Shaping the Bible in the Reformation

Books, Scholars and Their Readers in the Sixteenth Century


This volume presents significant new research on several aspects of the late mediaeval and early modern Bible. These essays consider aspects of Bible scholarship and translation, illustration and production, its uses for lay devotion and in theological controversy. Inquiring into the ways in which scholars gave new forms to their Bibles and their readers received their work, this book considers the contribution of key figures like Castellio, Bibliander and Tremellius, Piscator and Calov, the exegetical controversies between centres of Reformed learning and among the theologians of the Louvain. It encompasses biblical illustration in the Low Countries and the use of maps in the Geneva Bible, and considers the practice of biblical translation, and the strategies by which new versions were justified.
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Biographical Note

Bruce Gordon is the Titus Street Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Yale Divinity School. He is the author and editor of a number of books on the European Reformation, including (with Peter Marshall) The Place of the Dead. Death and Remembrance in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe (Cambridge, 2000), The Swiss Reformation (Manchester, 2002) and (with Emidio Campi) Architect of Reformation. An Introduction to Heinrich Bullinger, 1504-1575 (Baker Academic, 2004). His most recent book is Calvin, published by Yale University Press in 2009. Matthew McLean is Research Fellow at the University of St Andrews. He works on religion, science and the culture of humanism in the early modern period. His first book, The Cosmographia of Sebastian Münster. Describing the World in the Reformation was published in 2007 by Ashgate. He is presently working on the AHRC Protestant Latin Bible Project.

Review Quote

"The Bible industry of the sixteenth century is one that manifests different forms of agency: those of the textualist, the translator, the interpreter, the printer, the bookseller, and many others besides. The essays in Gordon and McLean’s volume tell us much about these roles, and the social context in which they were enacted. The territory is familiar to those with an interest in early modern Bible studies, but the essays explore unfamiliar corners of it." Amlan Das Gupta, Jadavpur University, in: Spenser Review 43.2.35 (Fall 2013). “Each of the essays is expertly written and the volume is exceptionally informative. […] Scholars and students will wish to make use of these essays and the volume should find a place on research library shelves at every institution where the Reformation is taught as a subject.” Jim West, Petros, TN, USA. In: Zwingliana, Vol. 43 (2016), pp. 426-428.

Table of contents

Acknowledgements List of Illustrations Notes on Contributors Introduction Matthew McLean Instructing the Soul, Feeding the Spirit and Awakening the Passion: Holy Writ and Lay Readers in Medieval Europe Sabrina Corbellini Illustrations in Early Printed Latin Bibles in the Low Countries (1477-1553) August den Hollander The Strange Career of the Biblia Rabbinica among Christian Hebraists, 1517-1620 Stephen G. Burnett Hermeneutics and Exegesis in the Early Eucharistic Controversy Amy Nelson Burnett ‘Christo testimonium reddunt omnes scripturae’: Theodor Bibliander’s Oration on Isaiah (1532) and Commentary on Nahum (1534) Bruce Gordon Moses, Plato and Flavius Josephus. Castellio’s Conceptions of Sacred and Profane in his Latin Versions of the Bible Irena Backus Latin Bible Translations in the Protestant Reformation: Historical Contexts, Philological Justifijication, and the Impact of Classical Rhetoric on the Conception of Translation Methods Josef Eskhult Global Calvinism: The Maps in the English Geneva Bible Justine Walden “Epitome of the Old Testament, Mirror of God’s Grace, and Complete Anatomy of Man”: Immanuel Tremellius and the Psalms Kenneth Austin Augustine and the Golden Age of Biblical Scholarship in Louvain (1550-1650) Wim François Looking Backwards: The Protestant Latin Bible in the Eyes of Johannes Piscator and Abraham Calov Mark W. Elliott Index


Scholars and students interested in early modern religious and intellectual history, biblical interpretation and translation, the Reformation and the history of the Book.