A NEGLECTED MEDIAEVAL BIBLE TRANSLATION
The purpose of this article is to draw attention to the earlist complete translation of the Bible into French. This translation was made in the thirteenth century, and appears to have been quite successful in its day, but was not chosen for publication by the earliest printers when they published Biblical texts in French in the late fifteenth century. The French scholar and theologian Samuel Berger identified the translation again at the end of the nineteenth century (109每56), but there is no complete modern edition, and as a result, even today, the existence of this translation is still not widely recognised by scholars.
The relative neglect of this thirteenth-century translation since Samuel Berger＊s death in 1900 can reasonably be ascribed to two factors in particular. The first of these is the physical complexity of its transmission in the Middle Ages, when books from the complete Bible were combined from the early fourteenth century on with material from a totally different work, the ※Bible historiale§ by Guiart des Moulins (Berger 157每86). This creates difficulties for the would-be modern editor, especially when the sheer bulk of the complete Bible text is already awe-inspiring. The second factor is that the apparent circumstances of the Bible＊s translation do not fit with the generally accepted history of Bible translation in the West, where the Roman Catholic Church is perceived to have resisted Bible translation until its hand was forced in the sixteenth century. After all, the contentious nature of the Wycliffite translation into English in the late fourteenth century, as well as the controversies about Bible translation that appeared at the time of the Reformation, make it seem reasonable to assume that it was St Jerome＊s translation of the Bible into Latin which was the last translation of the Bible to be made and accepted before modern times. The particular translation into French that is the subject of this article was made more than a century before the Wycliffite translation of the Bible into English. What is more, it was doctrinally orthodox, not inspired by heretics and not suppressed by the Church authorities.
This article will concentrate on three major areas, where scholars have challenged the conclusions reached by Samuel Berger. These are: (1) the existence, (2) the unity and (3) the importance of the Bible Berger identified. It will conclude with those aspects of the translation which seem most significant, and the perspectives they open up.
The existence of a complete translation of the Bible into Old French in the second quarter of the thirteenth century was first asserted by Samuel Berger in his prizewinning entry for the 1879 concours of the Acad谷mie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres. This translation was called by Berger the ※Bible du XIIIe si豕cle,§ though more recent French-speaking scholars have preferred the more explicit ※Bible française du XIIIe si豕cle.§ The no less explicit title given to it in this article is the Old French Bible. Berger asserted the existence of this text after studying a large number of manuscripts, which he described and classified.
Before Berger, scholars had been aware of the existence of two translations, a complete Bible commissioned in the fourteenth century by King Charles V from Raoul de Presles (Berger 244每57), and the ※Bible historiale§ by Guiart des Moulins (see above). Guiart said in his translator＊s preface that he had done the work of translation between 1291 and 1295; he also mentioned in the preface his election in 1297 as Dean of the collegial church of St Peter in Aire, which is in Artois in northern France. Strictly speaking, the ※Bible historiale§ is not a Bible, because it translates a twelfth-century University textbook, the Historia scholastica by Peter Comestor. However, Comestor＊s work was intended to act as a companion to the study of the literal meaning of the Bible. It is organized broadly by Bible book from Genesis to Acts, and amplifies the Bible narrative with other material which Comestor regarded as casting light on the historical information in the Bible. Guiart edited the Historia scholastica to make it more accessible to his intended lay readers. In particular, he included substantial extracts from the Bible itself. His translation is thus a hybrid with two principal sources, and it is not surprising that his work was regarded as a commented French Bible text, even though it does not contain the complete Bible.
When Berger came to classify the manuscripts of the ※Bible historiale,§ he recognised that they fell into two principal groups. The first group, which comprised only a small number of manuscripts, consisted of manuscripts containing the ※Bible historiale§ more or less as Guiart had composed it. The second and much more substantial group contains most, but not all, of the ※Bible historiale§ as found in the first group. It also contains at least half the Bible itself, in a translation that, as Berger＊s mentor Eduard Reuss had already recognized (78每80), cannot be by Guiart. This is because not all these Bible books belong in Guiart＊s declared program for the ※Bible historiale,§ and must therefore have been added. When Berger came to look at all the thirteenth-century manuscripts that contain Bible books, he identified all parts of the Bible, including those added to Guiart, in thirteenth-century manuscripts; this implies that their texts existed before the ※Bible historiale§ (Berger 116每19). This manuscript evidence caused Berger to conclude that there must have been a complete translation of the Bible in the second quarter of the thirteenth century, and that this translation would have been copied in two volumes containing Genesis to Psalms and Proverbs to Revelation respectively.
