Rare 16th century Bibles displayed during conference


"The Bible: First 100 Years of the Reformation" exhibit in Montreat highlights rare Bibles from Martin Luther’s German New Testament, translated in 1522, through the 1611 King James Bible, one of 116 complete copies of this first edition, first printing.

Also, a national conference - "Reformation500" - will be held May 5-6 at the Presbyterian Heritage Center.

Many rare Bibles, including one of 116 complete copies of the 1611 King James Bible, will be on display at the Presbyterian Heritage Center.

Celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation (1517), the Bible exhibit shows one of the basic tenets of that movement – translating the Bible into the vernacular, the common spoken languages such as English, German, French – so it could be read by the local populace. For more than a millennium, the church had used only a Latin language version, which was unreadable by the vast majority of people.

All major English language Bibles of the 16th century are displayed in the exhibit, such as Henry VIII’s Great Bible (1539), the Geneva Bible (1560) and Queen Elizabeth’s Bishops Bible (1568).

An examination of the Reformation and its lasting impact on today’s society, church and government will be the focus of the "Reformation 500: A National Conference" in Montreat May 5-6. The event is organized and sponsored by the Presbyterian Heritage Center.

Celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, the conference offers speakers and panelists covering such topics as:

  • Pre-Reformation: The Beginning (The 150 Years before 1517), from Wycliffe, Lollards, Hus to Luther
  • The Reformation: First 50 Years (1517-1567) from Luther to Calvin to Knox to the Counter-Reformation
  • The Reformation: Conflict & Chaos (1568–1685)
  • The Reformation Comes To America (1620-1760)
  • Music of the Reformation
  • The Reformation’s Impact on Families & Worship

The conference starts at 10:30 a.m. Friday, May 5 and concludes by noon Saturday, May 6. Registration is $100 a person which includes the conference, Friday lunch, reception and banquet. To register, call 828-419-9829 or go online at You also can register in person at Montreat Central, 318 Georgia Terrace, Montreat or by mail to Montreat Conference Center, Reformation500, PO Box 969, Montreat, N.C. 28757.

The Presbyterian Heritage Center is at 318 Georgia Terrace, Montreat. For more, visit or call 669-6556.