The Calov Bible Commentary from the library of Lutheran composer J. S. Bach
The 3-volume Bible commentary compiled by 17th-century Lutheran theologian, Abraham Calov, and once in the library of Johann Sebastian Bach has been in the Seminary Library collection since it was given to the Seminary by the Reichle family of Frankenmuth, MI, in the 1930s. The volumes are the only known, i.e., identified, books from the library of J. S. Bach. Calov is both editor and author of the commentary, using as he does both Martin Luther’s translation of the Bible and primarily Luther’s comments on the text, adding his own commentary when no material was available in Luther’s works. The work was printed in 1681-82. Some 25 marginal annotations of Bach, along with underlining and other marginal markings, are evidence of the composer’s use of the volumes. Careful analysis of the handwriting, as well as technical analysis of the ink done in the 1980s, established the authenticity of Bach’s ownership.