The existence of this translation allowed him to explain his second group of ※Bible historiale§ manuscripts as a new composite work, which he called the ※Bible historiale compl谷t谷e§ (Berger 187每99 and 210每20). This consists of Guiart＊s ※Bible historiale§ up to and including Esther, which is then completed up to the end of the Bible by books from the complete thirteenth-century translation Berger had identified. This new composite work belongs to the early fourteenth century, and complicates the transmission of both the Old French Bible and the ※Bible historiale.§ In effect, it replaced both of its predecessors by the age of printing, and continued to be printed until the Paris edition of 1544每46, by which time two modern translations existed to replace it, those of Lef豕vre d＊Étaples and Olivetan.
Berger＊s major contribution to the history of Bible translation in France is thus the identification of a previously unrecognized Bible. However, he was unable to confirm this by producing a complete two-volume manuscript of his Old French Bible. This was unfortunate, because in studying the full text from the individual incomplete manuscripts available to him, Berger concluded that the complete Bible was the work of more than one translator. Since there is no translator＊s preface of the type provided by Guiart for his ※Bible historiale,§ the exact identity of the translators is unknown, as is the milieu in which they worked and the audience for which they were writing. Berger believed that the translation represents a single project, and that it was undertaken within the University of Paris, which had the human and material resources for such a project (108).
Following the publication of Berger＊s work in 1884, reviewers accepted his assertion of both the existence and the unity of a complete thirteenth-century French Bible translation. Both assertions have subsequently been challenged. By 1909, Paul Meyer doubted the existence of such a translation, precisely because there was no proof that the two individual volumes discussed by Berger constituted a single translation. This particular argument can now be laid very simply to rest, because, since Berger＊s death in 1900, three complete manuscripts of this Bible have indeed come to light. This was first pointed out by Alan Robson in an article which he wrote in 1959, and published ten years later. We can thus be sure that the Old French Bible is not simply a hypothetical construction by a modern scholar, but that it did genuinely exist.
Having confirmed the existence of the Old French Bible, Alan Robson then proceeded to reinforce the doubts about its unity by arguing against Berger that it was not a unified text produced as a single project (446每48), but rather that the work of a series of independent anonymous translators was brought together, presumably by a publisher, some time between 1280 and 1300, in much the same way as the ※Bible historiale compl谷t谷e§ was produced in the 1310s.
Without discussing here the different dates proposed by Robson and Berger for the completion of the Old French Bible, Robson＊s position seems on balance unpersuasive. It equates the compilation of the ※Bible historiale compl谷t谷e§ with the more positive step of producing a complete Bible translation for the first time. The oldest extant format of the ※Bible historiale compl谷t谷e§ shows that it was in essence produced by a simple juxtaposition. The first volume (Genesis to Esther) was taken from the ※Bible historiale§ and the second volume (Proverbs to Revelation) from the Old French Bible. By way of contrast, the decision to produce a complete Bible translation for the first time would require a series of choices to be made in order to implement that decision. These choices should be regarded as akin to those which a modern publisher will have to make in inviting the production of a new work. To achieve an author＊s manuscript ready for copying, the publisher would have had three broad options, which may or may not have involved directly in the work of translation the person or group instigating the new vernacular Bible. The first option would be to have the entire translation done by one individual. This seems unlikely in this case in view of Berger＊s finding that more than one translator worked on the text. The second option would be to commission a team of translators to translate the whole text, and the third option would be to collect together those existing partial translations that were available, and then commission translations of the rest. It would require singular good fortune as well as good library resources to discover that every single part of the Bible had already been translated independently, and that all that remained was the purely editorial task of combining the existing texts into a single copy. If Berger is correct in believing that the individual translators were responsible for blocks of books, such as the Prophets or the Gospels (145每48), it seems preferable to consider such blocks as evidence for a single project, and to regard the Old French Bible as a single project carried out by a team of translators. This does not preclude the production of a new translation of an individual book by revising older translations, as Berger suggests was done for Psalms and for Revelation (147), nor does it preclude the early production of manuscripts containing individual parts of the Old French Bible, such as the New Testament.
