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Humanitarian sciences in Siberia

2021 year, number


V.A. Romodanovskaya
Institute of Russian literature (Pushkin House) RAS, Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation
Keywords: Gennady’s Bible, Holy Scripture handwritten texts, Middle Ages’ printing, phototypic and diplomatic publications, scientific publication


The first complete Bible in Ancient Russia, known as the Gennadys Bible, was compiled in Novgorod in the late XV century; its model was the Latin Vulgate, which had been repeatedly published by this time. Perhaps, the Gennadys Bible was also prepared for printing, but this did not take place. However, it became the prototype of all Russian printed publications starting with the Ostrog Bible of 1580/1581. The researcher interest in the Russian manuscript Bible is concentrated on the list of 1499, but the work is complicated by the lack of a phototypical or diplomatic edition. Scientific and diplomatic publications of the Gennadys Bible were a task of the Commission for the Slavic Bible Scientific Publication (1915); the organizer and executor of these projects was I.E. Evseev. Their implementation, as well as the Biblical studies development in Russia, was hindered by the revolutionary events of 1917 and ensuing anti-church state policy which lasted for 70 years. Studying the Russian Bible was possible only abroad that time; the German Slavist G. Freidhof published a phototype of the Psalter from the Gennadys Bible in 1974, and Apostolic Epistle - in 1979, but the project was limited to two issues. Works to publish the Gennadys Bible resumed in Russia in the 1990s. The Russian Bible Society started preparing a diplomatic edtion, which was discontinued due to lack of funds. At the same years, a phototypic reproduction of the list of 1499 was undertaken under the surveillance by Archimandrite Innokenty (Prosvirnin), four volumes were published: Fourth Gospel (vol. 7), Apostle, Epistles and Apocalypse (vol. 8), Psalter (vol. 4) and a phototype of the accompanying articles (vol. 9). In the late 2010s, the Moscow Sretensky Monastery and the State Historical Museum resumed the phototypic edition of the Gennadys Bible; the pages of the XV-century manuscript are accompanied by a parallel Synodal translation. This edition does not interfere with scientific publications, diplomatic and critical ones, which corresponds to the failed project of the Commission for the Slavic Bible Publication.