This BIBLICAL ARCHIVES offer is of ONE original leaf recovered from Martin Luther's New Testament published in 1531. Measurements: approximately 5 3/4" x 4". Target text: Acts 16. All original leaves come with a Certificate of Historicity. This offer includes a fine art reproduction of the title page bearing Johannem Bugenhagen's name and ONE leaf from a 1976 facsimile of William Tyndale's 1526 New Testament. Potential buyers please satisfy yoursleves of the text reference before purchase. Location: 7.11e 


Apostle of the North


There it is, right on the front of the above pictured title page! Go on look!! See his name? Johannem Bugenhagen Pomern. He wasn't born with the surname Pomern. Pomern is an abbreviation for Pomerania and that's not some crazy app game you can play on your mobile, although it might sound like it. This is where Johannem Bugenhagen was from, the Duchy of Pomerania. It was his closest friend Martin who humorously nicknamed him Doctor Pomeranus and it stuck. So even to this day whenever he is spoken of the Pomeranus is attached to who he is. However, he could have just as easily been given the title Denmarkanus as it was he who introduced Lutherism to Scandinavia. BUT it wouldn't have sounded as funny as Pomeranus. So he is called Johannem Bugenhagen Pomernanus. What a mouthful. But we are not done yet, there's more! As an ordained minister the title Reverend was attached to his doctorate so his full title and name is The Reverend Doctor Johannem Bugenhagen Pomernanus. I'll just call him "Doc" for short if you don't mind.


Doc was a multifaceted individual. He was known as a scholarly theologian, an accurate historian, a best selling author, a university lecturer, a honest politician, a church planter/reformer, a seasoned traveler, a compassionate pastor, a competent translator and in retirement he was a kind and loving caregiver. He was also a good friend to those who otherwise might have been isolated because of their stand for the truth.


Maybe if you are Polish you might be related to the Doc for the Duchy of Pomerania was located in what is today modern Poland. The Duchy had close connections with Scandinavia, Denmark in particular, as well as Germany. It was 1520 when the Doc first read Martin Luther and at the beginning he was not impressed. But the more he read the more convinced he became of the need for reform. He eventually moved to Wittenberg, Germany where his humility, understanding of the scripture and deep love for God brought him to the attention of the congregation of St. Mary's Church. Soon he was asked to become their pastor and the University employed him to teach theology. Being Martin Luther's pastor the Doc was asked to officiate at his wedding. He was right at the centre of the Protestant Reformation and chances are you have never even heard of him. We often give sole credit to Martin Luther for his translation of the Bible but it was the Doc who assisted him. The Doc was even responsible for the first Low-German Bible translation of 1534 the same year of the complete Lutheran Bible in German.


Church Planter


As a church planter/reformer he established or reformed churches at Braunscheig (1528) Hamburg (1528/29) Lubeck (1530-32) Duchy of Pomerania (1534/35) East Frisia (1534/35) Denmark-Norway (1537) Schleswig-Holstein (1542) Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel (1543) Hildesheim (1544). That's nine churches in 16 years. He became known as the Apostle of the North. So his final name and titles are, The Reverend Doctor Johannem Bugenhagen Pomernanus, the Apostle of the North.

Between churches he re-founded the University of Pomerania in 1539 making it a Reformed University based upon the model of Wittenberg University where he had previously taught. In 1539 he became Superintendent of the Lutheran Church in Saxony. And while he was in Denmark reforming the church, in 1537 he crowned Christian III as king and wrote their first Church Service Book in Danish. Incidentally, he sent an inscribed copy to Henry VIII as he did with a number of his other works.




Meanwhile in England the authorities had their hands full as William Tyndale's 1526 New Testaments flooded into the country. Those copies confiscated were being publicly burned at St Paul's Cross in London. An arrest warrant was issued for Tyndale and by 1528 he was on the run for his life. He fled Antwerp where he had been translating the Pentateuch into English and headed to Hamburg where he had agreed to meet up with his friend Myles Coverdale.


We know this bit of information due to the chronicler John Foxe in his best selling book, Acts and Monuments, 1570 (2nd edition). He wrote, "At what time Tyndale had translated the fifth book of Moses called Deuteronomy, minding to print the same at Hambrough [Hamburg], he sailed thereward [from Antwerp]: where by the way upon the coast of Holland, he suffered shipwreck, by which he lost all his books, writings and copies and so was compelled to begin all again new, to his hinderance and doubling of his labour. Thus having lost by that ship both money, his copies and time, he came in another ship to Hamborough, where at his appointment Master Coverdale tarried for him, and helped him in the translating the whole five books of Moses, from Easter [March 1529] till December, in the house of a worshipful widow, Mistress Margaret van Emmerson, Anno 1529, a great sweating sickness being the same time in the town. So having dispatched his business at Hamborough, he returned afterward to Antwerp again."


What a blow! Where was God in all of this? Was having a Bible in the English language really worth the risk to life and liberty? Was the deprivation of the normal comforts of life worth all the effort and expense in producing a book that was being destroyed one volume at a time by the English authorities? All of his money gone! All of his books for translating gone!! All of his translation work on the Pentateuch lost!!! It is hard on the mind to imagine the depth of despair that must have overwhelmed the scholar as he saw his life's work washed away by angry waves. However, despite the loss he carried on and at last managed to meet up with Coverdale in Hamburg. But why Hamburg? He could have gone to Wittenberg and sought protection and support from Martin Luther. Why did he tell Coverdale to meet him in Hamburg?


So where was Doc Pomperanus at this time? Go on look up above and see where the Doc was in 1528/29. I'll wait while you take a quick look. Go on! LOOK!! Then read the rest of the story.



