The Beast out of the Earth
11 Then I saw another beast come up out of the earth. He had two horns like those of a lamb, but he spoke with the voice of a dragon. 12 He exercised all the authority of the first beast. And he required all the earth and its people to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. 13 He did astounding miracles, even making fire flash down to earth from the sky while everyone was watching. 14 And with all the miracles he was allowed to perform on behalf of the first beast, he deceived all the people who belong to this world. He ordered the people to make a great statue of the first beast, who was fatally wounded and then came back to life. 15 He was then permitted to give life to this statue so that it could speak. Then the statue of the beast commanded that anyone refusing to worship it must die.
16 He required everyone—small and great, rich and poor, free and slave—to be given a mark on the right hand or on the forehead. 17 And no one could buy or sell anything without that mark, which was either the name of the beast or the number representing his name. 18 Wisdom is needed here. Let the one with understanding solve the meaning of the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man.c His number is 666.d
Feature image The Gutenberg Bible [Bible, Latin Vulgate. Ca. 1455]. Biblia Latina. [Mainz: Johann Gutenberg, ca. 1455]. Rare Books Division. From the Lenox Library
|originally posted to Flickr as Gutenberg Bible|
|Author||NYC Wanderer (Kevin Eng)|
The first substantial printed book is this royal-folio two-volume Bible, comprising nearly 1,300 pages, printed in Mainz on the central Rhine by Johann Gutenberg (ca. 1390s-1468) in the 1450s. It was probably completed between March 1455 and November of that year, when Gutenberg’s bankruptcy deprived him of his printing establishment and the fruits of his achievements.
The Bible epitomizes Gutenberg’s triumph, arguably the greatest achievement of the second millennium. Forty-eight integral copies survive, including eleven on vellum. Perhaps some 180 copies were originally produced, including about 45 on vellum. The Lenox copy, on paper, is the first Gutenberg Bible to come to the United States, in 1847. Its arrival is the stuff of romantic national folklore. James Lenox’s European agent issued Instructions for New York that the officers at the Customs House were to remove their hats on seeing it: the privilege of viewing a Gutenberg Bible is vouchsafed to few.