Concordia Experience

Let the Books Tell the Story: J.S. Bach’s Bible and Reformation Treasures

JS Bach Bible

October 8 - November 5, 2017
CUC Campus - Ferguson Art Gallery and Kretzmann 271 Rare Book Gallery

Map and Directions

This unprecedented opportunity to view Johann Sebastian Bach’s personal Bible (1733) along with many authentic16th century documents will chart the Reformation’s impact through a remarkable presentation of rare books, including:

            • An original leaf from the Gutenberg Bible (c.1454)
            • Erasmus' Greek New Testament (1516)
            • The first Lutheran hymnal - Achtliederbuch (1524)
            • Luther's seminal works of the 1520's
            • The Papal Bull - Exsurge Domine (1520)
            • The Augsburg Confession and Apology (1531)
            • The Luther Bible (1534)
            • The historic English Bibles of the 1530's
            • The first printed Spanish Bible - Biblia del Oso (1569)
            • 1580 editions of the Book of Concord
            • The Geneva Bible (1599)

In addition to viewing J.S. Bach's original Bible, exhibit guests will have an opportunity to explore a beautiful facsimile edition of this book produced by Dingeman van Wijnen. 

Learn more about the Bach Bible

Presented in collaboration with:

  • Buswell Library Special Collections at Wheaton College
  • Feehan Memorial Library at University of St. Mary of the Lake
  • Gruber Rare Books Collection at Lutheran School of Theology
  • Concordia Seminary Library Special Collections
  • Concordia Theological Seminary Library
  • Lilly Library
  • The Newberry Library
  • James White Library at Andrews University

Exhibit Gallery Guides


General Viewing

Ferguson Art Gallery Exhibit

September 1 – November 5

  • Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-11 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m.-11 p.m.
Rare Book Exhibit - Kretzmann 271

October 8 - November 5

  • Sundays, 1-4 p.m.
  • Tuesdays, 9-10:45am
  • Wednesdays Afternoons, 1-4 p.m.
  • Wednesday Evenings,  7-9 p.m.
  • Thursdays, 1-4 p.m.
Private Tours and Group Visits

Groups of 15 or more are asked to RSVP their attendance during general viewing hours.

To schedule a group tour or arrange a visit outside of general viewing hours, please email Reformation@CUChicago.edu

Special Event Hours


Exhibit Grand Opening and Reception

Sunday, October 8
Ferguson & Kretzmann Galleries

Join us for a first look at this groundbreaking display of historical documents related to the Reformation.

  • 2-3 p.m. - Gallery reception and talk
  • 3-6 p.m. - Rare books exhibit open
  • 3-6 p.m. - Bach's Clavierubung, Part III, Organ recital

Starting at 3:00 pm, the Clavierübung Part III will be performed in its entirety by organists associated with Concordia:  Susan Leimer Brown, David Christiansen, Jonathan Kohrs, Mary Benson Stahlke, Steven Wente, Dennis Zimmer, Laura Zimmer, and current students and recent graduates: Jacob Palmer, Jessica Wilson, Peter Wykert, and Jeremy Zimmer.