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September 21, 2020


Martin Luther is best known for the 95 Theses written in 1517. But did you know he was the first to translate the Bible into an easy-to-read, everyday German? Luther’s first New Testament was printed on this day in September 1522 and—as is often the case in German—was (later) identified by a single lengthy compound word: das Septembertestament. On display at Museum of the Bible, a 1524 edition printed in Wittenberg, Germany, features 44 woodcut illuminations heightened with gold in what is known as a Fürstenkolorit. Another compound word, Fürstenkolorit reveals this New Testament was created for an aristocrat in full color. For aristocrats and the working class, the Septembertestament proved to be a boon to all Germans eager to read the Bible in their own language.

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