purchase of this book. It is likely that she acquired it in the 1940s. [3] Christie’s, London, March 30, 1994, Lot 3. [4] Christie’s, New York, December 14, 2001, Lot 159. Lou Weinstein operated a rare book shop in Beverly Hills for 44 years, selling the shop in 2007 but continuing private sales from his new home in Hawaii.

Museum of the Bible Publications:

Roland S. Werner, Unser Buch: Die Geschichte Der Bibel Von Mose Bis Zum Mond (Our Book: The Story of the Bible from Moses to the Moon) (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht GmbH KG, 2017), 92–93.

David Trobisch, Jennifer Atwood, Jonathan Kirkpatrick, and Rory P. Crowley, Verbum Domini II: God’s Word Goes Out to the Nations (Abilene, Texas: Abilene Christian University Press, 2014), 129.

Questions about our Collections?

Visit Contact Us Page

(866) 430-MOTB

To acquire permission to use this image, please visit our Rights and Reproduction page .

More From The Collections

Carey Bible, First Edition

Bible - Printed Book
United States

Great Bible Portion with Carved Wooden Cover

Bible - Printed Book
Likely 1569
London, (England)

Captured Civil War New Testament

Bible - Printed Book
Oxford, (England)
© Museum of the Bible 2024
Designed by PlainJoe