Old Bibles of the 1600’s & 1500’s

We must go all the way back to the 1600’s, and even to the 1500’s, to encounter the “First Editions” and the subsequent but still “Early Editions” of all the ancient Bibles in the English language. Whether it is the 1611 First Edition of the beloved King James Bible, or the 1568 Bishops Bible, or 1560 Geneva Bible, or 1539 Great Bible, or 1537 Matthew-Tyndale Bible, or 1535 Coverdale Bible… the era of the truly ancient Bibles is the 1500’s and 1600’s. This is where most rare and antique Bible collectors focus most of their attention, and resultantly, this is the type of material an antique Bible dealer will want to acquire as well.

The antique Bibles of the 1500’s and 1600’s were printed on expensive cotton paper, and made using the ancient movable type printing press equipment. These printings are therefore works of art. Typically printed in small quantities of not more than a few thousand copies, and with only a tiny percentage of those originals surviving the ravages of time; these Bibles are quite rare, as well as being ancient. An excellent overview of the history of each of these ancient translations of the Bible can be found by reading our brief illustrated English Bible History.