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Secret notes found inside 16th century Bible


Posted on Friday, 18 March, 2016 | Comment icon 6 comments

The Bible contained annotations from the 16th century Reformation. Image Credit: sxc.hu
A British historian has found hidden annotations within the pages of a Bible published back in 1535.
The 500-year-old book, which is one of only seven known surviving copies of England's first printed Bible, is kept at the library of Lambeth Palace - the Archbishop of Canterbury's residence in London.

"We know virtually nothing about this unique Bible – whose preface was written by Henry (VIII) himself – outside of the surviving copies," said historian Eyal Poleg of Queen Mary University.

"The challenge was how to uncover the annotations without damaging the book."

The solution, it turned out, was to take two images of each page - one with a light sheet behind and one without - before processing them using special software to reveal the hidden writing.

The annotations were found to contain material copied from the 'Great Bible' of Thomas Cromwell and were written during the 16th century Reformation - a period of significant upheaval in England which saw the Church of England separate from the Catholic Church in Rome.

"Until recently, it was widely assumed that the Reformation caused a complete break, a Rubicon moment when people stopped being Catholics and accepted Protestantism, rejected saints, and replaced Latin with English," said Poleg.

"This Bible is a unique witness to a time when the conservative Latin and the reformist English were used together, showing that the Reformation was a slow, complex, and gradual process."

Source: Discovery News | Comments (6)

Tags: Bible, Henry VIII

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by third_eye on 18 March, 2016, 16:14
Oh oh ~ someone call Tom Hanks ... Dan Brown is gonna be going berserk over this one ~
Comment icon #2 Posted by MJNYC on 18 March, 2016, 19:50
You can see the notes at: http://news.discovery.com/history/religion/secret-notes-hidden-in-500-year-old-bible-160317.htm Very exciting!
Comment icon #3 Posted by Trust_no_one on 20 March, 2016, 19:39
This is interesting but id prefer to know what the vatican is hiding in there cellars!!
Comment icon #4 Posted by Trust_no_one on 20 March, 2016, 19:59
This is interesting but id prefer to know what the vatican is hiding in there cellars!!
Comment icon #5 Posted by paperdyer on 22 March, 2016, 16:18
I find it interesting that all the interest in the "Gospel According to Judas" has completely waned. From what I read on the subject, it was very interesting if real.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Child of Bast on 23 March, 2016, 15:02
I admit that I was one of those who used to think that the Reformation just happened overnight. But I educated myself on the matter and no longer believe that was true. Mostly thanks to my reading of historical fiction and then asking, "Was it really like that?"


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