Dutch Bible

Title:  Biblia Sacra sive testamentum vetus, Ab. Im. Tremellio et Fr. Ivnio ex Hebraeo Latine redditum. Et Testamentum Novum, a Theod. Beza e Graeco in Latinum verfum
Date: 1669
Location: Amsterdam
Publisher: Johannem Jacobi Schipper
Size: 3¾ x 6 x 1½ inches

Front cover











The Biblia Sacra is a Catholic bible printed in Amsterdam in 1669. It is very small in size, around 3.75 in x 6 in x 1.5 in. This indicates that it was meant for personal use. There are the handwritten initials “H.S.” on the title page. These could possibly be the initials of a person who owned the bible.

Inside cover

Back cover








This bible contains fore-edge paintings, which are small paintings that are hidden until the book is open. They can depict a range of things, such as places, people, and natural elements. This bible is unusual in that the fore-edge paintings were added even though the pages are marbled. When the book is closed a swirling pattern of red and black, which resemble the veining of marble, appear on the fore-edges. This same marbling decorates the pastedowns and flyleaves of the book that one sees upon opening the front or back cover. When the book is opened, however, the marbling on the fore-edge disappears and paintings of insects and plants spring into view.

Fore-edge paintings

Fore-edge paintings

Fore-edge paintings








The title page depicts three sections of illustrations. At the bottom, there is a drawing of the four Evangelists with a dove above them emanating light, showing that they are receiving the Word of God while writing the Gospels. The section above them contains the title information in the middle and two figures on either side. On the left is Moses and on the right is David, both looking upward at the top section of drawing. The top part shows a large orb, possibly God, with the sun and moon on either side, possibly showing the separation of light and darkness as told in Genesis. On either side, there are cherubs holding scrolls with Latin text.

Title page

First page of Genesis