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Grace College & Theological Seminary Gifted With Original Leaves From English Bible Translations

Grace College’s Morgan Library was recently gifted with a rare collection of leaves from original English Bible translations as well as several facsimiles. The donations came from the late Mr. Richard Talladay,  a mathematics professor with a deep love for Bible history. The artifacts will be on display at the Morgan Library as well as in Grace Theological Seminary’s William Male Center.

“This collection of rare Bibles and leaves will help us tell the story of the English Bible that we often take for granted,” said Tonya Fawcett, Director of Library Services. “Hopefully, we’ll all develop a deeper appreciation for the people who labored and the God who preserved His Word so that we can read the Bible at any time in any place.”

Dr. Virgil Reeves, a former missionary with Crossworld and proud parent of a Grace alumna, was instrumental in coordinating the placement of the Talladay Bible collection at Grace College & Theological Seminary. Reeves and Talladay were good friends, and upon Talladay’s passing, his family was instructed to work with Reeves to place the rare artifacts in a library that would value and use these materials.

“It has been a real joy to work with Grace College & Seminary to help the Talladay family find a good home for Richard’s collection,” said Reeves. “I am sure he would be very happy to know his collection will serve students, faculty and staff of Grace as well as the larger community through various displays and exhibits.”

The Talladay collection includes original Bible leaves from the Tyndale New Testament (1535-36), Matthews Bible (1537), the Great Bible (1539-1540), the Tyndale-Matthew Bible (1549), the Geneva Bible (1560) and a first edition of the King James Bible (1611). Facsimiles include a Wycliffe New Testament (1382), Tyndale New Testament (1536), Tyndale-Matthews Bible (1549), 1st edition Geneva (1560), 1611 King James Bible and the New Testament English Hexpala by Samuel Bagster.

“As part of the Grace Core, students take a number of Bible courses, and they have become accustomed to having their Bible accessible at all times with multiple translations on their phones. But there is a long history behind our modern Bible app,” said Fawcett. “When John Wycliffe translated the Bible from Latin into English, it meant imprisonment or death. Having this collection of original texts will enhance our students’ understanding of the history of the English Bible and the cost that was paid to get where we are today.”

The Morgan Library exists to educate and develop Grace undergraduate and graduate students, both residentially and online. Learn more about the Morgan Library at


Photo attached: (Left to Right) Dr. Virgil Reeves, Tonya Fawcett and Dr. Tiberius Rata hold up  a rare collection of pages from original English Bible translations recently gifted to Grace College & Theological Seminary.

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