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Beginning of St Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians, with Commentary, in a Copy of the Pauline Epistles With Explanatory Note

Beginning of St Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians,  with Commentary, in a Copy of the Pauline Epistles With Explanatory Note

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1240

Shelfmark: Harley MS 3249

Item number: f.97v

Length: 36.2

Width: 23.8

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

In the middle ages, the Bible was read aloud as part of church services and during daily prayers, and it was privately for theological study and personal devotion. A variety of aids were developed for these different kinds of reading. For theological study, surrounding the text from the Bible with explanatory notes and / or words written between its lines to help the reader understand obscure or difficult vocabulary and grammar. This is called 'glossing'. This manuscript contains St Paul's Epistles with commentary glosses. It belonged to the Franciscan convent at Oxford. One of the new orders of preaching friars, the Franciscans were part of the scene at medieval universities. The beginning of the second epistle to the Corinthians is at the large letter 'P'. The letter bears a picture of St Paul asleep with an angel looking over him. Only a brief bit of the letter to the Corinthians is written--in larger handwriting--on the page. The smaller writing surrounding it is the commentary. In the part to the right of the larger writing of the scripture, quotations from 2 Corinthians are underscored in red, with the commentary--taken from the early Christian author Ambrose, cited in the upper margin--on those words following. At the edges of the margins, a schoolmaster has written further glosses in a less formal hand.

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