Collection ID



Bible - Printed Book








Printed on Paper


7.2 × 4.8 in. (18.4 × 12.3 cm)

Exhibit Location

Not on View

Johann Bugenhagen, a leading Protestant Reformer and pastor to Martin Luther, owned and used this Bible. Bugenhagen embraced Luther’s ideas in the early 1520s. He eventually moved to Wittenberg and, in 1523, became the town priest and a lecturer at the university. He worked closely with Luther and Philip Melanchthon in the years that followed, serving on the revision committee that helped Luther translate the Bible into German. Beginning in the mid-1530s, he became a central figure in the establishment of Protestantism in Denmark and Scandinavia. This Bible is Bugenhagen’s copy of Robert Estienne’s revision of the Vulgate and helps illustrate how both Protestant and Catholics engaged with the Bible during these tumultuous decades.

Printed in 1544 by Nicholas Brylinger, Basel, Switzerland. Acquired by 1548 by Johannes Bugenhagen, Wittenberg, Germany.[1] Acquired by 1553 by D. and Katharina Schultz, Freistadt, Austria.[2] Acquired by 1850 by Hutchison, unknown owner.[3] Purchased at auction in 2002 by Gene Albert Jr., Rare Books & More, Lynchburg, Virginia;[4] Privately purchased in 2014 by Green Collection, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Donated in 2015 to National Christian Foundation (later The Signatry) under the curatorial care of Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC.

Notes: [1] Bugenhagen inscribed the front pastedown and provided the date of June 25, 1548. Annotations within the text are also in his hand. [2] The Schultz family recorded the birth of a son, Micheas, in 1553 and a daughter, Anna, in 1554 on the back free endpaper. The initials “D. S.” are presumably those of the father Schultz, who also recorded the death of his wife, Katharina, in childbirth in 1555. [3] An unidentified owner whose last name was Hutchison left an inscription on the book’s title page with the date 1850. Hutchison’s first initials are illegible. [4] See Christie’s, Valuable Illuminated Manuscripts and Printed Books (London), July 11, 2002, Lot 62.

Select References:

Christie’s London, Valuable Illuminated Manuscripts and Printed Books (London: Christie’s Publications, 2002).

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