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MS 3: Biblia Sacra [Bible. Latin. Vulgate], 13th century

Identifier: MS 3
Biblia Sacra (MS 3)
Biblia Sacra (MS 3)

Scope and Contents

This manuscript contains the complete text of the Vulgate. The only variation in the order is that the Letter to the Colossians follows the Letter to the Thessalonians.
The manuscript also includes the apocryphal Letter to the Laodiceans (f. 253r). A letter written "to the Laodiceans" or "from Laodicea" (depending on the different interpretation of the Latin text) is mentioned in the Letter to the Colossians (Col. 4:16); however, no Greek version of this letter exists and the Latin short letter, which appears in this manuscript and which is trasmitted by other copies of the Vulgate, is considered a forgery.
The second prologue placed before the Book of Revelation is part of a longer preface written by Gilbert de la Porrée (d. 1154), a scholastic theologian and teacher (also known as Gilbertus Pictaviensis because he was born in Poitiers, France).
On the last folio (f. 472v), towards the end of what would be the second column of text, there is a rubrication with the words: Incipiunt interpretationes hebraicorum nominum secundum ordinem alphabeti et primo nomina incipientia per A ('Begin the "Explanations of the Hebrew names" according to the alphabetical order and first the nouns beginning with A'). The rest of the page has been left blank, but there is a later inscription in cursive. The Interpretations of Hebrew names is a list, mostly in alphabetical order, of Hebrew names found in the Bible, attributed to Stephen Langton (died 1228); each Hebrew name is accompanied by a short explanation in Latin. It is missing from this manuscript, but it was originally supposed to be included.
Prologue to the Bible (Letter to Paulinus):: starts on f. 1r; this is the letter written by Jerome to Paulinus, bishop of Nola, placed at the beginning of the Vulgate as general preface. It is introduced by the rubricated words Incipit epistola beati ieronimi ad paulinum de omnibus divine historie libris and begins with Frater ambrosius michi tua minuscola perferens.
Prologue of Jerome to the Pentateuch (Letter to Desiderius):: starts on f. 3v. It is introduced by the rubricated words Prologus in pentateucum and begins with the words Desiderii mei desiderata accepi litteras. Pentateuch is the name which collectively identifies to the first five books of the Bible.
Pentateuch: starts on f. 4r. It is composed of: Genesis (starts on f. 4r), Exodus (starts on f. 22r), Leviticus (starts on f. 36v), Numbers (starts on f. 46r), Deuteronomy (starts on f. 61r).
Historical Books: starts on f. 74v. They are composed of: Prologue to Joshua (on f. 74v), Joshua (starts on f. 74v), Judges (starts on f. 84r), Ruth (starts on f. 93v), Prologue to Kings (starts on f. 95r), First Kings (starts on f. 95v and corresponds to First Samuel), Second Kings (starts on f. 108v and corresponds to Second Samuel), Third Kings (starts on f. 120r and corresponds to First Kings), Fourth Kings (starts on f. 135r and corresponds to Second Kings), Prologue to First Chronicles (starts on f. 145r), First Chronicles (starts on f. 145v), Prologue to Second Chronicles (on f. 157r), Second Chronicles (starts on f. 157r), Prologue Ezra (starts on f. 171r), Ezra (starts on f. 171v), Nehemiah (starts on f. 175v), First Esdras (starts on f. 180r), Prologue to Tobit (on f. 186r), Tobit (starts on f. 186r), Prologue to Judith (starts on f. 189v), Judith (starts on f. 190r), Prologue to Esther (on f. 195r), Esther (starts on f. 195r).
Wisdom Books: start on f. 200r. They are composed of: Prologue to Job (starts on f. 200r; there are two prologues), Job (starts on f. 200v), Psalms (starts on f. 210v; each psalm has a rubricated title and the book is followed by a blank page), Prologue to Proverbs (on f. 235r), Proverbs (starts on f. 235r), Prologue to Ecclesiastes (f. 242v), Ecclesiastes (starts on f. 243r), Song of Songs (starts on f. 245v), Prologue to Wisdom (on f. 246v), Wisdom (starts on f. 246r), Prologue to Ecclesiasticus (starts on f. 251v), Ecclesiasticus (starts on f. 252r).
Prophets:: start on f. 266v. They are composed of: Prologue to Isaiah (starts on f. 266v), Isaiah (starts on f. 267r), Prologue to Jeremiah (on f. 284v), Jeremiah (starts on f. 284v), Lamentations (starts on f. 306r), Prologue to Baruch (on f. 307v), Baruch (starts on f. 307v), Prologue to Ezekiel (on f. 310v), Ezekiel (starts on f. 310v), Prologue to Daniel (starts on f. 329v), Daniel (starts on f. 330r).
