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21 September 2017

The Book and the Reformation

On 18 September 2017 St Mark’s library mounted a magnificent display of bibles and commentaries in commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and Martin Luther.

Works included:

  • Luther’s 1523 Galatians commentary
  • 1525 Psalms commentary
  • Calvin’s Institutes 1564,
  • a tiny exquisite New Testament with Erasmus’ notations 1549 that was donated to St Mark’s by John Nurser, former librarian at St Mark’s.

Walton’s Polyglot 6 volume set of 12 parallel texts, the first attempt at biblical criticism 1657, and a huge Luther Bible 1729 provided a wow element to the display of over 20 books published in the 1500’s.

Also displayed:

  • a 1572 Bishop’s Bible from the Sanderson family continuously owned and signed with births, deaths and marriages since 1572, making it probably the oldest family bible in existence.
  • bibles translated by convinced Reformation scholars who translated the bible into French, Spanish and Dutch. These bibles incurred an instant death penalty from the inquisition if read
  • the 1611 edition of the King James Bible
  • a 1551 Tyndale New Testament.

Most of the bibles displayed were from the Bible Society Australia collection held at St Mark’s. Greg Clark, CEO of the Bible Society attended the event, and Dr John Harris who curates the collection gave a short presentation on the bibles displayed.

St Mark’s thanks the Lutheran Church Archives who displayed rare and beautiful items and books from their collection in Adelaide, including German family bibles brought to Australia by early settlers. And indigenous languages transcribed into the New Testament by German missionary Carl Strehlow and colleague J Reuther.

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