Codex Toletanus

Codex Toletanus (The Seville Bible) has had its creation dated to the 8th century [2, p535], the first half of the 10th century [3], and the second half of the 10th century [1]. It is currently being held in the National Library of Spain [1], [3].

“The CODEX TOLETANUS contains all the books of both Testaments, except Baruch. It is written in Gothic capital characters, hence it is sometimes called the Gothic Codex. It was used in the Sixtine and Clementine correction of the Vulgate. Its date is placed in the eighth century. It is the present property of the metropolitan Church of Toledo.” [2, p535]

It’s currently being held in the National Library of Spain in Madrid. That library was not founded until 1712 [4]. When was the codex received by the library? I do not yet know. At some point prior to being in the National Library of Spain, it was a treasure of the Chapter Library at Toledo [5, p281]. Does it derive its name from this library? The Chapter Library at Toledo (Biblioteca Capitular de Toledo) has origins in the 11th century [6]. Was the codex made there?


11th c.? – “According to a notice in the MS. itself, its “auctor possessorque” (auctor = legal owner?), Servandus of Seville, gave it to his friend John, Bishop of Cordova, who in turn offered it in the year 988 to the see of Seville” [9, p96].

1569 – Christopher Palomares collates the MS for the Sixtine Vulgate [7].

1740 – The text is published [1]. I think this is the book it’s published in.

“Cardinal Carafa was placed at the head of the new Vulgate commission. The members of the commission had at their disposal much collected material of variant readings, but especially the Codices Amiatinus, Vallicellianus, Legionensis, and Toletanus,31 and a 1547 Louvain Bible with the marginal readings of Cardinal Sirleto. After two years of intensive efforts the results of the commission were handed to the Pope.” [8]

Did Palomares see the MS itself? Either he traveled to Spain or it was sent to Rome. The Amiatinus was brought to Rome for the Sixtine revision. Possibly Toletanus also was?

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It appears to me to have surfaced out of obscurity in the 16th century when it was collated by Christopher Palomares for the Sixtine Vulgate.

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[1] – Accessed 17 July 2020.

[2] – Andrew Edward Breen’s “A General and Critical Introduction to the Study of Holy Scripture” (1897). Accessed 17 July 2020.

[3] – Accessed 21 July 2020.

[4] – Accessed 21 July 2020.

[5] – Accessed 21 July 2020.

[6] – Accessed 21 July 2020.

[7] – Accessed 21 July 2020.

[8] – Accessed 21 July 2020.

[9] – Accessed 22 July 2020.

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