I am very excited about an upcoming series I plan to write for Effective Bible Study (this website!) about Johann Gutenberg and the “Gutenberg Bible.” My enthusiasm is for several reasons:
- I am a trained printer with a background in letterpress (what Gutenberg Used), offset press, and digital.
- I have owned or helped operate several printing companies as a means of support over the years for my ministry.
- I have recently purchased a small tabletop letterpress and some other equipment and hope to spend time in the near future teaching my grandchildren here in Lubbock the joy and satisfaction of printing using this method. (For those with the interest, I purchased a 5 x 8 Kelsey Excelsior Press and am waiting for new rollers to be custom-made for it.)
- The invention of printing as done by Gutenberg literally changed the world, including Christian evangelism and education.
- The story, as much of it as we know, is a fascinating story.
My “Pick of the Week” is actually several online resources I would encourage readers to pursue. I believe you will be fascinated and amazed. Here are my picks:
- Wikipedia article on the history of the printing press – the first portion is about Gutenberg and his press.
- Wikipedia article on Johann Gutenberg with even more information about his development of printing.
- Wikipedia article about the Gutenberg Bible itself.
- British Museum’s digital reproductions of its two copies (one paper and one vellum) of the Gutenberg Bible. The interface for looking at the individual pages is awkward and not intuitive, but still worth looking at.
- “7 Things You May Not Know About the Gutenberg Bible” on the History.com website. It seems obvious that their list could be much longer than just 7 things, but these are interesting.
The Gutenberg Bible (a name given by historians, not Gutenberg) was the first Bible printed using moveable type and mass produced. Until then, all Bibles were made one copy at a time as scribes or copyists handwrote every letter, word and page. Whatever copies you have of the Bible today owe their existence to Gutenberg’s innovative set of inventions.
Our image is from the Wikimedia Commons of public domain and copyright free images. This is the “Lenox Copy” of the Gutenberg Bible belonging to the New York Public Library.