Much of the Old Latin evidence for the New Testament has been newly edited over the last century. The Itala volumes of gospel manuscripts initiated by Adolf Jülicher in 1938 were completed by Walter Matzkow and Kurt Aland, including a second edition for each of the Synoptic Gospels.1 The Vetus Latina edition which began in 1945, combining the text of all surviving manuscripts with an exhaustive collection of biblical quotations from writers of the first eight Christian centuries, has so far covered the Catholic Epistles (Thiele, 1956–1969), the Pauline Epistles from Ephesians to Hebrews (Frede, 1962–1991), the Apocalypse (Gryson, 2000–2003), John (Burton et al., 2011–) and Mark (Haelewyck, 2013–2018), with work on Acts in progress.2 The only New Testament writings not to have benefited from a new edition are the four principal Pauline Epistles: Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians and Galatians. Projects to edit Romans and 1 Corinthians in the Vetus Latina series were abandoned after the publication of introductory fascicles in the 1990s.3 This means that, notwithstanding the material gathered in the Vetus Latina Database, the standard edition has remained Pierre Sabatier’s pioneering work of Old Latin biblical scholarship from 1743, based on a single manuscript in the Pauline Epistles and pre-modern editions of patristic writers.4
In 2011, a European Research Council Starting Grant enabled Hugh Houghton to assemble a team at the Institute for Textual Scholarship and Electronic Editing (ITSEE) in the University of Birmingham to investigate the earliest commentaries on Paul as sources for the biblical text (the COMPAUL project). In order to assist with analysis of the numerous early Latin expositions, full electronic transcriptions were produced of the four principal Pauline Epistles in three types of material:
Manuscripts identified as having an Old Latin affiliation;
Existing scholarly reconstructions of the Pauline text of individual early Latin commentators;
Early collections of biblical testimonia.
These were then automatically collated to provide a representative sample of early Latin readings which might be reflected in commentaries and their textual tradition. Although the publication of this data was not part of the original plan for the COMPAUL project, it soon became evident that—until the appearance of the corresponding volumes of the Vetus Latina edition—making this material more widely available would be of service to scholars in a variety of fields.
The majority of the transcriptions were made by Kreinecker and MacLachlan, with Houghton also contributing and taking responsibility for proofreading. After conversion to XML by Smith, these files were published in full online at
Our chief acknowledgment is to the European Research Council, for its generous funding of the COMPAUL project which produced the data for this volume.7 This support has also allowed the publication of this book in Open Access. We would like to thank holding institutions and others who have provided manuscript images, including the Vetus Latina-Institut (Beuron) and Dr Jeffrey J. Kloha; we are particularly grateful for the recent digitisation programmes in many libraries which have significantly improved the resources available. The Scriptorium (Orlando, Florida) permitted us to make new images of VL 58, while the Württembergische Landesbibliothek kindly allowed us to adopt their illustration of Paul as our project logo. We are also grateful to colleagues in ITSEE, especially Alba Fedeli (who made it possible to include VL 135 in the collation) and David Parker, as well as ITSEE’s collaborators on the Workspace for Collaborative Editing and Interedition projects. Finally, our thanks go to Eldon J. Epp and Bart D. Ehrman for accepting this volume in the New Testament Tools, Studies and Documents series and to Loes Schouten, Tessa Schild and Marjolein Zuylen at Brill for their patience during the extended preparation of this book and their assistance with the final product.
Birmingham, July 2018
Adolf Jülicher (ed.), Itala. Das Neue Testament in altlateinischer Überlieferung. I. Matthäus-Evangelium, II. Marcus-Evangelium, III. Lucas-Evangelium, IV. Johannes-Evangelium. Berlin: de Gruyter, 19722, 19702, 19762, 1963.
Vetus Latina. Die Reste der altlateinischen Bibel nach Petrus Sabatier neu gesammelt und herausgegeben von der Erzabtei Beuron (Freiburg: Herder). For details of the individual volumes, see H.A.G. Houghton, The Latin New Testament. A Guide to its Early History, Texts, and Manuscripts (Oxford: OUP, 2016), 115–125.
Hugo Eymann (ed.), Vetus Latina. Band 21. Epistula ad Romanos. Einleitung. Freiburg: Herder, 1996; Uwe Fröhlich (ed.), Vetus Latina. Band 22. Epistula ad Corinthios I. Einleitung. Freiburg: Herder, 1995–1998.
For more on Sabatier’s edition, see Houghton, The Latin New Testament, 113–115.
Peter Robinson, Collate: Interactive Collation of Large Textual Traditions, Version 2. (Computer Program distributed by the Oxford University Centre for Humanities Computing: Oxford, 1994).
A description of these developments as applied to the Editio Critica Maior of the Greek New Testament is given by H.A.G. Houghton and C.J. Smith, “Digital Editing and the Greek New Testament,” in Ancient Worlds in Digital Culture (Digital Biblical Studies 1), ed. Claire Clivaz, Paul Dilley and David Hamidović (Leiden: Brill, 2016), 110–127.
For the other achievements of the COMPAUL project, see the preface to H.A.G. Houghton, ed., Commentaries, Catenae and Biblical Tradition. Texts & Studies 3.13. Piscataway: Gorgias, 2016 and the website