Tag Archives: johns gospel

Historical Fallacies Debunked: The Celt’s Used The Roman Biblical Translation For The Book Of Kells

In the blog post linked below, the author attempts to illustrate the lettering of the first verse of John’s gospel in the Book of Kells.

The Book of Kells: Image and Text / The In principio Initial

According to the author, the wording is “In Principio Erat Verbum et Verbum …“, which indicates that the celts would leave the initial sentence incomplete, and misspell the second “verbum”, messing up the first page of John’s gospel.  Such incompetence would be unheard of; although there are minor errors in the scroll work, there are no known grammatical errors in the Book of Kells.

In “Celtic Art and The Methods Of Construction“, George Bain points out that the sentence actually reads “In Principio Erat Verbum Verum” – In The Begining Was The True Word, which is much more typical of the diligence of the Celtic scribes.

This also directs us to the conclusion that the Celtic abbeys produced their own translation of the gospels directly from the Hebrew.

Kells Folio 292r - John 1:1
Kells Folio 292r – John 1:1

The text is strangely missing from later reprints of George Bains book, and is only present in the original version.