Saturday, November 02, 2013

How We Got the Bible: Manuscripts of Special Interest

In chapter seven of the book, Lighfoot describes a few more manuscripts all of which are illuminated (to be inscribed with gold or silver and dyed with color) and originated from the British Isles. These three manuscripts are:
The Codex Amiatinus:  Dates to the late sixth century and is the earliest complete Vulgate copy of the Bible and also the best manuscript of the Vulgate. It weighs about 75 pounds, has 1,040 leaves and was accurately copied in a beautiful hand at the twin monasteries Wearmouth and Jarrow. It is located at the Laurentian Library at Florence.
The Lindisfarne Gospels:  Written at a monastery in Lindisfarne around 698, this manuscript survived viking pirate raids and being washed overboard. The main text is a good copy of the Latin Vulgate and the subordinate text, written two and a half centuries later, is an Anglo-Saxon translation. This subordinate text represents the oldest extant verision of the Four Gospels in any form of English. Lightfoot says that the illuminations of this manuscript are a “marvel”. Currently resides in Durham.
The Book of Kells:  Dates around 800 and produced in Iona, though this is not certain. All but two of the 680 pages are decorated to the point that many scholars consider it the greatest wonder of the world in the world of books. The manuscript is the Four Gospels written in Latin and is located at the library of Trinity College, Dublin.
Stand firm in Christ,
Chase

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