The Latin New Testament

This is a page of announcements relating to my book on The Latin New Testament (OUP, 2016) providing updates and other news related to the book and its contents. Please note that when new information is added to a post on a particular topic, their overall position does not change in the chronological order, so it may be worth scrolling through if you are looking for something in particular. You can also use the following links to go straight to the most frequently updated pages:

Vetus Latina Register available on Google Books

posted 13 Oct 2017, 08:10 by Hugh Houghton-Birmingham

The first part of the Vetus Latina Register of Old Latin Manuscripts (Gryson 1999), containing details of VL 1–VL 275, is available in its entirety on Google Books:

The Latin New Testament available online in Open Access

posted 5 Apr 2017, 09:56 by Hugh Houghton-Birmingham

Thanks to funding from the European Research Council, the full text of The Latin New Testament is now available in Open Access. It can be downloaded as a PDF from the OUP catalogue entry or accessed through Oxford Scholarship Online.

Tarrant: "Texts, Editors, and Readers"

posted 3 Apr 2017, 01:48 by Hugh Houghton-Birmingham

In recent weeks, I have greatly enjoyed reading Richard Tarrant, Texts, Editors, and Readers: Methods and Problems in Latin Textual Criticism (Cambridge: CUP, 2016). Although this is devoted to the editing of Classical Latin texts, there is much which might interest those studying the Latin New Testament. In particular, Tarrant has an illustrated discussion of different types of critical apparatus and an Appendix on "Reading a critical apparatus" with a helpful glossary and a list of Latin names for manuscript locations.

Book of the Month in the Expository Times

posted 3 Feb 2017, 08:40 by Hugh Houghton-Birmingham   [ updated 6 Feb 2017, 01:06 ]

The Latin New Testament has been awarded the title of Book of the Month in the February 2017 issue of The Expository Times.

Prof. Paul Foster concludes his extensive appraisal of the book with the following paragraph:
It is difficult to exaggerate the importance and significance of this book for the study of the transmission of the Latin New Testament text—there is simply nothing to rival it. The book is a model in clear communication, and the important features of large amounts of information are explained with a light touch that reflects the deep understanding that Houghton possesses of his subject matter. This book is a masterpiece, and it will be admired as such for many decades to come.

Galway Catalogue of Earlier Latin Manuscripts

posted 10 Nov 2016, 01:08 by Hugh Houghton-Birmingham

My colleague Dora Panella has brought my attention to the Catalogue of Earlier Latin Manuscripts produced by Dr Mark Stansbury at the National University of Ireland, Galway, and hosted at

This is a database of Elias Avery Lowe's Codices Latini Antiquiores (CLA), supplemented with links to online digitisations and other databases. What's more, it's searchable and released under Creative Commons so can be linked and downloaded through an API.

As many biblical manuscripts are included in CLA, this is a welcome new resource which may be used alongside the catalogues in the Latin New Testament, particularly for those interested in palaeography and scripts.

Publication of 'Traditio et Translatio', the Festschrift for Roger Gryson

posted 25 Apr 2016, 08:39 by Hugh Houghton-Birmingham

Today I received my copy of the Festschrift for Msgr. Prof. Dr. Mag. Roger Gryson, the third academic director of the Vetus Latina-Institut in Beuron, whose tenure ran from 1998 to 2013. It is edited by his successor, Prof. Dr. Thomas Johann Bauer, in the Aus der Geschichte der lateinischen Bibel series:

Bauer, Thomas Johann, ed. (2016). Traditio et Translatio. Studien zur lateinischen Bibel zu Ehren von Roger Gryson. AGLB 40. Freiburg, Herder. 

The eight contributions are divided equally between the Old and New Testaments, as follows:
  • Rebekka Schirner, 'Text-critical observations on Psalm 118 in the Psalm Commentaries of Hilary, Ambrose and Augustine', 1–30 (in German)
  • Jean-Marie Auwers, 'Jerome, translator and interpreter of the Song of Songs', 31–48 (in French)
  • Bonifatia Gesche OSB, 'What did the Latin translations of the book of Sirach understand as atonement?', 49–74 (in German)
  • Pierre-Maurice Bogaert OSB, 'The African capitula for Jeremiah', 75–98 (in French)
  • Jean-Claude Haelewyck, 'A new teaching given with authority: Text-critical remarks on the passage on the healing of the demoniac in Mark 1:23–27', 99–116 (in French)
  • H.A.G. Houghton, 'The Gospel according to Luke in Vetus Latina 11A (Würzburg, Universitätsbibliothek 67)', 117–134 (in English)
  • Thomas Johann Bauer, 'The Rosenthal fragment (λ, 44) as a witness to the Vetus Latina Gospel according to Luke: Edition, Reconstruction and Context', 135–198 (in German)
  • Wilhelm Blümer, 'Who knows the times? On the Latin translation and transmission of Acts 1:7', 199–212 (in German).

