Johannes Guttenberg was a German blacksmith, goldsmith, printer, and publisher who introduced printing to Europe by inventing the printing press. He introduced mechanical movable type printing in Europe. However, it is possible that similar technology was already in use in both China and Korea.
Moveable type consists of blocks of individual letters and symbols that can quickly be arranged and re-arranged to create different words and phrases. The type is then coated with ink and pressed into paper or vellum, an expensive parchment made of animal skin.
What’s the Point?
The point here is that material was no longer subject to scribal errors. Prior to the invention of the printing press, all manuscripts had to be hand-copied – which could take years and cost a fortune. Books were rare and limited to very wealthy individuals, churches or monasteries, or universities.
This technology set off the so-called “Printing Revolution,” which made books and knowledge available to all literate people. This single event is believed to have ushered in the modern era of human history. This is why Time Magazine named Gutenberg, the Man of the past Millennium back in 2000.
On February 23, 1455, many scholars agree that the Gutenberg Bible was published in Mainz, Germany. The Gutenberg Bible was the first book created on a printing press with moveable metal type. Historians think Gutenberg printed about 160-180 Bibles in 1455. Today, 48 Gutenberg Bibles survive in whole or in part. Pictured above is Genesis …. Or “Genesi” in Latin.