A Collection Exhibit
Rubrication emphasizes text, headings, or lines in a book with red ink. While the concept was not new and was used throughout the Middle Ages in both manuscripts and print, this was the first time it was explicitly applied for enhanced comprehension of the person of Jesus Christ. As a result, the printer, Louis Klopsch, made it simpler to distinguish and understand who Jesus was, what he said, and what he did. Klopsch revealed Jesus on the New and Old Testament pages just the same, with red ink, truly transforming how Americans read their Bibles. Klopsch's first printing was of the New Testament in 1899, and he completed the Old Testament in 1901. In the New Testament, words spoken by Jesus were highlighted or accentuated in red print. It begs to question, if the addition of rubrication in the NT applied to Jesus, what are the red letters in the OT? In the Old Testament, "passages and incidents quoted or referred" to Jesus were printed in red, and "prophecy" references of Jesus are marked with a red star (★). Likewise, the center column cross-references in red relate to Jesus Christ. This OT enhancement made this Bible unique among red print editions, unlike any other. As a result, the rubrication feature of the NT became extensively adopted in Bible publishing throughout the 20th century, yet Klopsch's OT red print went neglected.
This was not to make these words "more important" than the rest of Scripture but only to accentuate them for a clearer understanding of Jesus. Jesus and the Apostle Paul expounded on the Scriptures. Jesus uses the historiography principle of primary sourcing the written Word of God as he explains how the Old Testament testified of Him. Using Louis Klopsch's Red Letter Bible makes it easy to uncover Jesus in the Old Testament. In Luke 24:25-27, 32, 44-49 Jesus pointed to the O.T. scriptures (Tanakh) concerning himself. Likewise, the O.T. is what the Apostles and early Church Fathers used to preach from as the N.T. was in development, so understanding Christ in the O.T. is crucial to understanding Christianity. The Apostle Paul points to the O.T. witness of Christ the Messiah in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. One such example of the O.T. passages is that of Isaiah 53.
The Holy Bible: Red Letter Edition, 1899 [NT], 1901 [OT], "Teachers' Edition," [Authorized King James Version]
New York: The Christian Herald Press (M.N. Cormack, Supt.), New York City. Louis Klopsch, Proprietor, Bible House.
(Shown below is the first printing of the complete Bible with Red Letter Edition; Price in 1903 $10.
Louis Klopsch was born in Lubben, Prussia, on March 7, 1852. He emigrated to America with his Father after his mother’s death in 1853, settling in New York City. Klopsch was a German-American journalist and publisher by trade who married May E. Merritt, daughter of Reverend Stephen Merritt, in 1886.
His decisive moment came when he traveled to Europe and the Holy Land with Thomas De Witt Talmage (not his Mormon brother, James E. Talmage). While in England, Klopsch positioned to become the proprietor of Rev. Michael Baxter’s American edition of the religious newspaper, The Christian Herald. Klopsch experienced tremendous success with this endeavor when he, with consultation from Talmage, published the Red Letter Edition of the Bible after contriving the concept from reading the communion passage, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you” having associated the color red with his blood (Luke 22:20). Klopsch also had close relations with D. L. Moody. A daily devotional by Louis Klopsch: Daily Light on the Daily Path
For an in-depth look at this Bible, read my essay titled:
Previously, translators debated whether dominical words should be italicized or encapsulated with quotation marks, and both have been done. However, neither technique is in the original texts. Consequently, Klopsch, for the first time, used rubrication to emphasize dominical words that would make it visually stand out. Klopsch was passionate about Bible distribution, and “he wanted people to read the Bible and understand it- particularly what it says about Jesus Christ.” He writes, "Modern Christianity is striving zealously to draw nearer to the great Founder of the Faith. Setting aside mere human doctrines and theories regarding Him, it presses close to the Divine Presence, to gather from His own lips the definition of His mission to the world and His own revelation of the Father.... The Red Letter Bible has been prepared and issued in the full conviction that it will meet the needs of the student, the worker, and the searchers after truth everywhere." Klopsch further explained, writing...
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The new publishing of the Rubricated American Heritage Bible (RAHB) includes a historical background and facsimile reproduction of the first complete Holy Bible Red Letter Edition by Louis Klopsch. Unlike the average Red-Letter Bible with words of Christ in red only in the New Testament, this Bible also emphasizes Jesus within the Old Testament with red letters.
The Bible they did not want you to have. This “Rubricated American Heritage Bible (RAHB)” is a historical work that preserves the 1901 A.D. Bible that almost faded into history. This book encapsulates the “Holy Bible: Red Letter Edition” by Louis Klopsch, the first complete Bible to emphasize Jesus Christ with rubrication. The RAHB provides a historical background preface and a facsimile reproduction of this Bible. Klopsch included the Old Testament rubrication in his Bible that emphasizes the Jewish Jesus (Yeshua) and unveils the Messianic Christ. This holds Christological, eschatological, and Messianic Judaism importance. In the New Testament, dominical words are rubricated to distinguish the Savior's character easily. A must-have Bible study companion that also makes a great gift.
This Bible is a must-have companion to your Bible Study. Reader and study intuitive features:
Words spoken by Jesus are emphasized in red letters.
A tremendous amount of work and personal money went into the digital reproduction of this Bible, so if you can, please contribute here. If you have difficulty seeing the Bible viewer below, you can go to it at Archive.org or Gutenberg.org. Updates have been made to the RAHB pdf as of June 1, 2023, so if you have downloaded a copy before that, I highly recommend getting the latest PDF download.
To view a PDF, you will need Acrobat Reader; it's FREE, or Google search "open source PDF" for other options. You can also view a PDF in most browsers like Chrome or Firefox but they have limited functionality. Here is a short video tutorial on using Acrobat PDF, tips, tools, views, page navigation, display, bookmarks, scrolling, and zooming.
The downloadable PDF (button below) is "text searchable" using Ctrl-F or Cmd-F. Also, Bible "content navigation" is available in the downloaded PDF via "PDF Bookmarks" seen as a ribbon icon at the left that looks like this...
Additionally, unlike many other self-pronouncing Bibles published, this Bible has extensive pronunciation marks (diacritics, e.g., ˌdaɪəˈkrɪtɪk) right in the text contributing to its proper linguistic enunciation, which is especially useful for applying proper English or teaching use. What does all this, seemingly gibberish, mean? Let's learn a bit about pronunciation; it will help us understand why this can be helpful.
The Bible contains many words that are often unfamiliar to those not from the Mediterranean region or may not be aware of the Indo-European and Semitic roots, e.g., “Israel.” Since the British Empire spread English far and wide through colonization, this language also became the common language In America. Yet, with the diverse influx of many nationalities early on, there was the need to aid people with learning that common language. Therefore, from the turn of the century and up to 1963, many schools used the Bible for learning proper English pronunciation. This Bible carried that on with integrating self-pronouncing words by using extensive diacritics, e.g., ˌdaɪəˈkrɪtɪk or dī′ə-krĭt′ĭk right in the lines of text. So as one reads, one can adequately pronounce words that may otherwise be unfamiliar. In addition, these symbols help learn where to place syllable stress (emphasis) within a word. This tool is especially useful for those teaching or learning English as a second language (ESL).