New Acquisition: Staffelsteiner’s 1536 Interpretation of the 22nd Psalm

Pitts Richard C. Kessler Reformation Collection recently acquired a tract by Paul (or Paulus) Staffelsteiner on the interpretation of Psalm 22 (“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). Published in Nuremberg in 1536, it is the only printing of this work and is held by only 5 other libraries in North America. Paulus Staffelsteiner (originally Nathan Ahron) was a Jewish convert to Christianity, who wrote several works arguing against what he considered the errors of Judaism. He was later called to teach at the University of Heidelberg, where he held the chair of Hebrew language, first occupied by Johannes Reuchlin. In this tract, for which he provides his own translation of Psalm 22, he rejects the traditional Jewish interpretation of the text, which typically associated it with a royal figure like King David or Queen Esther and argues that it is a messianic Psalm, fulfilled by the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Find this item in the library catalog, and learn more about rare books in Pitts’ collections here!

Faculty Acquisitions for 2020

Pitts Theology Library is celebrating the careers of retiring Candler professors Steve Kraftchick and Karen Scheib with two new rare book acquisitions. For the past several years, Pitts has acquired rare books on the occasion of faculty retirements, books related to the careers and contributions of these incredible scholars. This year, both acquisitions fall within the Pitts incunable collection, a term used to describe books printed in Europe before the year 1501.

To celebrate Steve Kraftchick, Pitts has acquired a 1496 printing of Raymond of Sabunde’s Theologia naturalis, which argues that the God’s revelation is manifest in nature as well as in the Bible.

To celebrate Karen Scheib, Pitts has acquired a 1500 printing of the Stella clericorum, a popular medieval handbook on pastoral care. Learn more about and see images of these important and beautiful works at

Congratulations, Professors Kraftchick and Scheib!

1496 printing of Raymond of Sabunde’s “Theologia naturalis”
1500 printing of the “Stella clericorum”