Gutenberg Bible

Gutenberg Bible of the New York Public Library. Bought by James Lenox in 1847, it was the first copy to be acquired by a United States citizen.

The Gutenberg Bible (also known as the 42-line Bible, the Mazarin Bible or the B42) was among the earliest major books printed using mass-produced movable metal type in Europe. It marked the start of the "Gutenberg Revolution" and the age of printed books in the West. The book is valued and revered for its high aesthetic and artistic qualities[1] as well as its historic significance. It is an edition of the Vulgate printed in the 1450s in Latin by Johannes Gutenberg in Mainz, in present-day Germany. Forty-nine copies (or substantial portions of copies) have survived. They are thought to be among the world's most valuable books, although no complete copy has been sold since 1978.[2][3] In March 1455, the future Pope Pius II wrote that he had seen pages from the Gutenberg Bible displayed in Frankfurt to promote the edition. It is not known how many copies were printed; the 1455 letter cites sources for both 158 and 180 copies. The 36-line Bible, said to be the second printed Bible, is also referred to sometimes as a Gutenberg Bible, but may be the work of another printer.

Text

The Gutenberg Bible, an edition of the Vulgate, contains the Latin version of both the Hebrew Old Testament and the Greek New Testament. It is mainly the work of Jerome who began his work on the translation in 380 AD, with emendations from the Parisian Bible tradition, and further divergences[4] (the Paris Bible, one of many Bible translations in the Middle Ages, is also known as the "Thirteenth-Century Bible", "Old French Bible" or, in French, "Bible du XIIIe siècle").

Gutenberg Bible at the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library.