Glasgow University archivists find John Knox’s Bible – BBC News

On our history/archives day we begin with this amazing Reformation find – what is believed to be John Knox’s own Latin/Hebrew Bible!

This interesting news item was published a week ago on BBC News (see link below), but may also be found on the University of Glasgow’s Library website.

The BBC introduces the story this way:

Experts believe a unidentified bible held by Glasgow University may have belonged to John Knox – a founding father of the Protestant Reformation.

The large Old Testament, which is printed in Hebrew and Latin, was published in 1546 in Switzerland.

It was bequeathed to the university in 1864 by William Euing as part of his collection of about 3,000 Bibles.

Archivists now believe that a signature dated 1561, on the reverse of the title page, may have been penned by Knox.

On the Glasgow Library’s website one finds this opening statement:

Staff at the University of Glasgow Archives and Special Collections have identified a previously unknown book once owned by Scottish religious reformer John Knox. The large folio Latin and Hebrew Old Testament published in 1546 in Basel, Switzerland, appears to bear the reformer’s signature dated 1561 on the reverse of the title page.

Printed books are inextricably linked with the Reformation: from published Scripture in the vernacular and polemical ‘pamphlet wars’ between clerics holding different confessional viewpoints to the large illustrated works memorialising those ‘martyred’ for their faith, printed books were central to those on both sides of the confessional divide. Large book collections were amassed during the sixteenth century packed with works – often annotated by their owners – tracing the controversies. Yet frustratingly for Reformation historians, all too often these libraries don’t survive intact having been broken up for one reason or another.1 John Knox’s library is just one such example; in the words of one biographer, Knox’s “personal library has been largely lost to view” with just a handful of books certainly traceable to him surviving and identifiable.2 This find, therefore is significant.

Source: Glasgow University archivists find John Knox’s Bible – BBC News

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