HISTORY OF THE PRINTINGS OF THE DILHERRNS BIBLE
The history of the bible started about 1630 when M. Sigmund Evenius, a school teacher from Regensburg, became persuaded that more moral instruction of students was required, based on the bible. But perhaps some earlier historical background is needed. The start of the reformation can be taken as 1520 when the Diet at Worms confirmed, to the rulers of Europe, Luther's defiance of the Pope. Germany was not a country in its present sense, but rather a loose confederation of large and small states. The rulers of some of the larger states were known as Kurfürst ("election princes" or simply "electors") because the participated in the voting for the "Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire" which was an honorary tile given to one of the electors of the loose German confederation. Religion inspired warfare soon engulfed these states and their neighbors. The Peace of Augsberg, 1555, had left the ruler of each small state free to choose the state religion and his subjects could either conform to the chosen religion or leave. The version of the bible current in Lutheran Germany at that time (and still today) was Martin Luther's translation. He compiled the New Testament between 1520 and 1522 while a "guest" in the fortress of Wartburg and completed the Old Testament in 14 years thereafter despite the chaos of religious and political warfare. Luther was primarily an academic and scholar, a revolutionary more or less by accident, and his diligent translation of the bible, mostly from Latin, but also Greek and Hebrew scripts is a masterpiece in itself.
There was not a uniform German writing or spelling, and the phonetic rendition of the various dialects, sometimes formalized by printers in a particular region, led to confusion in printed works. Luther's German bible became a standard for German language and was directly responsible for the standardization of the printed language in the seventeenth century.
Kurfürst Earnest or Earnest the Wise was ruler of Saxony and known for his devotion to the bible. Evenius applied to Earnest the Wise for funding for a printing of the Bible which could be understood and read by everybody. Ernst agreed and told Evinius to make an outline of such a Bible and asked several well known theologians to do a glossary; among them were Gerhard and Glassius. Now this work was not so much in changing Luther's translation, but in adding illustrations and chapter summaries or introductions and so on to help common people understand the text. Revisions were done by faculty members of the University of Jena.
A doctor Sauberti (Sanbertum was the latinization of his Italian-sounding German name) was minister of St. Laurentz in Nurnberg and he was commissioned to write "summarien" or "abteilungen" or that introduced each chapter of the bible. These summaries gave a brief orthodox interpretation of the chapter to follow. Biographies of the Dukes of Saxony were written and the book was illustrated with both large and small copper cuts. Finally in 1640 Glassius wrote the introduction to the whole work which was published in 1641.
The book was published by Wolfgang Enter in Nurmburg, it seems that the contract with Enter was drafted in 1638. The second through twelfth editions were also published by Enter or his descendants. The printer was always some version of Enter's name between 1644 and 1720. That bible is known as the Weimarer, Ernestinische, or Kurfürst Bible. and went through many editions between 1620 and 1800. All the editions were published by Endter, but the firm name changed with the generations, finally, Johann Andeei Endterischen Handlung is the name of the published for most of the editions. Most editions of this bible had large foldout maps of Palestine and Jerusalem. The volumes were 17 inches high (45 cm) and were in two or three volumes. Although the stated purpose of the project was to have a popular version of the bible, it is clear that this version was quite expensive.
Approximately 1670, a second very similar version of the Weirmarischen bible appeared. Both have the same basic text, but the second had an introduction by Professor Dilherrns and is known as the "Dilherrische Bible." This bible was 14 inches (35 cm) high and in one volume. It did not have the foldout maps and was less expensive that the Weimarishcen bible. The "Dilherischen Bible" went through 20 printings between 1670 and 1788.
[The above was based on the author’s imperfect translation of Die Frankfurter Feyerabend-Bibeln und Die Nurnberger Endter-Bibeln, by Von Hermann Oertel, MVGN 70 (1983) which is available online http://periodika.digitale-sammlungen.de/mvgn/Blatt_bsb00000986,00109.html . Also, from pages of book by M.Georg Wolfgang Panzers about the book in the Nurnberg library in 1777. ]