Robson＊s view of the origins of the Old French Bible was taken up by Pierre-Maurice Bogaert in 1981, as part of an argument which tends to diminish the importance of this complete Bible. Bogaert argues from a range of surviving texts that the main purpose of Bible translation in the Middle Ages was historical, and that this is confirmed by what he sees as the absorption of the Old French Bible into the ※Bible historiale§ (261). In saying this, he seems to be confusing the undoubted success of the ※Bible historiale compl谷t谷e§ in replacing its two predecessors with the relative importance of these two original texts (265 and 275). Two points need consideration here. First of all, what is the relative importance of the two original texts as evidenced by their manuscript transmission? Secondly, what is the underlying purpose of the conflation of the two texts?
On the first point, Bogaert asserts that the ※Bible historiale§ is a more significant text than the Old French Bible because more manuscripts survive, but to show this, he has to discount all copies of Proverbs to Revelation from both the Old French Bible and the ※Bible historiale compl谷t谷e§ (274每75). This rather drastic procedure is justified on the grounds that a manuscript containing only Proverbs to Revelation cannot reliably be assigned to either of these two texts. Sneddon in his doctoral thesis has produced a textual classification which is being submitted for publication elsewhere (1: 64每82), and if this is accepted, the more than one hundred ※Bible historiale compl谷t谷e§ manuscripts can be identified, and therefore eliminated from this purely numerical comparison. Having done that, there remain only eleven ※Bible historiale§ manuscripts, none of which is complete with Guiart des Moulins＊s original order and contents. However, the Old French Bible is preserved in part in another twenty-one manuscripts as well as in the three complete Bibles. In addition to these twenty-four manuscripts, there is also one manuscript each of the Old and New Testaments, and individual copies of Tobit, Job, the Gospels and Revelation in non-Bible miscellanies.
On the second point, the most likely reason for the combination of the two texts is to maximize the historical commentary available on the Bible, while losing as little as possible of the Bible text itself. The most significant effect of the creation of the ※Bible historiale compl谷t谷e§ is to replace the Octateuch from the Old French Bible, which has extensive spiritual glosses to Genesis, Joshua, Judges and Ruth (Berger 121每27), with the more historically focussed and in the case of Leviticus shortened Octateuch by Guiart. Both the Old French Bible and the ※Bible historiale§ contain I每IV Kings, Tobit, Judith and Esther, but none of them are glossed in the Old French Bible, so that Guiart＊s text has the advantage here of offering additional historical information. However, Guiart＊s work lacked substantial portions of the Bible, and, paradoxically for works which are not and do not set out to be complete Bibles, the major process that can be observed in both the ※Bible historiale§ and in the ※Bible historiale compl谷t谷e§ is the effort to produce a text which is as close as possible to the Bible in its contents. Already, some manuscripts of the ※Bible historiale§ itself take Acts and other extracts from the Old French Bible. This process is taken further in the ※Bible historiale compl谷t谷e§ after its initial creation. In the course of the fourteenth century, those Bible books which had been abridged or omitted by Guiart were simply added to the ※Bible historiale compl谷t谷e§ from the Old French Bible. The result of this was that, although Guiart＊s translator＊s preface ensured that he continued to be regarded as the author of the ※Bible historiale compl谷t谷e,§ about two thirds of the new composite work came in its fullest versions from the Old French Bible. By the end of the fourteenth century, the desire for completeness went beyond simply combining the two thirteenth-century texts, and translations of many of the standard set of prologues from the thirteenth-century Paris Vulgate were added in order to complete the resemblance of the ※Bible historiale compl谷t谷e§ to an ordinary Bible.