1531 Luther German Bible - Acts 16 - Doc Pomeranus

  • Yep! The Doc was reforming the church in Hamburg at the time. Ah ha! That is why Tyndale asked Coverdale to meet in Hamberg because his old friend from Wittenberg was there. Tyndale had worshiped at St Mary's Church, where Doc Pomeranus was the pastor, when he was learning Hebrew at Wittenberg University in 1524. There is no doubt Tyndale wanted to take advantage of the experience of a seasoned translator as he was translating the Old Testament. So he told Coverdale to meet him in Hamberg. But all of his money, books and translating work was gone. All gone. So where did Tyndale find the means to start over? How could he have assembled a library of Hebrew texts, grammars and lexicons? The simple answer is, "Doc Pomeranus." For the Doc was at the time helping Luther translate portions of the Old Testament into German and he was working on the translation of the Bible into Low German. Tyndale borrowed the Doc's library. The loss of Tyndale's previous translation of the Pentateuch was no doubt a bitter pill to swallow but I have no doubt the second time around it was a much better translation than the first attempt. I wish I could have been there as the three translators encouraged one another in their mission of Sola Scriptura. Are you struggling in your service for God? Have you been shipwrecked by things out of your control? Does it seem like all is lost? Then maybe its time to go to Hamburg. Let God do his work in you first [not to worry shipwrecks are for our good] then pick yourself up and go do an even greater work for God than you have done before. Within months of leaving Hamburg, 1530, Tyndale's English Pentateuch was published. Only heaven will tell how much the Doc contributed to our English Bible. You can't tell the story of how we got our English Bible without some reference to The Reverend Doctor Johannem Bugenhagen Pomernanus, the Apostle of the North.


    In 1535 the Catholic Church burned Tyndale at the stake and Coverdale gave England it first English Bible. Two years later, 1537, John Roger's published Tyndale's Bible under the pseudonym Thomas Matthew and two years after that, 1539, Coverdale republished it as the Great Bible. When Henry VIII's daughter Mary became queen in 1553 she immediately arrested two men; John Rogers and Myles Coverdale, the Bible translators/editors. Rogers went to the stake and was burned to death in front of his family. But what of Coverdale? The King of Denmark, Christian III, asked Mary to ban him from the country instead of executing him. She agreed to release Coverdale if he left England. How did the King of Denmark know Coverdale? Do you remember who crowned Christian III in 1537? Yep! It was Doc Pomeranus. WOW! God at work in every circumstance for our good and His glory. When Coverdale was released he ended up in Geneva, Switzerland where he worked on, well you know, he was one of the translators of the Geneva Bible. But wait, that's not all! After Queen Mary I's death in 1557 he returned to England and in 1559 was one of four bishop's who consecrated Matthew Parker as the new Archbishop of Canterbury. You know the same Matthew Parker who oversaw the translation of the 1568 Bishops' Bible, Coverdale died in 1569 having, in one way or another, been right at the heart of the translation of the English Bible from it's very beginning.


    This BIBLICAL ARCHIVES offer is for those who want to share the whole story of how we got our English Bible. The reason why Doc Pomeranus' name is on the title page is he has provided a summary of the contents of each of the books of the New Testament in this edition. This 1531 Luther Bible is really a Pomeranus study Bible. This offer also includes two similar reproduction leaves (1976) from Tyndale's 1526 New Testament. Side by side the 1531 Luther NT next to the 1526 Tyndale NT look very much the same. Both books were printed in Germany both are the same size and both have 31 lines to a full column. And both are hand coloured. So much in common! So much in common between Doc Pomeranus and William Tyndale. Both were reformed in faith. Both were scholars. Both were friends. Both gave to hungry people the Bread of Life in a language of the people. BUY IT NOW and share this story to encourage others to follow Christ. If all you are going to do is stick the leaves on your shelf without so much as sharing them please don't BUY IT NOW. Let others instead use them for the glory of God. Do you know someone who has been shipwrecked by the circumstances of life? Do they need to go to Hamburg? Then share this story with them. Be a Doc Pomeranus to someone who needs help at the moment. You never know when you might need Doc Pomeranus to come to your rescue.


    POST SCRIPT: Jesus looked at the Apostle John in the midst of bearing the sin of the elect on the cross and said, "Behold thy mother." As far as we know John became Mary's care giver. When Martin Luther died in 1546 the Doc became Katharina von Bora Luther's caregiver. He had officiated their wedding in 1525. The Doc would live another 6 years after she died in 1552. Serving others was what was at the heart of The Reverend Doctor Johannem Bugenhagen Pomernanus, the Apostle of the North because Jesus was in his heart.

  • Some Bible leaves are hard to look at and others look as new as the day they left the press. The condition of a particular Bible  leaf reflects its history and is not an indication of its true value. Perfect leaves are ones that have seen little or no use over the centuries in contrast to those that are scarred by the ravages of time. Unblemished leaves are unloved leaves because they have had little contact with sinners. Imperfect leaves tell a story, some are torn and ripped and warn away by excessive use while other's have burns or worm holes and still others are water stained by flood and sometimes even tears. Each ugly mark or stain is in fact a beautiful witness to the Word of God, which “… liveth and abideth forever.”


    The basis for pricing our Biblical leaves and other artefacts is based on: 1) the age 2) the rarity of the object 3) the popularity of the text and finally 4) the condition.


    We offer a 60 days no questions asked RETURN and REFUND POLICY as long as the leaf/object is returned in the same pre-sale condition. Buyer pays for return shipping. All objects and leaves are photographed prior to being shipped.