The Bible, the Book of Books, is the central text of the Jewish people and the foundation of the Israeli nation.
From ancient times through the Talmudic period (4th – 6th century CE), biblical texts were written on parchment, similar to that of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Bound manuscripts containing handwritten parchment pages did not appear until the early Middle Ages. Opulent editions, such as the Aleppo Codex, written in the 10th century CE, were quite expensive and custom-made. Following the printing revolution in the 15th century, the Bible became accessible to all, however typographical errors inevitably ensued.
In the mid-20th century, in the newly created State of Israel, the late master typographer Eliyahu Koren produced the Koren Bible, the first Jewish Bible edited, designed and produced by Jews in nearly 500 years. Working with a group of experts, Mr. Koren corrected the typographical errors that had made their way into earlier editions, created a clear, beautiful layout and crafted a special font to symbolize the rebirth of the Hebrew language in modern times.
The innovative design and uncompromising precision of the Koren Bible were applauded and heralded a new age in Bible publication. Shortly thereafter, Speaker of the Knesset Mr. Kadish Luz declared, “From this day forth, all of Israel’s presidents shall take their oaths of office upon this Bible. We have been governed by a Provisional State Council, a Provisional Government and even now sit in the temporary Knesset building. To date, Israeli presidents have been sworn in using a temporary edition of the Bible. This occasion symbolizes our overcoming of foreign heritage and return to our origins”.
Throughout history, editions of the Bible have served as time capsules attesting to the economic, social, cultural and technological characteristics of each era. The Koren Bible reflects the technological and graphic capabilities of its time and constitutes a historic and cultural milestone in the tale of Israel. From its original font through its textual precision, printing and binding, the Koren Bible epitomizes the revival of Jewish texts in the homeland of the Jewish people.