The Reformation of the Bible/The Bible of the Reformation

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Jaroslav Pelikan; With contributions by Valerie R. Hotchkiss and David Price

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It is equally true that the Reformation was inspired and defined by the Bible and that the Bible was reshaped by the intellectual, political, and cultural forces of the Reformation. In this book, a distinguished scholar—whose contributions to the field of religious studies have won him wide renown—explores this relationship, examining both the role of the Bible in the Reformation and the effect of the Reformation on the text of the Bible, Biblical studies, preaching and exegesis, and European culture in general.

Jaroslav Pelikan begins by discussing the philological foundations of the "reformation" of the Biblical text, focusing on the revival of Greek and Hebrew language study and the important contributions to textual criticism by humanist scholars. He then examines the changing patterns of interpretation and communication of the Biblical text, the proliferation of vernacular versions of scripture and their impact on various national cultures, and the impact of the Reformation Bible on art, music, and literature of the period. The book is richly illustrated with examples of early printed editions of Bibles, commentaries, sermons, vernacular translations, and other works with Biblical themes, all of which are identified and discussed.

The book serves as the catalog for a major exhibition of early Bibles and Reformation texts that has been organized at Bridwell Library, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, and will also be shown at the Yale Center for British Art, the Houghton Library and the Widener Library at Harvard University, and the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia University.

Jaroslav Pelikan is Sterling Professor of History at Yale University. He is the author of, among other books, Christianity and Classical Culture, The Idea of the University--A Reexamination, The Vindication of Tradition, and Jesus Through the Centuries, all published by Yale University Press. He has received honorary degrees from universities all over the world, as well as medals and awards from many scholarly societies and institutions, including the Jefferson Award of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the highest honor conferred by the U.S. government on a scholar in the humanities. He is currently president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Valerie R. Hotchkiss is J.S. Bridwell Endowed Librarian and associate professor of medieval studies at Southern Methodist University. She is the author of Clothes Make the Man: Female Cross-Dressing in Medieval Europe.

David Price is associate professor of Germanic languages at the University of Texas at Austin and the author of Janus Secundus: Writing Love in the Renaissance, The Political Dramaturgy of Nicodemus Frischlin, and other studies of Renaissance poetry and art.

A selection of the History Book Club and Readers’ Subscription

"This is an academic coffee-table book that combines learned and instructive text with fine photographs of early printed books many in color. . . . The volume will be treasured by lovers of books and devotees of the history of exegesis, the history of the Bible, and Reformation history."—Raymond A. Blacketer, Calvin Theological Journal

"The book is richly illustrated with examples of early-printed Bibles, commentaries, sermons, vernacular translations, and other works with biblical themes, each of which is individually identified and discussed."—Gerald C. Studer, Bible Collectors' World

"Pelikan explains how the renewed text dissolved old loyalties and bred new rallying-cries in the work of Reformers like Luther and Calvin. . . . Lavishly and instructively illustrated. . . . This is the sort of exhibition catalogue which will long outlive its exhibition."—Diarmaid MacCulloch, Church Times

"Meticulous research and sound judgment is evident throughout. . . . A beautiful book befitting its honoree."—Denis R. Janz, Religious Studies Review

"[A] significant book featuring the history of the use of the Bible in Western societies. . . . A splendidly illustrated catalogue of an exhibition on Scripture in sixteenth-century Europe that was prepared for the Bridwell Library of Southern Methodist University."—Mark Noll, Books & Culture

"The legacy of Pelikan's magisterial scholarship may inspire this generation to be haunted anew by the question of the 'use' of the Holy Scriptures, which this work has so imaginatively and thoughtfully posed."—Charles Gavin, Christian Century

"The combination of text with photographic facsimiles of selected pages from the exhibit produces a penetrating visual history of the Reformation. . . . Pelikan leads the reader through this crucial period in the history of biblical interpretation with masterful erudition."—H. Alan Brehm, Southwestern Journal of Theology

"The most important thing to say about this book is that it is an exhibition catalogue. happily, however, it is also much more than that. Pelikan, in the first seventy-eight pages, offers the reader four excellent introductory essays. . . . As if this were not enough, the second half of the book is taken up with the exhibition itself. Not only are there numerous lovely illustrations (many in color), but there is also presented a much wider range of printed works than one might expect."—William Naphy, Sixteenth Century Journal

"This is a beautifully produced book that successfully combines good scholarship, popular presentation and lavish illustrations in a way which makes the whole a delight to read and to own. . . . This book will be of interest to us all who would like a sound guide to the role of the Bible in the Reformation."—Carl R. Trueman, Theology

"I hope that the book will be an incentive and an incitement to its readers. Lucid, and dense with information, it covers a wide enough ground to pose serious questions to most scholars working in the field of the Renaissance."—Kenneth Haynes, Kritikon Litterarum

"Jaroslav Pelikan draws on his earlier writings on the Bible, but the result is a fresh and stimulating prose that will serve to instruct and challenge readers. . . . All can benefit from the author's vast knowledge which is communicated with eloquence."—Joy Kammerling, Church History

"Remarkable in many respects, this book will serve many constituencies for years to come. Librarians, students, theologians, exegetes, historians, bibliophiles, and artists will regard this as an important reference book."—Charles C. Ryrie, Libraries and Culture

"For persons interested in Bible versions, Bible history, the Renaissance and Reformation, and the history of art, this book is a veritable "gold mine" of valuable and intriguing information and insights. I recommend it highly for its broad coverage, its competent and perceptive presentation, and its eminent readability."—Seminary Studies 36

"Fascinating."—Daniel W. Decker, Bible Editions and Versions

Jaroslav Pelikan is Co-Winner of the 2004 John W. Kluge Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Winner of the Katharine Kyes Leab and Daniel J. Leab American Book Prices Current Exhibition Catalogue Award given by the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of the American Library Association "for excellence in the publication of catalogues that accompany library exhibitions"
ISBN: 9780300066678
Publication Date: March 27, 1996
Publishing Partner: Copublished with the Bridwell Library, Southern Methodist University
214 pages, 8 x 10
58 b/w + 18 color illus.
The Vindication of Tradition

The 1983 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities

Jaroslav Pelikan

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Jesus Through the Centuries

His Place in the History of Culture

Jaroslav Pelikan; With a new Preface by the author

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Development of Christian Doctrine

Some Historical Prolegomena

Jaroslav Pelikan

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Historical and Theological Guide to Creeds and Confessions of Faith in the Christian Tradition

Jaroslav Pelikan

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Christianity and Classical Culture

The Metamorphosis of Natural Theology in the Christian Encounter with Hellenism

Jaroslav Pelikan

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