June 2, 2009

Cheap Matthew’s Bible facsimile coming

Hendrickson is continuing its program of publishing excellent editions of facsimile Bibles:  in addition to its outstanding Geneva 1560 Bible facsimile (an excellent value) and its 1526 Tyndale New Testament facsimile, it is publishing a facsimile 1537 facsimile Matthew’s Bible.

The new Matthew’s Bible is available in both leather and hardcover; although I have not seen the editions yet, I usually recommend the hardcover (if only because limp leather bindings were not used in the 16th century).  In my experience, the paper without gilding is of slightly higher quality in Hendrickson publications.

One person even had his Hendrickson rebound to give it a more antiquarian look.  But I don’t think there was anything wrong with the original Hendrickson binding.

The Matthew’s Bible was printed in Gothic script (sample text), so it takes a few minutes to orient oneself to read it, but it should be a wonderful resource.  In many ways, facsimile editions are better than original editions – you can never find an original edition in the find condition of a good facsimile.

Here are some of my other favorite facsimiles:

Facsimile Leningrad Codex

Facsimile Shakespeare First Folio

Facsimile Luther Bible (out of print, but a fantastic value when it was in print given the quality of illustrations)

Taschen publishes a wide variety of relatively inexpensive illustrated facsimile editions (e.g., check out this forthcoming version of Matisse’s Jazz or the high quality reproduction of Theuerdank.)


Kevin P. Edgecomb said...

It would be very nice if someone would do such a facsimile edition of the first edition of the Douai-Rheims Bible. The dialogues going on between these editions in their marginal notes is fascinating.

The best Douai-Rheims Bible facsimile I've seen is that published in the vast English Recusant Literature series: two volumes for the Old Testament, and one volume for the New. I've seen that there's a facsimile offered here, but I wonder about the quality.

Theophrastus said...

As it turns out, I have that Church Latin/Lulu facsimile, which is itself a scan of Winrod's infamous facsimile.

In short, it is not worth the price (all perhaps the PDF version is worth the price).

It is unfortunate that the 394-volume English Recusant Literature series is now out of print (since the acquisition of Scholar Press by Ashgate).

I assume you are familiar with the Chadwick Bible in English collection available through most major academic libraries

Kevin P. Edgecomb said...

Yes, the Chadwyck collection is very nice. But it's just not the same. I guess I'll just keep looking for stray copies of the English Recusant Literature editions. Or maybe I'll check those out of the library, scan them, and sell them on lulu myself! Cha-ching!

Suzanne McCarthy said...

I am wondering why there is no facsimile of Pagnini's Bible or Erasmus Latin text. Or do these exist?

Theophrastus said...

Erasmus' first edition (1516) certainly exists in facsimile, see Erasmus von Rotterdam: Novum Instrumentum, Basel 1516: Faksimile - Neudruck mit einer historischen, textkritischen und bibliographischen Einleitung von Heinz Holeczek (Stuttgart and Bad Canstatt: Frommann and Holzboog, 1986). I would not be surprised to learn that the second (1519) edition and third (1522) edition also were published in facsimile; certainly there is no problem finding electronic versions through major University libraries.

I personally am unaware of an original Pagnini facsimile; although Servetus 1545 edition of Pagnini has been published in facsimile.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

Great - thanks. A project for this summer. I'll have to see if I can get access somehow.