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"The Gospel, which is a manuscript copy of the Gospel of St John, is the earliest intact European book and is intimately associated with Cuthbert, one of Britain's foremost saints. It was created in the late 7th century in the north-east of England and placed in St Cuthbert's coffin, apparently in 698. It was discovered when the coffin was opened in Durham Cathedral in 1104 on the occasion of the removal of Cuthbert's body to a new shrine. The Gospel has a beautifully-worked, original, red leather binding in excellent condition, and is the only surviving high-status manuscript from this crucial period in British history to retain its original appearance, both inside and out." Source: British Library.
Next video: CT scan of the gospel:
According to Caroline Petit (Medicine, Ancient and Modern), "[f]or me, the real star of the Lindisfarne Gospel exhibition [where the gospel was displayed in 2013] was another manuscript: the St Cuthbert Gospel .., a tiny, modest book with a simple leather binding containing Saint John’s gospel. From a historical and codicological point of view, it is a most remarkable artefact. Allegedly found in Cuthbert’s coffin in 1104 among other precious relics, the book is thought to have been made at Wearmouth-Jarrow [a monastery located in the medieval Kingdom of Northumbria?] shortly before 700, and to ‘have been the very copy that SS. Cuthbert and Boisil had read together at Melrose when the latter was on his deathbed..."
St. Cuthbert was a hermit and missionary known for his asceticism and generosity to the poor. A politically important figure later in life, he was thought to be a wonder worker and became the center of a cult. "After Cuthbert's death, numerous miracles were attributed to his intercession and to intercessory prayer near his remains," according to Wikipedia, a classic example of the early church's superstitious belief in holy relics and the way Christians transformed their saints into demigods with miraculous powers.
This fantastic old book was taken from Cuthbert's coffin, turned into a relic and apparently ended up in the hands of collectors after Henry VIII shut down the Catholic monasteries in the mid-1500s. It was then given to a college operated by the Jesuits, who loaned it to the British Library and eventually sold it to them in 2012 for a tidy profit of around nine million pounds (almost 13 million dollars). Business is business, after all. The book is in good hands now, at least until the Muslims take over Britain. If that happens, the Jihadis won't think twice about burning this incredible artifact.