Das Buch der Bücher popularisieren: Der Bibelübersetzer Leo Jud und sein biblisches Erbauungsbuch "Vom lyden Christi" (1534)

Christine Christ-v. Wedel


One of the main aims of the Reformers was to return to the pure word of God and to enable all people to read the Bible by themselves. That is why in 1531 the Zurich Reformers translated the Old Testament into German and edited it together with the Lutheran German translation of the New Testament in 1531. Yet, this relatively cheap print could not really succeed in popularising the “book of books” and the Zurich Reformer Leo Jud set to revising and translating a part of the Monotessaron, the gospel harmony of Jean Gerson from the first half of the 15th century, and editing it with edifying interpretations. Astonishingly, he not only used Gerson’s book  as his source text but also included many famous allegories and metaphors from the Church Fathers and from late medieval authors. Among these he included many questionable – from a modern standpoint – associations and traditions, as long as they were still in some way related to biblical terms and images. In contrast, Erasmus  avoided such allusions in his famous Paraphrases. Some years later, Jud translated and published all Erasmian Paraphrases as a meditative book which would replace his little harmony.


Leo Jud; Erasmus von Rotterdam; Johannes Gerson; Ludolf von Sachsen; Bibelübersetzung; Evangelienharmonie; Exegese

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