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Rare Bibles at Mack Library: Jerusalem Chamber

Lists rare Bibles stored in the Library's Jerusalem Chamber and Special Collections.

Jerusalem Chamber

Jerusalem Chamber from south end.

The Jerusalem Chamber is reproduced in the Mack Library with the kind permission of the Dean and the Chapter of Westminster Abbey and serves as the display area for the University's collection of rare Bibles.

Dating from the late 14th century, the Jerusalem Chamber formed part of the lodging of the Abbots of Westminster and probably took its name from the subject of the tapestries originally hung there. It is known to have been remodeled and altered on several occasions. It was originally Gothic in character as is evidenced by the fireplace frontal, which appears to have been a part of the original construction, and by the open high ceiling in the room since its final restoration.

Dean Stanley (1864-81) removed the lowered ceiling and repaneled the walls with cedar wood brought from Lebanon. He did not, however, remove the carved cedarwood overmantel. It had been installed by Lord Keeper Williams, Dean of Westminster in the reign of James I, when the room was remodeled to celebrate the betrothal of Charles I, then Prince of Wales, and the French Princess Henrietta Maria (1624).

The traditional story in Shakespeare's play King Henry IV is supposed to have taken place in the Chamber. King Henry IV, who after a long reign was still troubled in conscience because of his usurpation of the throne and involvement in the death of King Richard II, had planned to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land as an atonement. (It had been prophesied that he would die in Jerusalem.)

On a visit to the Abbey on the eve of his departure, "while he was making his prayers at St. Edward's Shrine to take there his leave and so speed him on his journey, he became so sick that such as were about him feared that he would have died right there. Wherefore they, for his comfort, bore him into the Abbot's place and laid him down before the fire in his chamber. On coming to himself and learning that he was in the Chamber named Hierusalem, then said the King, 'Laud be to the Father of Heaven! for now I know that I shall die in this chamber, according to the prophecy made of me beforesaid, that I should die in Hierusalem,' and so he made himself ready, and died shortly after."

The Jerusalem Chamber was used in 1611 by the translators of the King James Version and by the committees on the Revised Standard Version of 1885 and the New English Bible (New Testament) of 1961. The Upper House of Convocation (Bishops) has frequently met there, and many famous persons have lain in state there. The Chamber has been in constant use for about 600 years. It is, in effect, the official reception room for the Dean of Westminster and therefore is not open to tourists.

Dixie Baptist Church, Clarkston, Michigan, under the leadership of Dr. Paul Vanaman, pastor, provided the funds for the interior design of this reproduction of the Jerusalem Chamber. Harrell Whittington, a member of the University staff, and Dr. Jones designed the Tudor ceiling and wall paneling based on their probable appearance in 1611. Mr. Whittington worked out to an exact scale the drawing for the room. Melvin Stratton and John Swaffer, also members of the staff, were responsible for the construction.

Rare Bibles in the Jerusalem Chamber

Bible. English. Geneva. 1608 Bible. English. Geneva. 1608;The Bible : that is, the Holy Scriptvres conteined in the Old and New Testament / translated according to the Ebrew and Greeke, and conferred with the best translations in diuers languages with most profitable annotations vpon all hard places, and other things of great importance. Imprinted at London : By Robert Barker, Printer to the Kings most Excellent Maiestie, 1608. [220.5201 B471ge]
Title within ornamental border.;New Testament has special t.p.: The New Testament of our Lord Iesvs Christ, translated out of Greeke by Theod. Beza with briefe summaries and exposition vpon the hard places by the said author, Ioac. Camer., and P. Loseler, Villerius. Englished by L. Tomson together with the annotations of Fr. Iunius vpon the Reuelation of S. Iohn.;'Cum priuilegio.";Includes Apocrypha.;Signatures: [par.]⁴, A-Z⁸, &⁶, 2A-2Z⁸, &&⁸, **⁴, 3A-3Q⁸, 3R⁴.;An edition of the Genevan version, known also as the "Breeches Bible" from the word "breeches" being used instead of "aprons" in Gen. iii, 7.;On spine of copy 2: The Breeches Bible;John 6:67 misprinted "Judas" for "Jesus".;Includes index.;Pages numbered on recto only with numerous errors inpaging.;With: The whole booke of Psalmes : collected into English meeter by Thomas Sternhold, John Hopkins and others... London : Company of Stationers, 1606.;Copy 1 is kept on display in Jerusalem Chamber.;Copy 2 was in very poor condition when given to the University with the following note: "This Bible was owned by the minister ever preached in Woodstock, Conn. The last print of this edition was over 400 years ago. This Bible now owned by Mrs. Eliza Allis of Hillsdale presented to her by Wm. Hubburt of New York.";c.2 contians only II Kings-Luke. I Chronicles 20 matches copy 1 exactly.;STC 2204

