A catalogue of Western manuscripts at the Bodleian Libraries and selected Oxford colleges

MSS. Bodl. 969-70

Summary Catalogue no.: 27975

Summary Catalogue no.: 27976

Bible (Die Oxforder Bibelhandschrift) in two volumes; Germany (Nuremberg), 1441-1442

Physical Description


Cursive by one hand, Heinrich Kunn of 'Slewecz' at Nuremberg (vol. I, fol. 377v, and vol. II, fol. 322v).


Fleuronnée initials. (P&A i. 156)

Coloured initials.



Dark red leather, with five heavy ornamental bosses of brass on each side and double leather clasps with brass attachments, German work of about A.D. 1700. Two outer cases of leather on millboard (measuring 18 3/8 × 14 in., with gold ornament, 18th cent. English work) bear the arms: quarterly, 1st and 4th az. three mullets, 2nd and 3rd gules a lion rampant crowned holding in his fore-paws a banner with the cross of St. George, over all an escutcheon crowned bearing or three martlets. The whole is surmounted by a marquis's coronet, the supporters are eagles, and below is the collar of some order from which is pendent an elephant carrying a castle and driver.


Origin: 1441 - 1442 ; German, Nuremberg

Provenance and Acquisition

Colophons, Vol. I, fol. 377v, and vol. II, fol. 322v (see below).

Stoltzer family of Steudentiz, 16th and 17th centuries. A long note on vol. I, fol. 3v 'Georgius Stolcerus' of Steudenitz in A.D. 1623 relates that the two volumes had been for more than eighty years in the Stolzer family

‘Musis Pauli Gryphii sacer anno MDcliix’ (vol. I, fol. 6) and ‘Musis Pauli Gryphii consecr: in Herrendorff anno MDCliix’ (vol. II, fol. 6)

Dr. Godofredus Bose of Leipzig, according to a note by Franciscus Julius Lütkaus in vol. I, fol. 4.

His brother, Gaspar Bose, according to a note by Franciscus Julius Lütkaus in vol. I, fol. 4.

Given by Bose to Franciscus Julius Lütkaus in 1699, according to a note by Lütkaus in vol. I, fol. 4.

Purchased in 1797 for £21 10s.

MS. Bodl. 969


(fols. 1r-5v)

Later endleaves; blank, except for two provenance notes:

(fol. 3v)

A sheet of paper pasted onto the leaf; it may well have been associated with the former binding; in 17th century hand, in black ink.

(fol. 4r)

Written in a late 17th century hand onto the manuscript itself.

Language(s): Latin
(fols. 6r–14r)
⟨Alexander de Villa Dei (?)⟩, Summarium Bibliae, Genesis to Wisdom (German tr. with commentary)
Rubric: Hye hebt sich an di biblien der arme(n) das erste puch heyst gensis vnd hebreysch genant Birsich
Incipit: Sechs · Got der macht seine werk in sechs tagen · I · er verpote von dem holz des wyssens gutz vnd ubels sult ir nicht essen · II
Explicit: XIX der czorne den vnge(re)chte(n) wirt kumen der czorn vncz an daz ent on parmherczikeit her(re) du hast gegrost dein uolk vnd hast es geert und du hast es nit vorsmehte In aller erden hastu in peygestanden
Final rubric: Hie hat ein end di biblien der arme(n) uber dise puecher got sey lobe vnd danck

Fol. 14v blank.

Language(s): German
(fols. 15r–377r)
Bible, Genesis to Wisdom
Rubric: Prologus vber Genesis
Incipit: Warumb ist geheyssen Paul(us) d(er) xij pot ein vas der aus der welung dar u(m)b wann ez ist gewest ein vas der E vn(d) ein lyberey od(er) puch kam(er) der heilige(n) schrift Dy pharisey haben sich gewundert in petro vnd in Johanne wy di wyssen dy ee

According to the Vulgate text: with Jerome’s prologues and Epistula 53, ‘ad Paulinum presbyterum’.

The texts in the order: Epistula 53 – Prologue to Pentateuch – Genesis – Exodus – Leviticus – Numbers – Deutoronomy – Prologue to Joshua (x2) – Joshua – Judges – Ruth – Prologue to Kings – Kings I (Samuel I)– Kings II (Samuel II) – Kings III (Kings I) – Kings IV (Kings II) – Prologue to Chronicles (x2) – Chronicles I – Chronicles II – Prologue to Esdras I – Esdras I – Nehemiah – Esdras II – Prologue to Tobit – Tobit – Prologue to Judith – Judith – Prologue to Esther – Esther – Prologue to Job (x3) – Job – Prologue to Proverbs – Prologue to Psalms (x3) – Psalms – Prologue to Proverbs (x3) – Proverbs – Prologue to Ecclesiastes – Ecclesiastes – Song of Songs – Prologue to Wisdom – Wisdom.

