The Great Bible, 1539

Great Bible New Testament title page

Title page from an edition of the Great Bible printed in Paris in 1539.


The Great Bible is so called because of its large folio format. It was intended to be used in churches.

For the text, Myles Coverdale revised Matthew’s Bible (1537) rather than his own version (1535 — see the first Bible in English). He moved to Paris to have it printed on one of the finest presses in Europe.

In 1537, the Inquisition seized most of the bound copies that had already been produced, and printing was resumed and finished in London in 1539.

The Great Bible is also known as Cranmer's Version, though Archbishop Thomas Cranmer's contribution is only a prologue.

[NLS shelfmark: RB.m.606]


This Bible and others formed part of the display about 'The Bible in English' in our George VI Bridge Building from 2 November 2011 to 8 January 2012.

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