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The Bible Museum
by on December 12, 2022

If you don’t have a copy of the Bible at your home and plan to buy one, you could consider buying a rare and old Bible instead of your standard copy. Even if you already have a Bible but want to procure another rare copy, it pays to know a few things before investing in an antique piece.

Three Things to Remember When Buying an Old Bible

Shortlist the Size Huge sheets of paper were used to make old Bibles of the ancient era. These sheets were folded in half for a folio Bible, thus creating 2 leaves or 4 pages. For quarto Bibles, the sheets were folded in half twice, thus giving rise to 4 leaves or 8 pages. By folding the sheets in half three times, octavo Bibles with 16 pages or 8 leaves were created.

When planning to buy an old Bible, you should check the space you have to accommodate the book (say, in your personal library) to decide the size that will suit you.
Check the Collation This is the sequence and manner in which leaves are assembled and bound into a solitary book. Checking the collation helps you decide if any pages in your old Bible are missing and the version or edition of the book.

If you aren’t sure how to check the collation, you could ask an antique Bible collector (if you know one) or rely on a reputed dealer of rare and old Bibles, who usually use catalogs, like the Historical catalog of Printed Bibles by Herbert, A.S., or Historical Catalogue of the Printed Editions of Holy Scripture by Darlow, T. H., and Moule, H. F. to date and list antique Bibles correctly.

Be Aware of the Special Features From maps and Biblical pictorial depictions to woodcut illustrations, marginal notes, and red-ruled markings, old Bibles come with various unique and special features that make them worth possessing.

Knowing the special features of an old Bible you target to buy will help you check if your copy has them, thus letting you decide whether it’s authentic or not.

Wrapping Up

Since old Bibles have a steep price tag, it pays to remember these three things to ensure you make an informed and judicious buy.

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