The Publication of the Gutenberg Bible

February 23, 1455 is the traditional date of the publication of the Gutenberg Bible. Written in Latin Vulgate, it is not known exactly how many copies were printed. Some sources say 158, others 180.

Forty-nine copies (or substantial portions of copies) have survived, and they are the world’s most valuable books.

The original Bible sold out immediately to owners as far away as England and possibly Sweden and Hungary. At least some copies are known to have sold for 30 florins – about three years’ wages for a clerk. Although this made them significantly cheaper than manuscript Bibles, most students, priests or other people of ordinary income wouldn’t have been able to afford them.

The last sale of a complete Gutenberg Bible took place in 1978, which sold for $2.2 million. The price of a complete copy today is estimated at $25−35 million.[

A two-volume paper edition of the Gutenberg Bible was stolen from Moscow State University in 2009 and was recovered by the FSB IN 2013. It was valued at over 20 million dollars.

Summarized from Wikipedia.

The beginning of the Gutenberg Bible: Volume 1, Old Testament, Epistle of St. Jerome. (The Epistle is not a part of the Bible itself, but an introduction by St. Jerome, the translator of the Bible into Latin Vulgate, which the Gutenberg Bible is written in.) Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin.

This is a really cool site where you can see digital scans of the entire book.


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