Found Two Bibles from 1589 in Bank Vault

Bible 1589

One of the two richly illustrated Bibles from 1589 weighs six kilograms. (Photo: Namdalsavisa)

The Namdal Museum in Namsos, Central Norway, has always known that they have had a very old Bible in their possession, but have not been able to locate it. Now the mystery is solved, and it was not just one, but two in almost impeccable condition.

– Fantastic! This is a real cultural treasure, says Geir Grøtan to Namdalsavisa newspaper about what best can be described as a perfect Christmas gift to the Museum.

A week ago, Hans Olav Barstad at the Danske Bank contacted Bjørnar Sellæg and Geir Grøtan at the Namdal Museum. He could tell that there were found two parcels in the inner bank vault labeled “Namdal Museum” and “Bible”.

It is likely that the two dusty packages have been stored in the vault since 1947 when it was constructed.

Had Given Up

The Namdal Museum that was established in 1927, has always collected artifacts from the local area.

Bible 1589 Namdal Museum Norway

Bjørnar Sellæg (left) and Geir Grøtan (right) from the Namdal Museum shows off the two Bibles. Lars Mælen (rear left) and Hans Olav Barstad from the Danske Bank are watching. (Photo: Namdalsavisa).

The two holy books are dating back to the year 1589 – and is Frederick II of Denmark and Norway’s Bible that is a revision of the 1550 edition, the first Danish-Norwegian Bible.

According to Sellæg, between 1500 and 2000 copies of this edition were printed. How many that still exists, is unknown.

– As you can see, these Bibles have many illustrations. Another difference between the two, compared with the newer ones, is that they are much larger and heavier. The largest weighs six kilograms (13.23 lbs), says Grøtan.

Now, the Namdal Museum wants to exhibit the two 426-year-old treasures.

– We have a desire to restore the largest and most magnificent. Moreover, we want to display both here at the museum, he says.



Text modified by: Thor Lanesskog, ThorNews

Categories: Culture, History

5 replies

  1. I imagine that these Bibles are Lutheran ones, taking into account that the King of Denmark and Norway joined the Lutheran forces, against the Pope, the Emperor and the Catholic kings and princes.

    • Given that they’re not in Latin, they would not be a catholic bible, since the Catholic Church stuck to the Vulgate at that time. However, the tradition of the Lutheran Church here is to be fair in their translations: Ergon is translated as “verker” which would be… “artifact” I guess? “Works” work, but it’s not perfect. But it’s translated this way regardless of whether this is the way that benefits a protestant argument or a catholic argument, because one doesn’t mess with the bible. Most Lutherans also respect the pope as a sort of Super Bishop, and thus a very holy man, they just don’t think of him as the head of their church.

      In fact, Lutherans are probably closer to Roman Catholicism than they are to many Protestant denominations. (They have even abandoned the doctrine of Sola Scriptura.)

  2. I also have a very large Dutch/Norweigen Bible dated 1589. Supposedly their are less than 20 known left in the world. I would be interested in value and possibly selling it to an interested party. Sincerely

  3. I also have a very large Norweigen Bible dated 1589 , I would like to know the value and possibly sell it to an interested party.

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