Wednesday, March 02, 2016

New Catalogue of the Hebrew Manuscripts of Corpus Christi College, Oxford

An email from the librarian at Corpus Christi, Oxford informs me of a new catalogue which includes seven Biblical Hebrew manuscripts:

Corpus Library and Archives are delighted to announce the publication of A descriptive catalogue of the Hebrew Manuscripts of Corpus Christi College, Oxford. Edited by Peter E. Pormann (CCC 1994), the catalogue complements recently published volumes on the College’s Western and Greek manuscripts.

The editor, Profesor Peter Pormann (Manchester University) will be giving a David Patterson Lecture at 7.15 pm on Monday 7 March, in the Corpus auditorium: The Study of Hebrew in Medieval and Renaissance England: the Corpus connection

Here is a brief summary of the collection:

Although few in number, the College’s Hebrew manuscripts are outstanding in rarity and value. At the core of the collection are the seven Biblical manuscripts given to Corpus by John Claymond, each of which features an interlinear translation. Jewish and Christian scribes produced such texts in a collaborative effort during the mid-thirteenth century to provide tools for non-Jews to learn Hebrew. In addition the collection contains a near complete copy of Rashi’s biblical commentaries, and an Ashkenazi prayer book. In the latter, the owner, a Jew from Spain living in England, recorded different debts owed to him by a variety of Christian dignitaries around the year 1200. He did this in Judaeo-Arabic (i.e. Arabic written in Hebrew letters), and this document is the only one of its kind; no other texts are known to have been written in this language during the entire Middle Ages in the British Isles. Taken together, the Corpus collection forms one of the most important collections of Anglo-Jewish manuscripts in the world.

According to the VMR, Corpus Christi has only one Greek New Testament manuscript (l 2436).

1 comment

  1. There's also GA 2879 (see A.J. Brown, ‘The Gospel Commentary of Theophylact and a Neglected Manuscript in Oxford.’ NovT 49 (2007) 185–96).

    If you're interested in the companion Greek volume, I reviewed it for AMARC in May 2013: (pages 19-22)