The scribe has made certain additions throughout the work that allow us to follow his progress, along with the final colophon. We find the following scribal entries of note, each added in red:

Colophon: (fol. 150v): Hie hebte sich an das erste puch der kunigk das erste capitel Vnd es hat ein end der prologus oder di uor rede vber di vier bucher der kunigk di do hat gemachte Sant Jeronimus der heilig ma(n) ann dominy M CCCC XLI · Am aller selen tag · Amen
Colophon: (fol. 232r): Hie hat ein end das erste puch paralippomenon Oder das puch von den worten der tag der kunigk Juda geschriben in dem tausententen · vnd vierhundersten vnd in dem einvndvirczigsten Jare Am sambstag nach sant Nycolay Vnd es hebte sich an das ander puch der wort der tag der kung Juda · oder das ander puch Paralippomeno(n) Das erste capitel · Quit quit emisit scriptor hoc debet · corrigere lector · Deo gratias ·
Colophon: (fol. 251v): Hye hat ein end das ander puch Paralippomenon od(er) das ander puch uon den worten der tag der kunig israhel · In dem tausententen vnd vierhundersten vnd ein vnd virczigsten Jare des herren am sambstag vor sant Thomas tagk dez heiligen czwelff poten · (Transcription by Stephen Mossman, c. 2003.)
Language(s): German
(fol. 377v)
Colophon: Hie hat ein end das erste teil der Biblien Geschriben durch mich heinriczen(n) kun(n) uon slew/ecz der gepurte In dem Jar vnsers herren Ihu xpi do man czalt uo(n) der gepurte dez heylantz der werlt tausen Jare vnd vierhunderte Jar vnd czweyvndvyrczig Jare am freytag uor mitter vasten oder an sant Candicus tage zu nurmbergk In der nacht do es schir begond zu slahen drey in dy nacht · Quis hoc scribebat trisillaba(m) nomen habebat · Quid quit emisit scriptor · Hoc debet corriger lector · Quis istum librum furetur Tribus sonis suspendetur · Ich was nye also fro · vncz pis ich schreib finito libro · Seyt gedechtig mein · durch got vnd sein(er) pein · Di er geliden hat · durch vnser missetat · Explicit hac pertotum Infunde da mich potum (Transcription by Stephen Mossman, c. 2003.)

Fol. 378r-379v ruled, blank.

Language(s): German and Latin
(fols. 380r-385v)

Later endleaves, blank.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: paper; seven different watermarks; five of these either resist identification or are too poorly perceptible to be distinguished clearly. Two can be identified as: 1. similar to Piccard, Blume 1096 (Como, 1433); 2. similar to Piccard, Ochsenkopf VII: 522 (Weinsberg 1437-39).
Extent: v + 374 + v leaves
Dimensions (leaf): 390 × 375 mm.
Foliation: 1-384 (311, 311b are one leaf: the scribe has written far over the margin of the paper and the binder has folded across a flap of paper rather than cut through the text when trimming the manuscript)


2 cols., 47-49 lines, column space 290-95 × 90-95 mm.

Fols. 6-14: c. 70 lines.

MS. Bodl. 970


Language(s): German

(fols. 1r–5v)

Later endleaves, blank

(fols. 6r–18v)
⟨Alexander de Villa Dei (?)⟩, Summarium Bibliae, Ecclesiasticus – Revelation (German tr. with commentary)
Rubric: Hie hebt sich an dy biblien der armen uber das puch Ecclesyasticus d(a)z er erste ca(pite)l
Incipit: DIe wurczel Alle weish(ei)t ist uon gote dem h(erre)n vn(d) ist mit im geweste Der prun der weisheit ist das wort gotes in der hohe
(fols. 19r–322v)
Bible, Ecclesiasticus – Revelation, with Jerome’s prologues
Rubric: Hie hebt sich an der prologus oder uorrede uber das puch das man nennet Ecclesyasticus
Incipit: Uns ist erczeiget dy weisheit viler vnd grosser uorporgenheit vnd ez ist gescheen durch daz gesetze moysy vnd dvrch dy propheten ·
Colophon: Hy hat ein end das puch apokalippsis Das do ist das leczte puch in d(er) biblien der heiligen geschrifte Got d(er) allmechtig uater vnd der h(er)re ihus xpus sey gelobt vnd geert in den werlten d(er) werlt Amen Geschriben durch mich henrice kun nach der gepurt von slewecz aus der stat zu nuernbork in der stat meister vlrich segen smyd gesessen in d(er) zagel aw · angehoben In dem jar vnsers h(erre)n do man zalt uon der gepurt vnsers herren virczehenhundert jar vnd ein vnd virczig jar vnd geendet dornach in dem zwey vnd virczigsten jare · am Montag In mittag nach sant partholomeus tag des heiligen zwelff poten Ich was nye so fro vncz do schreib finito libro

