fol. 2v-3r, Gospel of Matthew
The notes and commentary in the Ryrie Study Bible are part of a long and venerable tradition in Bible production. Notes—or glosses, as they are commonly called in this context—aid the reader in understanding the text and its context. Glosses include summaries of patristic thought, historical information, and biblical parallels. The most common glosses found in medieval Bibles are the Glossa ordinaria and the commentaries of Anselm of Laon. The Ordinary Gloss has been attributed to the ninth-century monk Walafrid Strabo, but recent scholarship indicates that it also dates from the late eleventh or early twelfth century. Anselm of Laon may have instigated the compilation of the glosses, but others, including his brother Ralph († 1133), Gilbert the Universal (fl. 1128–34), and many unnamed medieval scholars were probably responsible for both the Ordinary Gloss and the interlinear commentaries, which always appear together. Typically, the Ordinary Gloss is written around the text and the commentaries appear as interlinear text.
This manuscript is one of the earliest known examples of the interlinear gloss. The commentary had been written only a few years before (probably by Ralph of Laon). And, as we now know, the Ordinary Gloss was also coming into being at this time. In this manuscript from the Ryrie Collection we have the most important biblical commentaries of the Middle Ages in their infancy as the idea of a "study Bible" takes root.
The beautiful Romanesque script is written on ruled lines in dark brown ink. Plenty of space is left in the margins and between the lines for placement of the notes (separately ruled). The commentary is written in a slightly smaller hand and a somewhat lighter brown ink. Included in this large fragment are the texts of Matthew 7:17–9:12; 15:10–20:4; and 26:1–28:53, passages full of the words of Jesus including part of the Sermon on the Mount, the miracle of the loaves and fishes, and passages in which He reveals Himself as the Son of God. For the story of the healing of the centurion’s servant, when the centurion says "Lord, I am not worthy for you to enter my house, say but the word and he shall be healed" (Matt. 8:8), the gloss urges believers to understand the universality of this sentiment and the beauty of the centurion’s humility. The notes also remind the reader of the phrase’s place in the liturgy, where it is said by the congregation just before receiving the Eucharist.
Literature: De Hamel 1984, 5–6; 74–75; Froehlich and Gibson 1992; Smalley 1964, 60–62.