The phrase, "In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth..." (Genesis 1: 1) starts the Holy Scripture, which in Armenian is "Astwacashunch", or ’’God’s breath".
Armenia is considered the first nation to have adopted Christianity as the state religion in the beginning of the 4th century. The Armenian Scripture, which Mesrop Mashtots and his disciples translated in the mid-5th century, is anointed the "Queen of Bible Translations" by European researchers. Hence, we can understand the special tradition of books in Armenia, which culminated in 1666 in Amsterdam, where the first printed Armenian-language Bible was published.
This volume is the catalogue of the exhibition organized at the National Szechenyi Library, Budapest in 2019, supplemented by a collection of papers on the same topic. Besides the analysis and evaluation of the Armenian Bible from the perspective of printing, cultural history and theology, it presents the richness of Armenian apostolic, protestant and catholic religious practice which characterizes the Armenian life in the Ottoman Empire and the Armenian Catholic communities of the Carpathian Basin. The biblical manuscripts and the first Armenian printed bibles that are displayed in this volume are enriched by objects of religious tradition that reflect the cultural, linguistic and religious diversity of the Armenian society.