Facsimile Editions: The Most Beautiful Bibles

The Bible, as the tradition of the Word of God, was of course at the center of medieval book art. Especially since the Old and New Testament stories were ideally suited to be retold in pictures. You can find a selection of the most beautiful and magnificent of these Bibles here.

Morgan Crusader Bible

From Louis the Saint to the Persian Shah to New York City: one of the most richly illuminated and famous manuscripts of the Middle Ages

Paris (France) — ca. 1250

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Gutenberg's Bible - The 42 Lined Bible (Codex Berlin)

A milestone in the history of mankind: the most beautiful edition of Gutenberg's famous Bible, richly decorated with gold

Mainz (Germany) — ca. 1453

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Bible of Borso d'Este

Each one of the 1,200 pages has been masterfully illuminated with incredible attention to detail: the grandiose climax of the Renaissance

Ferrara or Modena (Italy) — 1455–1461

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Bible moralisée

God as the architect of the world with compass in hand: a unique masterpiece with 1,000 golden medallions that is not only famous for its opening miniature

Paris (France) — 1220–1230

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Kennicott Bible

One of Spain’s most significant manuscripts: the Hebrew Bible by Moses Ibn Zabara

La Coruña (Spain) — 1476

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Pamplona Bible

Decorated with almost 1,000 miniatures but irrevocably exposed to decay: one of the most beautiful picture Bibles of the Middle Ages, created for the King of Navarre

Navarre (Spain) — ca. 1200

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Codex Etchmiadzin

The "Queen of the Biblical Texts" adorned with a series of early miniatures and an impressive ivory binding: an exact translation of the Bible from the 5th century

Noravank Monastery (Armenia) — ca. 989

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Bible moralisée of Naples

Image strips for the Old Testament and full-page miniatures for the New Testament: a pictorial masterpiece with more than 200 golden miniatures, created by the greatest artists of the early Italian Renaissance

Naples (Italy) — 1340–1350

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Bible of Federico da Montefeltro

A huge, two-volume masterpiece with grandiose miniature paintings: the luxury Bible for one of the richest princes of the Italian Renaissance

Florence (Italy) — 1476–1478

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Picture Bible of Saint Louis

Furnished with 4,800+ golden picture medallions: one of the most extensive and magnificent works in the history of book illumination

Paris (France) — 1226–1234

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Ottheinrich's Bible

A masterpiece of the Gothic and German Renaissance: the first illustrated New Testament Bible in German

Regensburg (Germany) — 1425–1430 und ca. 1530

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Picture Bible of Manchester

Luminous Gothic miniatures on a golden background: a magnificently illuminated picture bible from northern France containing the Old Testament and the story of Jacob

France — ca. 1250

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Wenceslas Bible

Made in the famous Wenceslas workshop in Prague: a mammoth bible in German with 646 fantastic miniatures for the German emperor

Prague (Czech Republic) — 1389–1400

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Bible moralisée of the Limbourg Brothers

Commissioned by Duke Philip the Bold: a masterpiece with over 500 miniatures by the Limbourg Brothers and over 250 miniatures by other masters

France — 1402–1404; 1450–1465; 1485–1493

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Biblia Veteris Testamenti

Each of the more than 400 pages that illustrate this picture Bible: masterful, colored copperplates and woodcuts by Sebald Beham, the student of Albrecht Dürer

Frankfurt am Main (Germany) — 1551

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