Another Spanish Bible Online

The San Juan de la Peña Bible at the National Library of Spain in Madrid is now available online. Unlike some of the other digitized manuscripts there, it is not displayed with a fancy plug-in viewer. The online user simply fetches this bible in three large PDF files. The Great Stemma is in the first of these, a file of 50 MB. The hi-res images can be copied from it, inserted into MS Paint and saved separately, making individual JPEG files of about 1 MB for easier reading.

Readers of my website will recall that the San Juan stemma belongs to the Gamma recension. It is distinguished by the following quote from Jerome about whether the prophet Samuel was a priest or not:
Noscendum est quod Samuel levita, non sacerdos, nec pontifex fuerit. Unde est faciebat ei mater sua efat super humerale videlicet lineum, qui abietus proprie levitarum et minoris est ordinis, unde et in psalmis non numerantur inter sacerdotes, sed inter eos qui invocant nomen domini, "Moises et Aaron in sacerdotibus eius et Samuel inter eos qui invocant nomen Domini."
This stemma has lost its final pages after the sons of David.On its last surviving page, the main filum from Judah to David, runs down the left margin instead of across the top edge as is usual in the other stemmata. This reorientation is similar to what I guess must have happened at a much earlier point in the transmission. All the stemmata as we see them today distort the timeline of the judges period: the timeline has at some point been turned from horizontal to vertical to fit the available space. Conversely, the sons of Rachel in this stemma run left to right, instead of downwards as in other stemmata.

Here is a table showing how the bible's extant pages match the layout of the only other surviving stemma which Yolanta Zaluska categorizes as Gamma, that found in the Beatus of Urgell. Their joint model was almost certainly a 10-page version. The first folio (two pages) of the Urgell copy has vanished. The last folio (equivalent to three pages?) of the San Juan stemma is missing:

Urgell San Juan
1 Adam
2 Noah Ir 1v
3 Abraham Iv 2r
4 Isaac IIr 2v
5 Jacob IIv 3r
6 Rachel IIIr
7 Levi / David IIIv 3v
8 Luke filum IVr
9 Matthew filum IVv
10 Incarnation V

In the San Juan stemma, Rachel's children are shoe-horned into the bottom of the Jacob page. Otherwise, the layout of the two stemmata is very similar, and even the form of clipei (roundels or rectangles) matches closely.

Having access to the manuscript will allow me to check the transcription by Fischer which I had been using. Fischer's transcription lists variants from a wide variety of manuscripts and uses the centuries-old format of the apparatus: notes which proceed word by word through the bible text noting in linear fashion how each word has been altered. It is not user-friendly.

I discover that I have overlooked a phrase in Fischer from Gen 4:3, et Cain de fructibus terre (Cain (offered) the fruits of the soil). A 100-page linear apparatus, where a single bible verse is discussed in fine print, with abbreviations and symbols, extending 15 centimetres down a page, is not easy to read. My tabulations, if less complete, are certainly easier, and follow a better, older and more legible tradition, known since Origen's Hexapla comparative bible. Modern text-comparison software allows one to print such texts in other parallel forms.

Zaluska, Yolanta. “Les feuillets liminaires.” In El Beato de Saint-Sever, ms. lat. 8878 de la Bibliothèque nationale de Paris, edited by Xavier Barral i Altet. Madrid [Spain]: Edílan, 1984. The definitive 20th century study of the Great Stemma, providing a detailed page-by-page account.

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