The texts in the order: Prologue to Ecclesiasticus – Ecclesiasticus – Prologue to Isaiah – Isaiah – Prologue to Jeremiah (x2) – Jeremiah – Prologue to Baruch – Baruch – Prologue to Ezekiel – Ezekiel – Prologue to Daniel – Daniel – Prologue to the Twelve Prophets – Prologue to Hosea (x3) – Hosea – Prologue to Joel (x4) – Joel – Prologue to Amos (x3) – Amos – Prologue to Obadiah – Obadiah – Prologue to Jonah (x2) – Jonah – Prologue to Micah – Micah – Prologue to Nahum – Nahum – Prologue to Habakkuk (x2) – Habakkuk – Prologue to Zephaniah (x2) – Zephaniah – Prologue to Haggai – Haggai – Prologue to Zechariah – Zechariah – Prologue to Malachi – Malachi – Prologue to Maccabees I (x3) – Maccabees I – Prologue to Maccabees II – Maccabees II – Prologue to Matthew (x2) – Matthew – Prologue to Mark – Mark – Prologue to Luke (x2) – Luke – Prologue to John – John – Prologue to the Pauline Epistles – Prologue to Romans (x3) – Romans – Prologue to Corinthians I – Corinthians I – Prologue to Corinthians II – Corinthians II – Prologue to Galatians – Galatians – Prologue to Ephesians – Ephesians – Prologue to Philippians – Philippians – Prologue to Colossians – Colossians – Laodicensians (?) – Prologue to Thessalonians I – Thessalonians I – Prologue to Thessalonians II – Thessalonians II – Prologue to Timothy I – Timothy I – Prologue to Timothy II – Timothy II – Prologue to Titus – Titus – Prologue to Philemon – Philemon – Prologue to Hebrews – Hebrews – Prologue to Acts – Acts – Prologue to the epistles of James – Prologue to James – James – Prologue to Peter I – Peter I – Prologue to Peter II – Peter II – Prologue to John I – John I – Prologue to John II – John II – Prologue to John III – John III – Prologue to Jude – Jude – Prologue to Revelation (x2) – Revelation.

(fols. 323r–326r)
List of readings according to the missal
Rubric: Hie hebt sich an das regist(er) uo(n) de(m) lectie(n) vnd uon den episteln vn(d) uon den ewangilien peides uo(n) der zeit vnd auch uon den heiligen als sy nach ein and(er) sten in dem meszpuch vnd mit ein salchen zeichen ¶ hebt sich an ein iczlich epistel vnd ewangilg vnd mit eim solche(n) zeiche(n) § hat ein iczlich epistel vnd ewangilg ein end ·
Explicit: Ew(angeliu)m luc(as) xix Ein edelmensch ging · katherina Eccl. li Ich v(er)gibe dem h(erre)n · Ew(angeliu)m M(atheus) xiii D(a)z reich d(er) himel ist ·

Fols. 326v-328v ruled, blank.

(fols. 329r–334v)

Later endleaves, blank

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: paper; two watermarks; both resist identification, though one (a Dreiberg) is identical to one present in MS. Bodl. 969.
Extent: v + 313 + v leaves
Dimensions (leaf): 390 × 375 mm.
Foliation: 1-333 (skipping from 149 to 160; 233 and 233b are one leaf: the scribe has written far over the margin of the paper and the binder has folded across a flap of paper rather than cut through the text when trimming the manuscript)


2 cols., 47-49 lines, column space 290-95 × 90-95 mm.

Fols. 6-18: c. 70 lines.

Additional Information

Record Sources

Description adapted (May 2019 and December 2020) from the following sources, with additional reference to published literature cited in the description:
A. G. Watson, Catalogue of Dated and Datable Manuscripts c.435-1600 in Oxford Libraries (Oxford, 1984), no. 123 [physical description, origin, provenance]
Otto Pächt and J. J. G. Alexander, Illuminated Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library Oxford, I (1966), no. 156 [decoration]
Summary Catalogue (1905) [contents, provenance, acquisition, binding]
Unpublished description by Stephen Mossman, c. 2003 [contents]


Last Substantive Revision

2020-12-10: Description revised for Polonsky digitization project to include unpublished description of content by Stephen Mossman.