The Holy Bible. Containing the Old Testament and the New: Newly Translated out of the originall Tongues, and with the former translations diligently compared and revised by his Majesties special command. Appointed to be read in Churches
[ Bible in English ].

Cambridge: Printed by Tho: and John Buck, printers to the University of Cambridge [1629]. The first King James Bible printed at Cambridge, a model of fine editing, introducing nearly 500 changes that have become standard. Elaborate wood-engraved architectural title-page, woodcut headbands, initial letters and tail-pieces. Text in double columns. Separate plain title-page for the New Testament. Binding extremities have some slight wear and minor soiling. Gilt is slightly faded. Very minor foxing, light browning, and the occasional small stain, sometimes touching text. Small hole to outer margin of Hhh4, not affecting text. Small hole to lower margin of Rrr6, not affecting text. Former bookseller's ticket on verso of front flyleaf. Contemporary ink inscription on recto of preliminary blank. A very good copy in a remarkable binding in a quarter calf clamshell box. Contemporary red morocco stamped decoratively in gilt with a seven-paneled, elaborately gilt-tooled spine and gilt turns-ins. All edges gilt. Marbled endpapers. Small folio. .[-]2, ¶6, A-Z6, Aa (Item ID: 16449)


Cambridge began to print the Bible in the Geneva version in 1558 under a charter granted by Henry VIII in 1534. The Cambridge Geneva Bible appeared in 1691. Meanwhile in London, Christopher Barker had acquired a virtual monopoly in Bible printing by virtue of his patent as Royal printer, granted in 1577. In seeking to break that monopoly, Cambridge University Press and the Bucks insisted that they had the means to produce far better edited editions of the Bible in their university town. In 1628, Charles I ratified Henry VIII's charter, and this Bible was the first publication produced after that act. It was, indeed, significantly more accurate than the Barker editions of the King James Bible, and it began a Cambridge tradition of care for the text. "Another motive probably contributed to the quality of the Bible issued by Thomas and John Buck, printers to the University of Cambridge. Cambridge was making a claim to printing and editorial quality beyond anything their London rivals could produce. Part of this implicit claim was embodied in its conspicuously modern appearance. Roman type, by itself, was nothing new, but the use of u, v, J, and occasionally apostrophes was...The editors made more changes to the text than any other set of editors. By my count (counts of this sort always have an element of roughness), they introduced 221 readings, of which 199 became standard. In terms of frequency, this is roughly one new reading every five chapters. They also confirmed a further 59 variants from the first edition found in some of the earlier editions. The spelling of the names is largely but not entirely a scholastic matter. They introduced 178 spellings, of which 157 have become standard, and they confirmed a further 34. Overall, 493 changes were made, of which 447 (91%) became standard." (Norton, A Textual History of the King James Bible, pp. 83-84).

Herbert 424. Darlow and Moule 324. STC 2285. See also: 300 Years of Printing the Authorized Version of the Bible at Cambridge, 1629-1929, Cambridge, 1929. Norton, David. A Textual History of the King James Bible, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Third Printing 2007, pp. 82-89.

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