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BIBLE


546


BIBLES


and the foundation of the Trinitarian Bible Society. Another schismatic society, originating from a doc- trinal difference, is the Bible Translation Society, a body composed of Baptists who were dissatisfied because the original society's Bibles did not translate the texts which relate to baptism by words that would signify immersion. Again, from the American Bible Society, there has been a schism of Baptists, originating, as in England, over the translation of ^a-n-Tl^ecv. Tliis dissident body, founded in 1837, is called The .\merican and Foreign Bible Society. This organization in turn experienced a secession, the recalcitrants forming the American Bible Union, in 1850.

Alter a Hundred Years (London, 1904), report of the British and Foreign Bible Society for the centenary year; Canton, The Story of the Bible Society (London, 1904); The Centenary History of the Bible Society (1907); The American Bible Society, Eighty-ninth Annual Report (1905); Vaugh^n, Concerning Jhe Holy Bible, its Use and Abuse (London, 1904), ItiO, reports from Protestant missionaries in foreign lands, concerning abuses in Bible-distribution; Encyclopedia of Missions (New York, 1904), s. v. American Bible Society, British and Foreign Bible Society; Darlow and Moule, Hist, Catalogue of the Printed Editions of Holy Scripture (London, 1903-04).

J.WVIES M. GiLLlS.

Bible Versions. See Versioxs of the Bible.

Bibles, Picture. — In the Middle Ages the Church made use of pictures as a means of instruction, to supplement the knowledge acquired by reading or oral teaching. For books only existed in manuscript form and, teing costly, were beyond the means of most people. Besides, had it been possible for the multitude to come into the possession of books, they could not have read them, since in those rude times, education was the privilege of few. In fact, hardly anyone could read, outside the ranks of the clergy and the monks. So frescoes of scenes from the (Jld and \ew Testaments, stained-glass «-indows, and the like were set up in the churches, because, as the Sjmod of .-Vrras (1025) said: "The illiterate contem- plated in the lineaments of painting what they, having never learnt to read, could not discern in wTiting". Especially did the Church make use of pictures to spread abroad a knowledge of the events recorded in the Bible and of the mutual conne ion between the leading facts of the Old and New Testa- ments, whether as type and antitj-pe, or as prophecy and fulfilment. For this purpose the picture Bibles of the Middle .Ages were copied and put in circulation. The most Important of the picture Bibles of the Middle -Ages which have survived is that variously styled the "Bible Moralisee, the "Bible Histori^e", the "Bible .411egoris6e " and sometimes "Emblemes Bibliques". It is a work of the thirteenth century, and from the copies that still survive there is no doubt that it existed in at least two editions, like to one another in the choice and order of the Biblical texts used, but differing in the allegorical and moral deductions drawn from these passages. The few remarks to be made here about the " Bible Moralisee" will be made in connexion with copies of the first and second redactions which have come down to us.

The copy of the first edition, to which reference has l)een made, is one of the most sumptuous il- lustrated MSS. preserved to us from the Middle Ages. Unfortunately, it no longer exists in the form of a single volume, nor is it kept in one place. It has been split up into three separate parts kept in three distinct libraries. The first part, consisting of 22-1 leaves, is in the Bodleian Library at Oxford. The second part of 222 leaves is in the National Library in Paris; and the third part, made up of 17.S leaves, is kept in the librarj' of the British Museum. Six leaves of the third part are missing, so that it ought to contain 184 leaves. When complete and bound together, therefore, the whole volume consisted of 630 leaves, written and illustrated on one side only. This Bible, as indeed all the picture Bibles of the


Middle Ages, did not contain the full text of the Bible. Short passages only were cited, and these not so as to give any continuous sense or line of thought. But the object of the writer seems to have been chiefly to make the texts cited the basis of moral and allegorical teaching, in the manner so common in those days. In the Psalter he was content with copying out the first verse of each psalm; whilst when dealing with the Gospels he did not cjuote from each evangelist separately, but made use of a kind of confused diatessaron of all four combined. An at- tempt was made to establish a connexion between the events recorded in the Old Testament and those recorded in the New, even when there does not seem to be any very obvious connexion between them. Thus the sleep of Adam, recorded in the beginning of Genesis, is said to prefigure the death of Chjist; and Abraham sending his servant witli rich presents to seek a wife for his son is a tj'pe of the Eternal Father giving the Gospels to the Apostles to prepare the union of His Son with the Church.

The entire work contains about 5,000 illustrations. The pictures are arranged in two parallel columns on each page, each column having four medallions with pictures. Parallel to the pictures and alternating with them are two other narrower columns, with four legends each, one legend to each picture; the legends consisting alternatively of Biblical texts and moral or allegorical applications; whilst the pictures repre- sent the subjects of the Biblical texts or of the ap- plications of them. In the MS. copy of the "Bible Moralist", now vmder consideration, the illustrations are executed with the greatest skill. The painting is said to be one of the best specimens of thirteentli- century work, and the MS. was in all probability prepared for someone in the highest rank of life. A specimen of the second edition of the "Bible Morali.s6e" is to be fomid in the National Library in Paris (MS. Fran^ais No. 167). Whilst it is identical with the copy which has just been examined in the selection and order of the Biblical passages, it differs from it in the greater simplicity and brevity of the moral and allegorical teaching based on them. An- other important Bible, intended to instruct by means of pictures, was that which has been called the "Bible Histori^e toute figurfe". It was a work of the end of the thirteenth or the beginning of the fourteenth century. In general outline and plan it resembles tlie class of Bible which has gone before, but it differs from it in the selection of Bible pas- sages and in the allegorical explanations derived from them. Coming to the life of Our Lord, the author of the "Bible Histori^e toute figurfe" dispensed with a wTitten text altogether, and contented himself with writing over the pictures depicting scenes of Our Saviour's hfe, a brief explanatory legend. Many specimens of tliis Bible have come down to us, but we select part of one preserved in the National Library in Paris (MS. Francjais No. 9561) for a brief description. In tliis JIS. 129 pages are taken up with the Old Testament. Of these the earlier ones are di\-ided horizontally in the centre, and it is the upper part of the page that contains the picture illustrative of some Old Testament event. The lower part rep- resents a corresponding scene from the New Testa- ment. Further on in the volume, three pictures ap- pear in the upper part of the page, and three below. Seventy-six pages at the end of the volume are devoted to depicting the lives of Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin.

It must not be supposed that these were the only Bibles of this class that existed in the Middle Ages. On the contrary, from the great number of copies that have sur\-ived to our own day we may guess how wide their circulation must have been. We have a MS. existing in the British Museum (addit. 1577) entitled "Figures de la Bible" consisting of