The three-volume Bible Commentary compiled by 17th-century Lutheran theologian Abraham Calov, and once in the library of J. S. Bach, has been in the Concordia Seminary library collection since it was gifted by the Reichle family of Frankenmuth, Mich., in the 1930s.
The volumes are the only known, i.e., identified, books from Bach’s library. Calov is both editor and author of the commentary, using as he does both Martin Luther’s translation of the Bible and primarily Luther’s comments on the text, adding his own commentary when no material was available in Luther’s works. The work was printed in 1681-82. Some 25 marginal annotations by Bach, along with underlining and other marginal markings, are evidence of the composer’s use of the volumes. Careful analysis of the handwriting, as well as technical analysis of the ink done in the 1980s, established the authenticity of Bach’s ownership.
Images of the Calov Bible may be used for nonprofit purposes with the following credit: Images of Bach’s Calov Bible Commentary courtesy of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.
Bach’s Own Bible
A high quality facsimile of the 3-volume set is available at bachbible.com. A companion volume is in preparation.
Bach’s own Bible is an independent agent and not affiliated with Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.