General Seminary will host lecture on printed Bibles

March 28, 2006

Paul Needham, librarian at the Scheide Library at Princeton University, will lead a lecture titled "Printed Bibles from Gutenberg to King James,” April 27, 7 p.m., at the General Theological Seminary (GTS) in New York City.

This is an inaugural event for the recently formed Friends of St. Mark's Library of GTS, who promotes the library as a distinguished collection of rare books and a scholarly resource.

Since 1820, St. Mark's Library of GTS has served seminarians and the wider scholarly community with a distinguished collection of rare books as well as the most current titles. Through the generosity of donors such as John Pintard, Eugene Hoffman, Cornelius Vanderbilt, J.P. Morgan and Julius Cruse, St. Mark's Library has built leading collections of early Latin Bibles, editions of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, and volumes of T. S. Eliot.

Using examples from the Scheide Library, St. Mark's Library at GTS and other major New York City collections Needham, a recognized authority on early printed books and bindings, will begin his lecture with the Gutenberg Bible of 1455, and conclude with the publication of the King James Bible in 1611.

As Scheide librarian, Needham is responsible for the care and development of one of the finest privately held collections of early printed works. He has served as Astor curator of printed books and bindings at the Pierpont Morgan Library and as senior vice president and director of the Department of Books and Manuscripts at Sotheby's, New York.

He, along with Blaise Agüera y Arcas, a Princeton physics graduate student, generated considerable interest throughout the book world when computer enhancement led the two researchers to conclude that Gutenberg didn't make his type in re-useable molds, as was previously assumed, but that each piece of type was cast individually by an older method.

"Printed Bibles from Gutenberg to King James” is open to the public. A reception will follow.

For more on St. Mark’s Library visit

Note: The following title is available from the Episcopal Book and Resource Center, 800.903.5544;

TO READ: SERIE CONOZCA SU BIBLIA: KNOW YOUR BIBLE SERIES (Augsburg Fortress available May 15, 2006, $15 each)

Due out in May, Conozca su Biblia, developed in partnership with the Asociación para la Educación Teológica Hispana and the Division for Congregational Ministries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), is a unique new Bible series written in Spanish by leading Hispanic theologians and Bible educators. The series includes general volumes about the Bible, as well as volumes about specific books or groups of related books.

Written by knowledgeable scholars who avoid using unnecessary technical terms or an abundance of footnotes, the books are written at a high school reading level and address lay adults and beginning students. Scripture texts are from the two most commonly used Bibles in the Spanish-speaking world: the Reina-Valera Revisada and the Version Popular (Good News).

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