The Bible: The Old Testament Of The Bible

1962 Words 8 Pages
The old testament of the bible is notoriously marked by the number of deaths it contains. Outside of those who are struck down by God, or who die as a result of various conflicts, there’s a unique description of life and death in Genesis. The long, and rather dry, lineages that are present in Genesis are put in between longer biblical stories and serve as a tool for relating stories together, as well as providing a timeline for the events in Genesis. These lineages are rarely addressed in illuminated manuscripts of the old testament, except in the Old English Hexateuch, also known as Claudius B.iv. While this text is mostly famous for its unfinished miniatures in both the Winchester School style and the Rheims style, Claudius B.iv is also notable …show more content…
According to historiographer Gabrielle Spiegel, chroniclers in the early middle ages sought to depict history, or events that were happening contemporary to his writing, as transparently as possible. These chroniclers were committed to depicting history as accurately as possible, whether that be through text or images. The 6th century Christian philosopher Cassiodorus documented how important chroniclers were in the development of the Christian religion and how important documentation is for the future of the Christian religion. Cassiodorus continues saying that chronicling history is an important first step for some of the most important saints and authors in Christian history. He points to St. Jerome as one of the most important chroniclers turned Christian scholars in the history of Christian authors. It’s possible that the ideas of early philosophers like Cassiodorus were present in the minds of the scribes and artists of Claudius B.iv. This could explain their inclusion of the lineages in Genesis, which could be objectively looked at as a sort of …show more content…
The book of Matthew, the first book of the New Testament, begins with a genealogy showing Christ’s lineage through the old testament, ending at Christ. It’s clear that there was importance put on the lineages of biblical figures as the first book of the new testament begins with the specific lineage that gives us Christ, just as the lineages in the old testament show readers how we came to have the great patriarchs like Joseph, Noah, or Abraham. Though there’s no evidence that Claudius B.iv was a part of a series of manuscripts, it was made at and for the use of monks at The Benedictine abbey of St Augustine in Canterbury, England. Another liturgical reason for the inclusion of these portraits of life and death could be to compare the lives and the deaths of the Genesis patriarchs to those of saints. The monotonous repetition of the structure of the lineage portraits could be directed related to the idea of depictions of saints who are often remembered not only for what they achieved in life, but also for their martyrdoms and their new birth into the kingdom of

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