Manuscript Monday: MS Codex 236, Biblia Sacra

We have looked at this manuscript once previously, for the Penn Parchment Project (August 26, That short video focused on the quality of the manuscript’s parchment. In this video, we revisit the same book with Alexander Devine, a PhD candidate in the English department at Penn who is writing his dissertation on 13th century pocket bibles.

MS Codex 236 is an example of a pocket bible, although a large one. It is believed to be from France, and is dated to ca. 1235-1240. The biblical text is prefaced by the Interpretationes nominum hebraicorum (f. 2r-27r), attributed to Jerome in the Middle Ages, and the apocryphal Prayer of Manasseh (f. 27v), attributed to Solomon in its rubric. The Prayer of Manasseh more commonly appeared at the end of 2 Chronicles, where in this Bible a rubric (f. 163r) directs the reader to the prayer’s location. The biblical text is followed by a calendar of the Church year (f. 400v-401v) and a missal (f. 402v-458v), including the ordinary from the canon through the communion and propers for Sundays and feasts throughout the year. The manuscript also includes a table of Epistle and Gospel incipits (f. 460r-462v), which is a later addition.

A digital facsimile of the manuscript is available at

This manuscript was featured in “The 13th Century Pandect and the Liturgy-Bibles with Missals,” a chapter in the recently published Form & Function in the Late Medieval Bible (Brill, 2013). See pp. 194-198 for specific mention of MS Codex 236.

More about 13th century pocket Bibles:

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