Two Rare Reformation Books

In the PRC Seminary library we have a rare book cabinet, which contains among other special books two rare books with roots in the Reformation. These will be the focus of our Reformation remembrance post for today.

The first is a 1618 edition of John Calvin’s Institutes in LatinInstitutio Christianae Religionis published in Geneva. You may recall that Calvin’s final and fullest edition of the Institutes was in 1559, and it appears that this is the Latin of that edition. The edition we have, then, is only 59 years after it first appeared – quite a treasure.


Calvin’s “Institutes” – 1618

It is also evident that the volume we have has been rebound and that the title page has been reproduced, though the rest of the contents look original and are intact.

Title page of 1618 "Institutes"

Title page of 1618 “Institutes”

The second volume is a 1652 edition of Martin Luther’s quaint and famous Tabletalk, printed by William Du-Gard in London. Only, the title page of this edition carries a little different title than the one we are accustomed to: Dr. Martini Lutheri Colloquia Mensalia: or Dr. Martin Luther’s Divine Discourses At his Table….

M.Luther's "Discourses"

M.Luther’s “Discourses”

Title page of Luther's "Tabletalk"

Title page of Luther’s “Tabletalk”

While I do not know how or from where we obtained the 1618 edition of Calvin’s Institutes, this edition of Luther’s Tabletalk bears the stamp of Mr. Justin Kortering from Holland, MI, the father of Rev. Jason Kortering, an emeritus pastor in the PRC. But, of course, I would still like to know from where he obtained it. Perhaps his son knows the “rest of the story.”

Inside pages of Luther's "Discourses"

Inside pages of Luther’s “Discourses”

I hope you enjoy this look at these rare Reformation volumes in our Seminary library. Stop in some time and you may look at them more closely.

Published in: on October 29, 2015 at 4:42 PM  Leave a Comment  

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