New College library at Oxford

Scribal Mistakes in a Wycliffite Old Testament Manuscript

The Wycliffite Bible (late fourteenth century) was the first translation of the entire Bible into English, though many English translations of significant portions of the Bible had already circulated centuries before.

Manuscripts of Wycliffite Bibles are surprisingly consistent on the textual level. However, the manuscripts come in many shapes and sizes. Quite a host of scribes must have taken part in the production of these manuscripts, for we find a variety of scribal hands. A few years ago, when reading one particularly beautiful Wycliffite manuscript, I took some notes on a scribal error that made me smile.


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