Bible of Christian III 1550



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English: Cover of Christian III:s Bible, the first complete translation of the Bible to Danish.

A large tree divides the image between events from the Old Testament and the New Testament. On the left side, Old Testament, you can see Moses on Mount Sinai receiving the tablets of testimony from God. Also visible is the Fall of man and a coffin, as a symbol of death. The leaves of the tree are dry while on the right side (New Testament) the leaves are fresh, symbolizing the work of Christ. Also on the right side is the crucifixion. At the foot of the cross is John the Baptist and a Jewish rabbi, pointing at Christ, indicating that Christ will save all sinners.

Notice also that Moses is depicted with horns in his forehead. This comes from a misinterpretation of Exodus 34 verse 35, 'the skin of Moses' face shone' while he talked with God. This sentence was for many centuries mistranslated to 'Moses had horns on his forehead'. Hence Altdorfer has depicted Moses with horns.

Date Published in 1550
Source John Danstrup. "Danmarks historia. Från äldsta tid till våra dagar. Första bandet". Malmö:Allhems förlag 1946
Author Cover designed by Erhard Altdorfer (wood carving)

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