Bible. English. Authorized. 1611  Translation directed by Lancelot Andrewes and John Harding; edited by Miles Smith and Thomas Bilson. Title within engraved architectural border signed C. Boel fecit.  Second state of the first edition of the King James Bible, sometimes called the "she" Bible because of the reading of Ruth III, 15: "she went into the citie." Signatures: [superscript pi]A-B⁴ C⁶ D⁴, ²[superscript pi]A-C⁶ chi² A-5C⁶, ²A-2A⁶.  Separate title pages for: "The genealogies recorded in the sacred Scriptures ... by J.S." and "The Newe Testament of our Lord and sauiour Iesus Christ."  Calendar, almanac, & The name and order of all the books in red and black.  Two columns per page in black letter within rules. 

Bible. Manuscripts, Greek. Codex alexandrinus. Bible. Manuscripts, Greek. Codex alexandrinus.;The Codex Alexandrinus : (Royal ms. 1 D v-viii) in reduced photographic facsimile. London : British Museum, 1909-1957. [220.48 B471]
In portfolio.;At head of title: British Museum.;Introduction signed: 1909-30, F. G. Kenyon 1936, H. J. M. Milne 1957, T. C. Skeat.;Volume 1 parts 1-4 contain the Old Testament volume 2 contains the New Testament.;Volume 2 is on display in the Jerusalem Chamber.;New Testament and Clementine epistles. 1909.--Old Testament: pt. I. Genesis-Ruth. 1915.--pt. II. 1 Samuel-2 Chronicles. 1930.--pt. III. Hosea-Judith. 1936.--pt. IV. 1 Esdras-Ecclesiasticus. 1957.

Bible. Manuscripts, Greek. N.T. Codex sinaiticus. Bible. Manuscripts, Greek. N.T. Codex sinaiticus.;Codex sinaiticus petropolitanus : New Testament, the Epistle of Barnabas and the Shepherd of Hermas preserved in the Imperial Library of St. Petersburg / now reproduced in facsimile from photographs by Helen and Kirsopp Lake, with a description and introd. to the history of the Codex by Kirsopp Lake. Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1911. [225.4 L148c]
The parts of the Codex sinaiticus containing the Old Testament were published by the same editors in 1922.

Bible. N.T. Greek. Codex Vaticanus. Bible. N.T. Greek. Codex Vaticanus.;Novum Testamentum e Codice Vaticano Graeco 1209 (codex B) tertia vice phototypice expressum. In Civitate Vaticana, Ex Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana, 1968. [225.4 B471v]
Bibliography: p.xxv-xxix.

Bible. O.T. Greek. Septuagint. 1665. Bible. O.T. Greek. Septuagint. 1665.;Vetus testamentum graecum : ex versione septuaginta interpretum. Catabrigiae : Excusum per Joannem Field, Typographum Academicum, 1665. [221.48 B471ve]
Jerusalem Chamber.

Bible. Polyglot. 1655. Bible. Polyglot. 1655.;Biblia sacra polyglotta : complectentia textus originales, Hebraicum, cum Pentateucho Samaritano, Chaldaicum, Graecum versionumque antiquarum, Samaritanae, Graecae LXXII Interp., Chaldaicae, Syriacae, Arabicae Aethiopicae, Persicae, Vulg. Lat. ... / edidit Brianus Waltonus. Londoni : Imprimebat Thomas Roycroft, 1655-l657. [220.51 B471]
The Biblical text is in volumes 1-5. Each text is accompanied by its own Latin translation.;The 6th volume contains critical essays, appendices, tables, variant readings, annotations and indexes.;Main title page is in vol. 6.;Title in vols. 1-5: Bibliorum sacrorum.;On spine of vol. 1: Walton.

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