Collection ID



Bible - Printed Book


1514 (vol. 5), 1515 (vol 6), 1517 (vols. 1–4)


Alcalá de Henares, (Spain)


Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and Latin


Printed on Paper


14.3 × 10.7 × 2.9 in. (36.4 × 27.4 × 7.4 cm)

Exhibit Location

On View in The History of the Bible, Revolutionary Words

Initiated and financed by Cardinal Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros (1436–1517), the Complutensian Polyglot Bible became the first printed polyglot of the entire Bible. This edition presented text in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and Latin in six volumes. The Old Testament (vols. 1–4) has text in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek, plus an interlinear Latin translation in parallel columns. At the bottom of each page of the Torah is Targum Onkelos, the standard Aramaic translation of the Torah. The New Testament (vol. 5), has the Greek text in a column on the left side of the page and the Latin text in a column on the right side. Volume 6 contains the appendix.

Printed between 1514 and 1517 by Complutense University in Alcalá de Henares, Spain. Acquired by Mr. B. Quaritch.[1] Acquired before 2010 by Lou Weinstein, Hawaii; Privately purchased in 2010 by Green Collection, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Donated in 2010 to Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC.

[1] The back flyleaf features a pencil inscription in English, apparently from the book dealer: “The one page papal license which is usually printed on the verso of the last leaf of prologue, cf. Lambeth Palace copy, all the blank leaves cut away otherwise complete Mr. B. Quaritch blit, Yours. It is interesting to speculate that this might be an early issue of vol. 1 before the errata leaves were issued and before the license leaf was printed. Yours.” It is unclear if this is Bernard Quaritch, founder of the London rare book business Bernard Quaritch Ltd. (d. 1899) or his son (d. 1913). Features of the handwriting suggest the elder, who was born in Germany. The “blit,” if understood as B.Lit., would indicate the son, since the father had no formal college education.

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) (Vandenhoek & Ruprecht GmbH & Co. KG and Museum of the Bible, 2017), 90–91.

Jennifer Atwood and Stacey Douglas, eds. Passages: Exploring the Bible in Four Movements. An Exhibition Guide. (Museum of the Bible, 2015), 44.

David Trobisch, Jennifer Atwood, Jonathan Kirkpatrick, and Rory P. Crowley, Verbum Domini II: God’s Word Goes Out to the Nations. (Museum of the Bible and Abilene Christian University Press, 2012), 129–130.

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