Low German New Testament

[Low German New Testament]. Das Neue Testament unsers Herrn Jesu Christi.
Wittenberg: Hans Lufft, 1524. (BRB0113)

A rare surviving example of the early small-format editions of the scriptures that contributed greatly to the success of the Reformation movement, this book represents the first edition of the New Testament in Low German to utilize Luther’s translation as its source. The woodcuts, which survive here and in only one other recorded copy, were likely the earliest to be designed for an octavo printing of Luther’s New Testament.

Whereas most of the book’s woodcuts present portraits of the evangelists and apostolic authors, the Book of Revelation features twenty-one full-page illustrations loosely based on Albrecht Dürer's Apocalypse of 1498. The exhibited hand-colored woodcut illustrates Revelation 10:1–11. Wrapped in clouds, a mighty angel with a face like the sun and burning pillars for legs commands St. John to eat the book that contains the fulfillment of divine prophecy. The book tastes sweet in the saint’s mouth, but turns bitter in his stomach.

<a href="/items/browse?advanced%5B0%5D%5Belement_id%5D=50&advanced%5B0%5D%5Btype%5D=is+exactly&advanced%5B0%5D%5Bterms%5D=BRB0113">BRB0113</a>
Early Sixteenth Century
Low German New Testament