448: ANABAPTIST FROSCHAUER BIBLE
448. ANABAPTIST FROSCHAUER BIBLE A very rare printed "Froschauer" Bible, revered by Mennonites, Amish and Brethren who trace their roots either directly or indirectly to Swiss Anabaptism. The leather-bound Bible measures 13" tall x 10" wide x 5" thick, with one brass closing hinge (one missing) and old riveted brass and leather strap reinforcement to the binding. This beautifully-executed Bible was printed in Zurich in 1536 by Christoph Froschauer (d. 1564) who in 1529 printed a complete translation in German of the entire Bible, several years before Luther's complete Bible appeared. This 1536 edition was very popular, prized for its clear type, pictorial decoration, and popular language. Few of these Bibles survive, as they were routinely confiscated by the authorities. Our copy bears some chipping and crude tape reinforcement to the first two pages only, otherwise with a fairly tight binding, clear printing, with no pages lacking as far as we can determine. The covers are reinforced, as noted above, and bear typical small chips and minor cracking about the spine. The Anabaptist movement began before the Protestant Reformation, but is generally dated as beginning in 1525 in Zurich, Switzerland. These people felt that the Reformation had not gone far enough, and defied Zwingli's state church in Zurich. They were re-baptized as adults and by this act violated civil law as well as the law of the reformed Church. Many were martyred, some by beheading, burning, or drowning. Those fleeing the country settled throughout Western Europe, with a large group settling in the area of Germantown and Lancaster, Pennsylvania.