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Rare Bibles: Matthew's Bible (1537)

The Styberg Library has a special collection of rare Bibles. This guide features some of the ones that are within the collection.


Written under a pseudonym (Thomas Matthew) by the first Marian martyr (John Rogers), the Matthew’s Bible was first published in 1537. This translation differs only slightly from the earlier Tyndale and Coverdale translations, possibly because Tyndale’s heretical work was used by Rogers, his close friend; nevertheless, this translation was licensed by Henry VIII at the request of Thomas Cranmer, the first Archbishop of Canterbury. There were 1,500 copies of this Bible published, and The Styberg Library has a first edition in its Keen Collection. Throughout the text, there are notes, prologues, and wood cuts that enhance the content and beauty of this publication.