The conclusion to be drawn from this is not that the thirteenth-century Old French Bible was less successful than the ※Bible historiale,§ but that the fourteenth century wanted a more completely commented text than the Old French Bible alone could provide. Overall, the history of the ※Bible historiale compl谷t谷e§ shows that historical information was part of the motive for reading Bible texts, but that there was also a strong desire for a complete version of the Bible which had sufficient but not excessive commentary.
Since the Second World War, these doubts about the existence, unity and importance of the Old French Bible have been paralleled by an increasing and positive interest in this translation. As an example of Old French, the language of Acts chapters 20每24 was studied by Guy De Poerck in Gent, but this was never published in its finally intended form. Several of his students quarried the text for m谷moire de licence subjects. None of these has been published, but they include editions of Tobit, Judith and Mark. The vocabulary of the Old French Bible translation of the New Testament was studied in a 1973 Bern doctoral thesis, which has since been published. A Clermont-Ferrand doctoral thesis of 1985 has now resulted in Genesis becoming the first part of this Bible to be published in a modern edition. Unfortunately, the editor uses only the four manuscripts of Genesis known to Berger, when eleven substantially complete manuscripts and two fragments survive, as well as brief extracts from two manuscripts destroyed respectively in 1870 and 1944. Sneddon＊s 1978 Oxford doctoral thesis contained an edition of the Four Gospels from six early manuscripts representing two recensions of the text. He is currently pre-paring an edition of the Four Gospels based on all fifteen surviving Old French Bible manuscripts containing this part of the Bible. This will allow all four recensions of the text to be shown in the critical apparatus. The Four Gospels should appear in the not too distant future as the first part of a project to publish a critical edition of the entire thirteenth-century Old French Bible.
Apart from philological and editorial work, the translation has been studied also with a view to identifying its readership, and in an important development for situating the cultural context of the translator there has been a detailed study of the glosses found in the Four Gospels in a 1992 St. Andrews doctoral thesis. This has shown that the tradition of Bible commentary to which the glosses in the Four Gospels belong is one which flourished in the twelfth and early thirteenth centuries. In particular, its interest in morality and good works, and also in establishing the literal meaning of the Bible text, may be traced back to the Victorines.
In summary, the Old French Bible is the oldest complete Bible translation into the vernacular to survive in Western Europe. Its interest for scholarship lies in the following:
(1) It is not heretical, but acceptable to the Church authorities. It was, to judge from the number of surviving copies, quite widely available to the laity for devotional reading and was thus an important vehicle for the transmission of religious knowledge among those with education or access to books. This is confirmed by the selective commentary included in some books of this Bible translation.
(2) The main areas of study on the diffusion of religious knowledge to the laity in the Middle Ages have related to art, to drama, and to preaching, as well as to the mechanisms put in place by the Church through its diocesan organization. Publication of the complete Old French Bible would allow work on the direct availability of the Bible itself in mediaeval France, and might in the future encourage others to look at the complete fourteenth-century translation of the missal into French, which survives in five manuscripts. The liturgy is a principal activity of the Church and the missal contains another translation of many passages from the Bible.
(3) It is a good example of Old French prose, and will allow detailed work to establish whether the Bible is or is not distinctive in its techniques and aims of translation when compared to other prose translations from Latin which are already published in modern editions.
By way of conclusion, this article goes beyond the Old French Bible to point out that it is not the only neglected mediaeval Bible translation in French. The existence of genuine Bible translations before the Reformation has been obscured by the popularity in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries of the ※Bible historiale compl谷t谷e§ and the ※Bible abr谷g谷e,§ a shortened version of a thirteenth-century Bible history which has not been discussed in this article. Neither of these was a Bible in the strict sense. However, the Bible was translated into French three times in all during the Middle Ages. The only translation to survive complete was the Old French Bible, but this article has already referred to the late fourteenth-century translation by Raoul de Presles (see above), which survives in six principal manuscripts, to which should be added some copies of his version of the Psalms (Berger 206每09 and 244每57). The fullest manuscript of the Raoul de Presles translation ends at Matthew 19.27. A third translation, this time into Anglo-Norman, survives in three manuscripts only, none of which is earlier than the fourteenth century, and the most complete of which ends at Hebrews 13.17 (Berger 230每37). All three translations are worth publishing in modern editions, and the missal in French referred to above similarly deserves to be made available. As is said in another context in chapter 10 of the Gospel according to St Luke: ※The harvest truly is great, but the harvesters are few.§
Berger, Samuel. La Bible française au moyen âge. Étude sur les plus anciennes versions de la Bible 谷crites en prose de langue d＊oïl. Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, 1884. Geneva: Slatkine Reprints, 1967.
