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The Temptation of Christ, John the Baptist, In A 'Commentary On Luke' By Bede

The Temptation of Christ, John the Baptist, In A 'Commentary On Luke' By Bede

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1130

Shelfmark: Egerton MS 2204

Item number: f.42v

Length: 31.7

Width: 19.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

Bede is most well-known for his 'History of the English Church and People', but he wrote many other books that were well-read in the middle ages. He was famous for his commentaries on books of the Bible. This manuscript has a copy of his 'Commentary On Luke'. One of the secrets of his success as an author was his ability to organise and present complex ideas clearly. Drawing upon earlier commentaries on the Gospel of Luke by authors such as Augustine and Jerome, he compiles and links together excerpts on related themes to enrich the understanding of post-biblical theologians. The manuscript belonged to the library of the Benedictine monastery at Reading. Ownership by a monastery would be typical for a copy of this book. It would have been used by theologians in their Bible study. On this page, Bede finishes up a commentary on the Temptation of Christ and begins the second book, marked with the large, decorated letter. The second book begins with a discussion of John the Baptist, addressing the question of why Luke does not include the story of his martyrdom, known from the gospels of Matthew (14) and Mark (6). At the lower edge of the page, a bit of writing can be seen. Originally the book's pages were larger, but when it was rebound at some point, the pages were trimmed, cutting away writing near the edges.

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