Twelve Minor Prophets:: start on f. 336v. They are composed of: Prologue to the Twelve Prophets (on f. 336v), Prologue to Hosea (starts on f. 336v), Hosea (starts on f. 337r), Prologue to Joel (on f. 339v; there are two prologues), Joel (starts on f. 340r), Prologue to Amos (on f. 341r; ther are two or three prologues), Amos (starts on f. 341r),Prologue to Obadiah (on f. 343r), Obadiah (starts on f. 343v), Prologue to Jonah (on f. 344r), Jonah (starts on f. 344r), (Prologue to Micah (on f. 344v), (Micah (starts on f. 345r), Prologue to Nahum (on f. 346v), Nahum (starts on f. 346v), Prologue to Habakkuk (starts on f. 347r), (Habakkuk (starts on f. 347v), Prologue to Zephaniah (on f. 348v), Zephaniah (starts on f. 348v), Prologue to Haggai (starts on f. 329v), Haggai (starts on f. 329v), Prologue to Zachariah (on f. 330v), Zachariah (starts on f. 330v), Prologue to Malachi (on f. 333v), Malachi (starts on f. 333v).
Maccabees: starts on f. 334v. It is composed of Prologue to Maccabees (starts on f. 334v; there are three prologues), First Maccabees (starts on f. 335r), Second Maccabees (starts on f. 367r; at the end of it, the scribe has left part of the first column and the whole of the second column blank).
Gospels: start on f. 376r. They are composed of: Prologue to the Gospel of Matthew (on f. 376r; there are two prologues), Gospel of Matthew (starts on f. 376r), Prologue to the Gospel of Mark (starts on f. 389r), Gospel of Mark (starts on f. 389v), Prologue to the Gospel of Luke (on f. 397r; there are two prologues), Gospel of Luke (starts on f. 397r), Prologue to the Gospel of John (on f. 411r), Gospel of John (starts on f. 411r; at the end, the scribe has left more than half of the first coulumn and the whole of the second blank).
Pauline Epistles:: start on f. 421r; each letter is preceded by its agumentum, a short text which records Paul's reason for writing the letter, the place and circumstances in which he wrote, and the people he entrusted the letter to. The letters are: Letter to the Romans (starts on f. 421r), First Letter to the Corinthians (starts on f. 425v), Second Letter to the Corinthians (starts on f. 430v), Letter to the Galatians (starts on f. 433v), Letter to the Ephesians (starts on f. 435r), Letter to the Philippians (starts on f. 436v), First Letter to the Thessalonians (starts on f. 438r), Second Letter to the Thessalonians (starts on f. 439r), Letter to the Colossians (starts on f. 439v), First Letter to Timothy (starts on f. 440v), Second Letter to Timothy (starts on f. 442r), Letter to Titus (starts on f. 442v), Letter to Philemon (starts on f. 443r), Letter to the Laodiceans (on f. 443v), Letter to the Hebrews (starts on f. 444v).
Acts of the Apostles:: starts on f. 447v and is preceded by a short prologue.
Catholic Epistles:: start on f. 460r. They are preceded by a general prologue (starts on f. 460r) and are composed of: Letter of James (starts on f. 460v), First Letter of Peter (starts on f. 461v), Second Letter of Peter (starts on f. 463r), First Letter of John (starts on f. 463v), Second Letter of John (on f. 465r), Third Letter of John (on f. 465r), Letter of Jude (starts on f. 465r).
Book of Revelation: starts on f. 466r (preceded by two prologues starting on f. 465v).
Writing The hand is exceedingly good, apparently by one scribe. The book is remarkable for its elaborate and beautiful penwork initials and marginal ornament, and is in good condition, written on fine vellum, and well spaced.
Illumination No illumination.


  • 13th century


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to all. The manuscripts can be consulted in the Centre for Research Collections, Edinburgh University Main Library.


1 bound MS volume

Custodial History

This may be either a French or an English Bible. The only mark of ownership is the name Thomas Vestoun Scotus (16th century) on f. 472v.
It was presented to the Library by Alexander Waugh in 1672, as attested by the inscription on f. 1r: Alexander Waugh Me Bibliotheca Edinburgena dono dedit A.D. 1672 ('Alexander Waugh gave me as gift to the Library of Edinburgh in 1672').

Previous reference


Physical Facet

Material: Vellum.

Binding: Modern.

Collation: a16-e16, f13, g16, h14, i16-l16, m15 (wants 7), n16, o12, p15, q5, r16-t16, v18, x16-z16, A14, B18, C16, D8, E14, F18, G16, H12, I16 = 472.


21.91 cm x 14.61 cm


Secundo folio: [perso]naret ignorabat
Foliation and number of lines to a page: ff. 472, double columns, 48 lines to a page.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
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