Bogaert, Pierre-Maurice. ※Adaptations et versions de la Bible en prose (langue d＊oïl).§ Les Genres litt谷raires dans les sources th谷ologiques et philologiques m谷di谷vales: D谷finition, critique et exploitation. Actes du Colloque international de Louvain-la-Neuve, 25每27 mai 1981. Éd. Robert Bultot. Publications de l＊Institut d＊谷tudes m谷di谷vales, 2e s谷rie: Textes, Études, Congr豕s 5. Louvain-la-Neuve: Universit谷 Catholique de Louvain, 1982. 259每77.
Boyle, Leonard E. ※Innocent III and Vernacular Versions of Scripture.§ The Bible in the Medieval World: Essays in Memory of Beryl Smalley. Ed. Katherine Walsh and Diana Wood. Studies in Church History: Subsidia 4. Oxford: publ. for the Ecclesiastical History Society by Blackwell, 1985. 97每107.
Chambers, Bettye Thomas. Bibliography of French Bibles: Fifteenth- and Sixteenth- Century French-Language Editions of the Scriptures. Travaux d＊Humanisme et Renaissance 192. Geneva: Droz, 1983.
Decoo, Wilfried. ※La Bible française du XIIIe si豕cle et l＊Evangile selon Marc: Remarques critiques.§ Romanica Gandensia 12 (1969): 53每65.
Delaiss谷, L. M. J. ※A Liturgical Problem at the End of the Middle Ages: the ＆Missale Gallicum.＊§ Miniatures, Scripts, Collections. [Ed. J. P. Gumbert and M. J. M. de Haan.] Litterae textuales. Amsterdam: van Gendt, 1976. 16每27. Vol. 4 of Essays Presented to G. I. Lieftinck. 4 vols. 1972每76.
Ford, Alvin E., ed. La Vengeance de Nostre-Seigneur. The Old and Middle French Prose Versions: The Version of Japheth. Studies and Texts 63. Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1984.
Higgleton, Elaine Patricia. ※Latin Gospel Exegesis and the Gospel Glosses in the Thirteenth-Century Old French Translation of the Bible.§ Diss. 2 vols. U. of St. Andrews, 1992.
Ker, N[eil] R. London. Oxford: at the Clarendon Press, 1969. Vol. 1 of Medieval Manuscripts in British Libraries. 4 vols. 1969每92. (Vol. 4 with A. J. Piper.)
Orelli, Martin von. Der altfranzösische Bibelwortschatz des Neuen Testamentes im Berner Cod. 28 (13 Jh.). Diss. U. Bern, 1973. Z邦rich: Juris Druck und Verlag, 1975.
Quereuil, Michel. La Bible française du XIIIe si豕cle: Edition critique de la Gen豕se. Diss. U. Clermont-Ferrand, 1985. Publications romanes et françaises 183. Geneva: Droz, 1988.
Reuss, Ed[uard W. E.] ※Fragments litt谷raires et critiques relatifs 角 l＊histoire de la Bible française. Seconde s谷rie. Les Bibles du quatorzi豕me et du quinzi豕me si豕cle et les premi豕res 谷ditions imprim谷es [sections II (suite) et III].§ Revue de th谷ologie et de philosophie chr谷tienne 14 (1857): 73每104. (Rpt. Édouard Reuss. Fragments litt谷raires et critiques relatifs 角 l＊histoire de la Bible française. Introduction de G谷rard E. Weil. Geneva: Slatkine, 1979. 181每212.)
Robson, C.A. ※Vernacular Scriptures in France.§ The West from the Fathers to the Reformation. Ed. G. W. H. Lampe. Cambridge: at the University Press, 1969. 436每52 and 528每32. Vol. 2 of The Cambridge History of the Bible. 3 vols. 1963每1970.
