ISSUE 17, April 2006
Editorial
Historic: The Brother who designed the Spitfire
Travel: The charm of Kerala
Grand Lodge: Pro Grand Master's speech and Quarterly Communication
Public Relations: Hottest spot in town
International: Emulation in Bulgaria and Mauritius takes a leap forward and Hungary's Royal Arch library
Library & Museum: Recent acquisitions
Masonic Bibles: Lodges and their Bibles
    Royal Masonic Girls' School: My thanks to the Freemasons
Holocaust: The Count of Auschwitz
Education: International conference on the history of Freemasonry and Events
Specialist Lodges: Masonry universal - via radio
Masonic Charities: Grand Charity continues to help those in need and New Masonic Samaritan Fund and Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution and Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys
Grand Charity: The Tsunami - one year on and Important Gift Aid information
Letters, Book Reviews, and Gardening

 Previous Page 
PLEASE USE THE LINKS ABOVE - OR ON THIS LINE - TO MOVE BETWEEN PAGES
 Next Page 







An example of a delapidated spine of a Masonic Bible and how they can look when restored by experts

Of all the antiquities within the Lodge, the Volume of The Sacred Law is the most important. The Great Light in Masonry, and The Rule and Guide for Masonic Faith and Practice is placed on the Master’s pedestal when the Lodge is opened, where the meetings are conducted in peace and harmony.
    Most often, the Lodge Bible is the original that was gifted when the Lodge was first consecrated. But what Bible did Masons use before 1717, the year in which the first Grand Lodge was constituted? Prior to 1611 it is almost certain that the majority of them used the famous Geneva Bible, published in 1560. It was the first issue of the Bible to cut the text into chapters and numbered verses, its costs were low and it was the Bible of the Reformation.
    In the Book of Genesis it printed the line ‘made themselves breeches’ instead of ‘made themselves aprons’ and henceforth became known as the ‘Breeches’ Bible.
    The Authorized, or King James, Version was first printed in 1611, in black letter, large folio, with 1,400 pages. Because of a typographical error, Ruth III, verse 15, was printed with a ‘he’ instead of a ‘she’ and for that reason it was called the ‘“He” Bible.’
    Copies of its now very rare first edition, in good condition, can be valued £50,000+. In the Second Issue, this Version contained another famous misprint, Matthew XXVI, 36, where ‘Jesus’ is printed as ‘Judas’.
    The ‘Wicked Bible’ is the most notorious example, in it the ‘not’ was purposely omitted from certain of the Ten Commandments, for which Robert Barker and Martin Lucas, the King’s Printers, were hauled before the church and fined £300 by Archbishop Laud, and the edition of one thousand copies confiscated.
    For a century the Authorized Bible was no doubt used by Masons as it was by everybody else, almost to the exclusion of any other version.
    In 1717, John Baskett, an Oxford printer, published an edition of his own, which came to be named after him, The Baskett Bible was dubbed The “Vinegar Bible” because, in Luke XX, the word “vineyard” was misprinted “vinegar”.
    The title page, for the first time in any Bible, consisted of a prospect of buildings. For this reason, and also perhaps because it had been published in 1717, or for both reasons, it became popular among Masons in America and Australia as well as in England. More often than any other, it is mentioned in the inventories which were incorporated in old Lodge minutes.
    In 1750 John Baskerville became a designer of Type, a rival to the famous Caslon – whose typefaces are standard today. In 1758, Baskerville was elected printer to Cambridge University, and in 1763 he produced a large folio edition of the Bible.

 Previous Page 
PLEASE USE THE LINKS ABOVE - OR ON THIS LINE - TO MOVE BETWEEN PAGES
 Next Page