The Ostrog Bible

The Ostrog Bible

Collection ID

BIB.003899

Type

Bible - Printed Book

Date

August 12, 1581

Geography

Ostroh, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (Ukraine)

Language

Church Slavonic

Medium

Printed on paper

Dimensions

12.7 × 8.2 × 3.9 in. (32.4 × 20.8 × 10 cm)

Exhibit Location

Not on view


The Ostrog Bible is the first complete Orthodox Bible printed in Church Slavonic. Its creation can largely be attributed to political reasons. Prince Konstantin of Ostrog was a valiant protector of the Eastern Orthodox Church who ruled over an area largely dominated by Catholicism. To aid him in his cause, he commissioned Ivan Fyodorov to establish a printing press in Ostrog to print the Bible in Church Slavonic. This Bible contains 76 books, including those books considered apocryphal by others but which are accepted as canon in the Eastern Orthodox Church. In fact, the canon of the Old Testament in the Ostrog Bible is unique and does not entirely conform to other Orthodox, Catholic, or Protestant traditions.

Printed in 1581 by Ivan Fyodorov (Иван Фёдоров), Ostroh (Острог), Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Acquired by Zahariv Vasiliev; Purchased May 16, 1635, by Matvey Ivanov.[1] Acquired by Isaak; Purchased in the mid-17th century by a monk of the Boldinskii Monastery.[2] Acquired by Johann Caspar Hesse.[3] Acquired by the Pieterhaus-Bibliothek in Salzburg, Austria.[4] Acquired by a French private library between ca. 1806 and 1809; Purchased by an Austrian book dealer; Purchased April 5, 2015, by Jörn Günther;[5] Purchased in 2016 by Green Collection, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Donated in 2017 to National Christian Foundation (later The Signatry) under the curatorial care of Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC.

Notes: [1] An inscription of the front pastedown says: “This Bible was sold to me by Zahariy Vasiliev syn from Poland. My name is Matvey Ivanov syn (Matthew, the son of John), May 16, of (7)143 (=1635).” [2] An inscription dated to the mid-17th century refers to the Boldinskii Monastery, reading: “I, diacon Isaak, sold this book to a monk of the Boldinskii Monastery.” [3] There is a heraldic bookplate inside the front cover. [4] There is a bookplate from this library inside the front cover. The library was plundered by French troops during the Napoleonic wars, and it is likely that this book was brought to France at that time. The book is absent from the catalog of authors (1782–1816) of the library, and there is no entry in the catalog established from 1947–1955. [5] Provenance information prior to Green Collection purchase was proved by Jörn Günther.

Published References:

Henry R. Cooper, Slavic Scriptures: The Formation of the Church Slavonic Version of the Holy Bible (Madison: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2003).

Museum of the Bible Publications:

Roland S. Werner, Unser Buch: Die Geschichte der Bibel von Mose bis zum Mond (Our Book: The Story of the Bible from Moses to the Moon) (Göttingen, Germany: Vandenhoek & Ruprecht GmbH & Co. KG, 2017).

description

The Ostrog Bible is the first complete Orthodox Bible printed in Church Slavonic. Its creation can largely be attributed to political reasons. Prince Konstantin of Ostrog was a valiant protector of the Eastern Orthodox Church who ruled over an area largely dominated by Catholicism. To aid him in his cause, he commissioned Ivan Fyodorov to establish a printing press in Ostrog to print the Bible in Church Slavonic. This Bible contains 76 books, including those books considered apocryphal by others but which are accepted as canon in the Eastern Orthodox Church. In fact, the canon of the Old Testament in the Ostrog Bible is unique and does not entirely conform to other Orthodox, Catholic, or Protestant traditions.


provenance

Printed in 1581 by Ivan Fyodorov (Иван Фёдоров), Ostroh (Острог), Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Acquired by Zahariv Vasiliev; Purchased May 16, 1635, by Matvey Ivanov.[1] Acquired by Isaak; Purchased in the mid-17th century by a monk of the Boldinskii Monastery.[2] Acquired by Johann Caspar Hesse.[3] Acquired by the Pieterhaus-Bibliothek in Salzburg, Austria.[4] Acquired by a French private library between ca. 1806 and 1809; Purchased by an Austrian book dealer; Purchased April 5, 2015, by Jörn Günther;[5] Purchased in 2016 by Green Collection, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Donated in 2017 to National Christian Foundation (later The Signatry) under the curatorial care of Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC.

Notes: [1] An inscription of the front pastedown says: “This Bible was sold to me by Zahariy Vasiliev syn from Poland. My name is Matvey Ivanov syn (Matthew, the son of John), May 16, of (7)143 (=1635).” [2] An inscription dated to the mid-17th century refers to the Boldinskii Monastery, reading: “I, diacon Isaak, sold this book to a monk of the Boldinskii Monastery.” [3] There is a heraldic bookplate inside the front cover. [4] There is a bookplate from this library inside the front cover. The library was plundered by French troops during the Napoleonic wars, and it is likely that this book was brought to France at that time. The book is absent from the catalog of authors (1782–1816) of the library, and there is no entry in the catalog established from 1947–1955. [5] Provenance information prior to Green Collection purchase was proved by Jörn Günther.

Published References:

Henry R. Cooper, Slavic Scriptures: The Formation of the Church Slavonic Version of the Holy Bible (Madison: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2003).

Museum of the Bible Publications:

Roland S. Werner, Unser Buch: Die Geschichte der Bibel von Mose bis zum Mond (Our Book: The Story of the Bible from Moses to the Moon) (Göttingen, Germany: Vandenhoek & Ruprecht GmbH & Co. KG, 2017).


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