Updates to

posted 10 Mar 2016, 03:50 by Hugh Houghton-Birmingham

In conjunction with the publication of The Latin New Testament, the website has been updated with material related to the book. This includes:


posted 10 Mar 2016, 03:40 by Hugh Houghton-Birmingham   [ updated 4 Jan 2018, 04:09 ]

The following reviews of The Latin New Testament have appeared or are in progress:

Jonathan Yates in Augustinian Studies (forthcoming)
Joseph Grabau in Augustiniana (forthcoming)

Dirk Jongkind in AMARC Newsletter 69  [October 2017]
Matteo Crimella in Teologia: Rivista della facoltà teologia dell'italia settentrionale 42.3 (2017) 540–2  [September 2017]
Ruth B. Edwards in Journal for the Study of the New Testament 39.5 (2017) 118  [July 2017]
John C. Poirier in Review of Biblical Literature 2017.02.09  [February 2017]
Paul Foster in The Expository Times 128.5 (2017) 231–3.
Pierre-Maurice Bogaert in Journal of Ecclesiastical History 68.1 (2017) 133–4   [January 2017]
Colin McDonald on the website of Classics for All (November 2016)
John Kight on his blog, (October 2016)
J.K. Elliott in  Journal of Theological Studies 67.2 (2016) 768–72    [October 2016]
Andrew Dunning in Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2016.10.07   [October 2016]
James Snapp, Jr. on his blog, The Text of the Gospels (June 2016)
Stephen D. Campbell on the website of the Center for Research of Biblical Manuscripts and Inscriptions (May 2016)

The book has also been noted in the Catholic Herald (24 March 2016) and the Church Times (21 October 2016).

Please send me a message if I have missed any reviews or notices.

Some highlights of the reviews are as follows:

It is difficult to exaggerate the importance and significance of this book for the study of the transmission of the Latin New Testament text—there is simply nothing to rival it. The book is a model in clear communication, and the important features of large amounts of information are explained with a light touch that reflects the deep understanding that Houghton possesses of his subject matter. This book is a masterpiece, and it will be admired as such for many decades to come. (Paul Foster)

This is the most useful kind of scholarship: readable, informative, and engaging. It summarizes a vast swathe of literature and makes it accessible to others, overturning widely held misconceptions, and showing how we can get far more information out of the Latin New Testament and its manuscripts. This book is required reading for anyone studying the New Testament, patristic and medieval literature, or biblical manuscripts. It is deserving of a home in any humanities library.
(Andrew Dunning)

Houghton has produced a magisterial piece of scholarship and has done so in a way that is sure to benefit scholars and students alike. ... As an introduction, the book is clear and concise; as a reference work, it is easy to navigate and decipher.  (Stephen D. Campbell).

A definitive introduction to the transmission of the New Testament in Latin ... full of fascinating details which may cause even experienced researchers to wonder if they have given the Old Latin evidence the attention it deserves. (James Snapp)

enviably and impressively comprehensive ... a wealth of detailed information (J.K. Elliott)

systematically organized and beautifully presented ... an invaluable aid to anyone wishing to study the text and tradition of the Latin NT (Ruth B. Edwards)

[Houghton] continues, a century later, the great tradition of English scholars (J. Wordsworth, H.J. White, F.C. Burkitt, C.H. Turner, A. Souter) on the text of the New Testament. His book is not unworthy of his predecessors. (P.-M. Bogaert)

The amount of information packed into this book is impressive. ... This book not only updates earlier guides to the Latin New Testament, but it also appears to be the only monograph in the past century to treat the entire history of that tradition—and the only one ever to appear in English. (John C. Poirier)

Book launch and some statistics

posted 2 Mar 2016, 05:56 by Hugh Houghton-Birmingham

Latin New Testament cake

The Latin New Testament was officially published on 25th February 2016. The launch party included a wonderful cake made by The Cake Artists, reproducing the image of Codex Veronensis from the front cover (see right). As it has now been consumed, this manuscript is no longer eligible for inclusion in the Vetus Latina Register.

While preparing a few words to say at the launch, I discovered that there are no fewer than 375 manuscripts listed in the Index of Manuscripts. In addition, the bibliography contains over 1,000 items (1,064 to be precise). That's more than one for every day between the beginning of the first draft in 2012 and the delivery of the typescript in 2015.

Features of the electronic version

posted 11 Feb 2016, 12:30 by Hugh Houghton-Birmingham   [ updated 6 Apr 2016, 08:13 ]

As a member of the Institute for Textual Scholarship and Electronic Editing, I was keen that the electronic version of the book (available on the Oxford Scholarship Online website, Kindle, eBook and so on) should take full advantage of its medium. The electronic book therefore boasts the following additional features:
  • All external hyperlinks are live on devices which are connected to the internet, so you can go directly to the websites where they are mentioned in the text.
    This is particularly useful for the Catalogue of Manuscripts (chapter 10), where links are given to full digitisations made available by host institutions. Several of the images reproduced in the book can also be viewed in colour and high-resolution by clicking on the links in the captions below.
  • The images can be viewed in higher resolution by double-clicking on them.
  • The text is fully searchable, and the size and format of the display can be varied (depending on the device).
  • The Table of Contents and every footnote are encoded as internal hyperlinks, to aid navigation. (To return to the main text after clicking on the hyperlinked footnote reference number, click on the reference number in the list of footnotes.)
  • All bibliographical references are also hyperlinked to the Bibliography: just click on the date of publication to see full details of each work. (To return to the main text, on the Kindle at least, press the ⧀ button at the bottom left of the screen.)
  • Almost every manuscript siglum which appears in the text is also hyperlinked to the Catalogue of Manuscripts (chapter 10). Click on the blue siglum to go to the corresponding entry with full details of that witness. (Again, the ⧀ button takes you back to where you were.)
  • All four indices are completely hyperlinked so that you can go to each page listed under every heading. Users may find this particularly helpful with regard to the Index of Manuscripts (ordered by location), where the bold numbers link to the entry in the Catalogue of Manuscripts or an image in the book. This is even the case in the Kindle version where the original page numbers are not preserved.
I hope that all of this adds to the utility of the book, and I am particularly grateful to OUP and SPI Global for agreeing to implement these features. Of course, neither they nor I take responsibility for the functioning of particular devices or external sites. Nevertheless, in addition to the present page, I also maintain a site of resources to complement the book at

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