Sneddon, Clive R. ※The ＆Bible du XIIIe si豕cle＊: its Medieval Public in the Light of its Manuscript Tradition.§ The Bible and Medieval Culture. Ed. W. Lourdaux and D. Verhelst. Mediaevalia Lovaniensia, Series 1, Studia 7. Leuven: Leuven University Press, 1979. 127每40.
___. ※A Critical Edition of the Four Gospels in the Thirteenth-Century Old French Translation of the Bible.§ Diss. 2 vols. U. of Oxford, 1978.
Chambers identifies in her catalogue the following pre-Reformation Biblical texts, printed at various dates from the 1470s on: (1) ※La Bible abr谷g谷e§ (nos. 1, 2, 6, 8每12, 14, 18, 19, 21, 22, 29, 37 and 42a, 52, 56, 67, 98, 117, 118), an abridged version, found also in ten fifteenth-century manuscripts, of a thirteenth-century Bible history preserved in Paris, BN, MS fr. 24728 and in the Vatican, Bibl. Apostolica, MS Pal. lat. 1957; (2) part or all of the ※Bible historiale compl谷t谷e§ referred to elsewhere in this paper (nos. 3, 7, 13, 15每17, 20, 23每25, 27, 28, 30, 32 [?ghost], 42 [?ghost], 45, 46, 54, 55, 69, 71, 87每89, 99, 100, 110, 119每24, 131; for other part editions, see Sneddon 1: 470每71, nos. 207每10, 212每14 of his Appendix II); (3) ※L＊exposicion de la Bible,§ (Chambers nos. 4, 5), which is derived from the ※Bible moralis谷e§; (4) the ※Biblia Pauperum§ with a commentary in French (no. 26). Chambers also includes: (5) an apparent edition of the ※Vengeance Nostre Seigneur§ (no. 33), a text whose various prose versions, with their manuscripts and twenty-three early editions, are identified in Ford 1每3, 18每24.
For internal evidence of the orthodox attitude shown by the translator, see the gloss on the role of Lot and Abraham in Genesis 13.8 (Berger 149每50).
For the details of this competition, see Berger vii, Sneddon 1: 48n1 and Sneddon, ※Public§ 127.
This first group can be further subdivided into two sub-groups, identifiable in the first instance by the presence or absence of the translator＊s preface. Berger suggests that the sub-group without this preface will be the older of the two (166), but he may be influenced in this by the fact that the majority of the manuscripts without the preface preserve a Picard form (161每64), whereas the manuscripts with the translator＊s preface are more likely to be in Central French (Berger 162 and 177). It is a subject for another article to discuss the textual evidence suggesting that Guiart＊s original text contained his translator＊s preface, and that there must have been a two-year interval between the completion of the work and its publication. This evidence is summarized in Sneddon 1: 3每6, 127. No single manuscript now survives with the complete contents of Guiart＊s original text.
It is the sub-group with the translator＊s preface which has supplied the ※Bible historiale§ material in all manuscripts of this second group (Berger 177).
Berger does not comment on the possibility that Psalms appeared instead at the beginning of the second volume, though this could be deduced from the contents of two of the manuscripts he describes (407每08 and 425每26): Cambridge, University Library, MS Ee. 3. 52, and Copenhagen, Köngelige Bibliotek, MS Thott 7. These Old French Bible manuscripts are described more fully in Sneddon 1: 152每53 and 165每66.
Lef豕vre＊s translation began to appear in 1523 (Chambers no. 31), and first appeared complete in 1530 (Chambers no. 51). Olivetan＊s translation first appeared in 1535 (Chambers no. 66).
Berger 112每13 suggests that Paris, BN, MSS fr. 6每7 is a complete manuscript of the Old French Bible, but recognizes that fr. 7 is copied from a Volume 2 of the ※Bible historiale compl谷t谷e.§ Sneddon 1: 79每81, 155每57 and 332 confirms this.
For the evolution of Meyer＊s views on the existence of the Old French Bible, see Sneddon, ※Public§ 128n4.
