New Testament of Jesus Christ


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BIBLE. The New Testament of Jesus Christ, Faithfully Translated Into English, out of the authentical Latin. Antwerp: Daniel Vervliet, 1600. Small quarto, full contemporary vellum, old ink lettering to spine. Housed in a custom clamshell box.

Second edition of the important Rheims New Testament.

First published in 1582, the Rheims New Testament, like the Geneva Bible, was “produced by religious refugees who carried their faith and work abroad. Since the English Protestants used their vernacular translations, not only as the foundation of their own faith but as siege artillery in the assault on Rome, a Catholic translation became more and more necessary in order that the faithful could answer, text for text, against the ‘intolerable ignorance and importunity of the heretics of this time… Technical words were transliterated rather than translated. Thus many new words came to birth… Many a dignified or felicitous phrase was silently lifted by the editors of the King James Version, and thus passed into the language” (Great Books and Book Collectors 108). The New Testament was issued separately and first, in the hope that its successful sale would finance prompt production of the Old Testament (a goal not reached, however, until 1609-10). This second edition of the New Testament “is well printed in good Roman type, but with all quotations from the Old Testament in italic letters… The text is not broken up into verses, but the verse numbers are placed on the inner margin, within a black line, outside of which are references to parallel passages” (Dore, 301). The text itself is largely a “reprint of the earlier edition, with certain changes, such as the addition of A Table of Heretical Corruptions” and a fresh Approbation (Darlow & Moule 198). With ornamental woodcut title border, historiated initials and head- and tailpieces. Herbert 258. STC 2898. Occasional old ink marginalia. Institutional armorial bookplate, small blindstamp to title page.

Interior generally clean. Front hinge expertly repaired. Minor worming to last leaf (a blank). Expected mild soiling to vellum, small holes where ribbon ties once present. An important Bible, scarce in contemporary vellum.

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