British Medieval Art and the Bible

In today’s world of Bible apps and online readings, it’s easy to ignore the significance of the Bible in evocative symbolic art conveying its message to those who could not read. Such are the Lindisfarne Gospels—one of the greatest achievements of British medieval art. The Lindisfarne Gospels are thought to have been written and decorated at the end of the seventh century by Eadfrith, a monk who became Bishop of Lindisfarne in 698. Later, Aldred, Provost of Chester-le-Street, wrote an English translation directly between the lines of the Latin text. This is the earliest surviving English translation of the Gospels. Illuminated Bibles became books placed prominently on church altars—at the foot of which significant legal and societal transactions were conducted.

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