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Luther Bible 1551 edition

ALC Library is privileged to own a 1551 edition of the 'Luther Bible'. It is a priceless heirloom of the Reformation, brought to Australia as a treasured family possession by German immigrants in the nineteenth century. It was presented to the Immanuel Seminary, a forerunner of ALC, by J.E. Kotzur in 1954.

The Luther Bible is an early printed work, published in Wittenberg in Germany in 1551. It was produced in the workshop of Hans Lufft, the town printer, who printed most of Luther’s works. The particular beauty of the Luther Bible is in its illustrations, which are hand-painted woodcuts. The 1551 edition has a total of 171 in-text and three full page illustrations. The rich colours of the woodcuts have survived since they have been kept out of the light in a closed book for the last 450 years.

Luther Bible illustrations

Luther Bible title page: Biblia Das ist die ganze heilige SchrifftTo commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017, the full set of 174 hand-coloured illustrations from the Löhe Memorial Library’s 1551 Luther Bible was prepared as a digital resource available for study by scholars and interested Lutherans around the world.

For researchers, students and organisations who wish to obtain a high-resolution version of one or more images without the protective watermark, access for suitable academic and non-commercial purposes is available on approval of your application.

More information

See sample illustrations at Luther Bible image gallery or download the Luther Bible images catalogue.

To request permission to access high-quality images see: Luther Bible image application