See Robson 448 and 530每31. The manuscripts in question are: New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, MS M 494, Chantilly, Mus谷e Cond谷, MSS 4每5, and London, British Library, MSS Harley 616 and Yates Thompson 9 (formerly Additional 41751); the Chantilly catalogue appeared in 1900, which makes it surprising that Meyer was not aware of this manuscript＊s existence, but the Pierpont Morgan and Yates Thompson manuscripts were still in private hands and uncatalogued when Meyer wrote.
Possible dates are discussed in Sneddon 1: 35每40, concluding that the Old French Bible can be dated c. 1235每60. Higgleton 1: 9每17 has shown that the criterion used by Sneddon for a terminus a quo of c. 1235 is not valid, and that the latest date for a terminus a quo is c. 1220.
See the detailed discussion in Sneddon 1: 6每8, and also the description at 1: 241每42 of Edinburgh, University Library, MS 19, which is dated 1314, and which confirms the original format. Guiart＊s Genesis to Esther is complete except for the omission of his abridged text of Proverbs after IV Kings; this will be due to the presence of the complete text of Proverbs from the Old French Bible.
Robson 445每48 treats the now incomplete Paris, BN, MS fr. 899 as showing that a partial compilation existed before the completion of the Old French Bible. A codicological examination of this manuscript (Sneddon 1: 148每51) shows that it could originally have contained the complete text.
Sneddon contains a revision of Berger＊s analysis of the contents of the Old French Bible, ※Bible historiale,§ and ※Bible historiale compl谷t谷e§ (1: 2每19), and a detailed description of all the manuscripts known to the author in 1978 (1: 128每469).
The sub-group without the translator＊s preface changes the end of the ※Bible historiale§ after the Gospel Harmony by replacing Guiart＊s Acts and apocryphal texts with Acts, Lamentations, Matthew ch. 1, John 1.1每14, Daniel 3.51每90 and chs. 8每12, all from the Old French Bible (see Sneddon 1: 5).
Sneddon 1: 8每23 details and dates the successive enlargements of the ※Bible historiale compl谷t谷e,§ beginning with the addition of Psalms to give Berger＊s so-called ※Petites Bibles§, the addition of Job to give his ※Bibles moyennes,§ and finally the addition on two separate occasions of I每II Chronicles and I每III Esdras to give his ※Grandes Bibles§ and ※Bibles 角 prologues§ respectively (Berger 212每19).
See Ker 96每97 for the standard set of sixty-four prologues, and Sneddon 1: 407每10 for the standard set in the ※Bibles 角 prologues§ group, more than fifty of which are in Ker＊s list.
See Sneddon 1: 352每55 and 374每78 for two individual efforts at further completeness within Berger＊s ※Grandes Bibles§ group, respectively Brussels, Biblioth豕que royale, MSS 9001每02, which intercalates as a commentary the ※Bible moralis谷e,§ and Paris, BN, MSS fr. 15370每71, which adds its own selection of prologues and also extracts from the post-Maccabees parts of the ※Bible historiale.§
De Poerck produced a two-volume duplicated lecture course, entitled Notions de grammaire historique du français et exercices philologiques, 2 vols. (Gent: E. Story, 1955); this was reproduced at least until 1973, by which time it was entitled Grammaire historique du français. In 1961 it was intended to be the basis of Vol. 3 of G. De Poerck and L. Mourin, Introduction 角 la morphologie compar谷e des langues romanes bas谷e sur des traductions anciennes des Actes des Apôtres ch. XX 角 XXIV, 6 vols. (Bruges: De Tempel, 1961每64), but only Vols. 1, 4 and 6 seem ever to have appeared.
Of five m谷moires de licence two study the language of the text (R. Casteur, 1966; E. Reinquin, n.d.), and the others edit individual books, viz. Tobit (L. Vercryusse, 1955), Judith (A. van den Abeele, 1963) and Mark (W. Decoo, 1968每69). For an article based in part on his m谷moire, see Decoo.
See Sneddon 1: 64每71 for these four recensions, identified by the manuscript sigla used there as the recensions found respectively in MSS A-D, EFLM, JK and N-R.
See Sneddon, ※Public.§
See Higgleton 2: 367每70 and 549每54.
For confirmation of the generally tolerant attitude of the Church authorities to translations where there was no challenge to the Church＊s role of interpreting and preaching the word of God, see Boyle.