Page from an edition of the Old Testament, Judges 7:13 to 8:5, published by the Canstein Bible Institute in Halle.

Printing Plate

Probably by Canstein Bible Institute (Cansteinschen Bibelanstalt) in Halle

19th century

One of the earliest noteworthy organizations formed for the specific purpose of circulating the Scriptures was the Canstein Bible Institute (Bibelanstalt), founded in 1710 in Halle in Saxony by Karl Hildebrand, Baron von Canstein (1667-1719). He invented a method of printing whereby the Institute could produce Bibles and Testaments in Luther’s version at a very low cost and sell them in small size at competitive prices. In 1722 editions of the Scriptures were also issued in Bohemian and Polish. When Canstein died, he left the Institute in the care of his friend August Hermann Francke, founder, in 1698, of the famous Waisenhaus (orphanage) at Halle. The Canstein Institute has issued some 6,000,000 copies of the Scriptures.