[Single leaf from a Bible in French]. Le premier volume de la Bible en Francois. Paris: Nicolas Couteau, 1541.
The single leaf on display is from a 1541 French language Bible issued by the Parisian bookseller and printer Nicolas Couteau. The text is from the Second Book of Esdras (Apocrypha).
The earliest complete version of the Bible in French was written in the thirteenth century. Bibles in French were first printed from the 1470s but most were based not on the Vulgate or any other Bible, but on Guyart de Moulins’ thirteenth century summary of the Scriptures known as the Bible historiee.
The first complete French Bible of the Reformation era was translated by the Paris-based scholar and theologian Jacques Lefevre d’Etaples (ca. 1455-1536) and printed at Antwerp in 1530.