Collection ID



Bible - Printed Book




Possibly Antwerp, (Belgium)




Printed on Paper


13.25 × 9.75 × 3.25 in. (33.7 × 24.8 × 8.3 cm)

Exhibit Location

On View in The History of the Bible, Revolutionary Words

A first edition of the Matthew Bible, with woodcuts. After William Tyndale's death, his associate, John Rogers, published a new English Bible in 1537 under the pseudonym Thomas Matthew. The text from Joshua through Chronicles is believed to be the work of Tyndale and left in Rogers’s care after Tyndale’s arrest. The remainder of the translation adheres closely to the translations by Tyndale and Coverdale. Upon completion, the Matthew Bible was sent to Thomas Cromwell, who recommended that it be revised and printed in a large folio format to be used in every English church. This revision would become known as The Great Bible. This copy contains the rare frontispiece as well as the title page, both of which demonstrate a variety of Christian symbols.

Printed in 1537, possibly Antwerp (Belgium). Acquired by 1668 by an anonymous owner.[1] Acquired by 1814 by the Wade family.[2] Acquired by 1883 by Francis Fry (1803–1886), Bristol, England;[3] Gifted in 1883 to daughter, Sarah Matilda Barclay, née Fry (1834–1911).[4] Acquired before 2003 by Dr. Joseph W. Johnson, Florida;[5] Privately purchased in 2011 by Green Collection, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Donated in 2014 to Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC.[6]

Notes: [1] “Willam K, 1668” appears at the bottom of the page of Amos 4. It is unclear if Willam K was an owner of the Bible. [2] The blank verso of the New Testament title page is filled with handwritten notes listing the birth dates of the Wade family. Various dates appear on this page, starting in 1776 through 1814. [3] Francis Fry was an English businessman and book collector in the 1800s. This copy contains Fry’s handwritten notes, many of which are dated to 1883. [4] Handwritten note on endpaper states, “Sarah Matilda Barclay from her loving Father. 1883 F Fry,” indicating this was a gift to his daughter, Sarah. [5] Dr. Joseph W. Johnson is a lifetime member of the Tyndale Society and wrote the introduction for Matthew’s Bible: A Facsimile of the 1537 Editions (2009). Museum of the Bible reached out to Dr. Johnson about additional provenance information and at this time, no additional information has been provided. [6] ALR number reference S00129735.

Select References:

William Tyndale and Myles Coverdale, trans., John Rogers, ed., Matthew’s Bible: 1537 Edition, facsimile, ed. Joseph Johnson (Hendricks: Peabody, MA 2009).

David Daniell, The Bible in English (Yale University Press: New Haven & London, 2003), photographs page 12.

Museum of the Bible Publications:

Jennifer Atwood and Stacey Douglas, eds., Passages: Exploring the Bible in Four Movements. An Exhibition Guide (Museum of the Bible, 2015), 75.

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