Bibles

On this page, you can learn more about the various Bibles in the St John’s collection of western medieval manuscripts.

Oxford, St John’s College, MS 4, fol. 4r

MS 4

MS 4, a Vulgate Bible, was produced in England at the end of the thirteenth century. At the beginning of Genesis, a large illustration depicts the work of the six days (the Sabbath drawing has been defaced). Two of the seven compartments can be seen here.

A full catalogue entry is available here.

Oxford, St John’s College, MS 8, fol. 2v

MS 8

MS 8 contains glossed copies of Job, Acts, and the Catholic Epistles. This manuscript was produced in England at the beginning of the fourteenth century.

A full catalogue entry is available here.

Oxford, St John’s College, MS 9, fol. 1r

MS 9

MS 9 is a glossed copy of the Gospels produced in France c. 1225. Numerous corrections, glosses, and cross-references were added to the manuscript later in the thirteenth century. There is manuscript material from the turn of the fifteenth century in the pastedowns.

A full catalogue entry is available here.

Oxford, St John’s College, MS 16, fol. 80r

MS 16

MS 16 contains glossed copies of Joshua, Judges, Tobit, Judith, Esther, and Acts. This manuscript was produced in England in the middle of the thirteenth century.

A full catalogue entry is available here.

Oxford, St John’s College, MS 21, fol. 44v

MS 21

MS 21 is a glossed copy of two books of the Old Testament, namely Joshua and Judges. It was produced in England at the beginning of the thirteenth century. The manuscript has a complex and variable layout to accommodate text, gloss, and decorated initials.

A full catalogue entry is available here.

Oxford, St John’s College, MS 26, fol. 3r

MS 26

MS 26 is a glossed copy of two books of the Old Testament, namely Isaiah and Daniel. It was produced in England in the late twelfth century. This manuscript is notable for its illuminated initials, which are often attributed to ‘the Simon master’ of St Albans.

A full catalogue entry is available here.

Oxford, St John’s College, MS 27, fol. 4r

MS 27

MS 27 is a glossed copy of the book of Ezekiel. This manuscript was produced in England in the second half of the twelfth century. MSS 26 and 27 are companion volumes, both of which have compelling associations with the Abbey of St Albans c.1167–1183.  

A full catalogue entry is available here.

Oxford, St John’s College, MS 29, fol. 4r

MS 29

MS 29, a Vulgate Bible, was produced in England at the end of the thirteenth century. This manuscript includes two elaborate decorative initials. The second of these (shown here) is a full-column initial ‘I’ depicting God holding the book. This initial is further ornamented with a border.

A full catalogue entry is available here.

Oxford, St John’s College, MS 100, fol. 1v

MS 100

MS 100, a Vulgate Bible, was produced in England at the beginning of the thirteenth century. The text is not complete; it breaks off in Titus 2:13. MS 100 has a considerable amount of marginalia added by later users. A large decorative initial ‘I’ with a nimbed angel at the top appears on folio 1v (shown here).

A full catalogue entry is available here.

Oxford, St John’s College, MS 104, fol. 4r

MS 104

MS 104 is a glossed copy of Deuteronomy, the fifth book of the Old Testament. This manuscript was produced in England at the end of the twelfth century. At the head of the text, there is a red arabesque initial (shown here). An unfinished leaf from an earlier monastic service book was reused as a flyleaf in MS 104.

A full catalogue entry is available here.

Oxford, St John’s College, MS 110, fol. 2r

MS 110

MS 110 is a Vulgate Bible that was produced in England c.1225–1250. It was donated to the college by Edward Bernard, who was professor of Astronomy at Oxford University from 1673–1691. This manuscript retains a seventeenth-century binding.

A full catalogue entry is available here.

Oxford, St John’s College, MS 119, fol. 87v

MS 119

MS 119 contains the Sapiental books of the Vulgate Bible, specifically Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs. However, the text lacks Ecclesiastes 9:18–12:1. This manuscript was produced in England at the turn of the thirteenth century.

A full catalogue entry is available here.

Oxford, St John’s College, MS 129, fol. 11r

MS 129

MS 129 is a glossed copy of John, the fourth of the canonical Gospels. This manuscript was produced in England at the end of the twelfth century. MS 129 is notable for including various drawings, including the nails(?) that can be faintly seen on the folio reproduced here.

A full catalogue entry is available here.

Oxford, St Johns College, MS 157, rear pastedown

MS 157 (pastedowns only)

MS 157, an early modern manuscript, contains medieval binding materials. The front and rear pastedowns are extracts from the Book of Job, with the ordinary gloss. These fragments originate from England in the middle of the thirteenth century.

A full catalogue entry is available here.

Oxford, St John’s College, MS 193, fol. 1r

MS 193

MS 193, a Vulgate bible, was produced in England in the late thirteenth century. A number of texts have been added, especially on the flyleaves. These additions include theological notes and two proverbs.

A full catalogue entry is available here.

Oxford, St John’s College, MS 194, fol. 1v

MS 194

MS 194 is a copy of the Gospels produced at the end of the ninth century, possibly in Brittany. The illustration on folio 1v (shown here) is just one of several aspects of the manuscript suggesting a connection to Christ church, Canterbury.

A full catalogue entry is available here.

Oxford, St John’s College, MS 207, fol. 1r

MS 207

MS 207 is a Vulgate Bible produced in France in the middle of the thirteenth century. It includes numerous historiated initials, one of which can be seen here. This manuscript was donated to the college by William Laud in 1610.

A full catalogue entry is available here.

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