The largest, the smallest, the heaviest, the most expensive or the most read – the Bible is a book of superlatives. With its stories, it’s been a companion to humanity for more than three thousand years.
Take a look at the display cases on this wall to see some especially record-breaking copies. If you lift the felt mats, you’ll discover some very special stories surrounding the Bible.
For example, the oldest Bible in our collection was published during Martin Luther's lifetime, printed in German in Wittenberg in 1540.
Our heaviest Bible weighs in at a hefty 5.3 kilos – almost twelve pounds. That’s because it has wooden boards lined with leather and metal clasps. Have a go at balancing out this precious volume!
There are also some very special stories connected with our miniature Bibles:
The Russian mini-Gospel – from a Siberian prison camp – is made of a kind of plastic. Because if a prisoner was caught with a Bible in his possession, or secretly reading one, he was in deep trouble. So if danger loomed, the Bible had to disappear quickly ... if necessary, in a pot of hot broth or coffee.
Even now, people all over the world are persecuted because of their faith, suffer discrimination, are imprisoned, tortured or forced to flee from an impending massacre.
The matchbox-sized Bible in English is more than 200 years old. Then there’s the slide, which has 1,245 pages of the Bible on it. For a long time, that was considered the world’s tiniest Bible edition. However, it was surpassed in 2013 by a 4x4 millimetre nanochip. The 773,746 words of the New and Old Testaments were inscribed on the chip by an electron beam. The chip is embedded in a small titanium cross – at the point where the vertical and horizontal beams intersect. So you always have the Holy Scriptures on you. So practical!
Finally, reading the Braille Bible requires a sure touch! The script for blind and visually impaired people consists of raised dot patterns that are “read” with your fingertips. A complete Braille edition of the Bible fills 32 volumes!
Yet another record!
All depictions: © Bibelgalerie Meersburg