Collections’ Highlights

Bible of the Bear (La Biblia, que es, los Sacros Libros del Vieio y Nueuo Testamento)

Collection ID



Bible - Printed Book




Basel, (Switzerland)




Printed on Paper


10.5 × 8.2 × 3.1 in. (26.7 × 20.9 × 8 cm)

Exhibit Location

On View in History of the Bible, The King James Bible

In 1569, printer Thomas Guarinus published the first complete Spanish Bible in Basel, Switzerland. It’s often called the Biblia del Oso, or “Bible of the Bear,” because of the printer’s emblem on the title page, which shows a bear grasping for honey in the trunk of a tree. It was translated by the Spanish Reformer Casiodoro de Reina (1520–1594). For the Old Testament, he may have used earlier translations, but he compared them against Hebrew and Latin editions. The New Testament is based on Erasmus’s editions of the Greek texts. De Reina’s Bible was eventually revised by another Protestant Reformer, Cipriano de Valera, and published in 1602.

Printed in 1569. Acquired by Craig Lampe, Arizona; Purchased in 2009 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.

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), 132–133.

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), 138.

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