St. Cuthbert’s Gospel

I thought that my exploration of St. Cuthbert would have come to a close with our return from England and re-entry back to work. But one of the members of Pres House, a doctoral student in History, shared with me an important piece of news that I had missed about St. Cuthbert: the British Library recently permanently acquired St. Cuthbert’s Gospel.

St. Cuthbert’s Gospel is the oldest intact European book in the world. It was written at the end of the 7th Century and survived so well because it was buried with Cuthbert for centuries. It is the Gospel book of John, which was Cuthbert’s favorite book of the bible.Throughout my reading about Cuthbert his beloved Gospel of John is mentioned again and again.

“To look at this small and intensely beautiful treasure from the Anglo-Saxon period is to see it exactly as those who created it in the 7th Century would have seen it,” said the library’s chief executive, Dame Lynne Brindley in this BBC story.

Check out this short BBC video clip about the acquisition or read the book for yourself by paging through a digitized version of this remarkable book (just be sure to brush up on your Latin first!).

– Mark

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