The Word: Performing, Reading, Writing the Bible (c. 1380-c. 1611)
Dr Anke Bernau
Preliminary / Indicative Reading List
You will receive a course booklet containing most of the primary reading material for the course at the beginning of the semester. However, if you wish to begin your reading over the summer, which you are encouraged to do, you can do so with reference to the books and websites listed below, from which the primary texts studied will be taken.
Please ensure you have a copy of the following edition of the King James Bible:
The Bible: King James with the Apocrypha, ed. by David Norton (Penguin, 2006).
Week 1: Beginnings
1. Bede, The Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation, Book IV, Chapters XXIII  and XXIV . Available at:
2. ‘Caedmon’s Hymn’, in The Norton Anthology of Poetry, 4th edn (New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 1996), p. 1.
3. ‘Prologue’ to the The Middle English Metrical Paraphrase of the Old Testament, ed. by Michael Livingstone. Available at TEAMS Middle English Texts online:
4. King James Bible: All of the Book of Genesis.
Week 2: Transgression
1. King James Bible: Genesis 2-5
2. ‘York: The Fall of Man’, in Greg Walker (ed.), Medieval Drama: An Anthology (London: Blackwell, 2000), pp. 21-4.
3. ‘Chester: Adam and Eve’, in Greg Walker (ed.), Medieval Drama, pp. 25-31.
Week 3: Erasure
[Possible screening of ‘Noah’, dir. by Darren Aronofsky (2014)]
1. King James Bible: Genesis 6-9
2. Geoffrey Chaucer, ‘The Miller’s Prologue and Tale’, in The Canterbury Tales, in The Riverside Chaucer, ed. by Larry D. Benson, 3rd edn (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988), pp. 66-77.
3. ‘Chester: Noah’s Flood’, available at:
Week 4: Patience I
1. Anon., Patience, in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, Cleanness, Patience, ed. by J. J. Anderson (London: Dent, 1996), ll. 1-244.
2. King James Bible: Book of Jonah
Week 5: Patience II
1. Patience, ll. 245-531
2. King James Bible: Book of Job
3. [You can also look at the story of Job in The Middle English Metrical Paraphrase of the Old Testament, available at TEAMS Middle English Texts online:
[Week 6: Reading Week]
Week 7: Idolatry
1. Geoffrey Chaucer, ‘The Pardoner’s Introduction and Prologue’, in The Riverside Chaucer, pp. 193-96.
2. John Gower, Confessio Amantis, Book 5, ll. 746-86; 1496-1959,
Available at TEAMS Middle English Texts online:
Week 8: Translation
1. Prologues / Prefaces to the Wycliffite Bible, the King James Bible and the Douay-Rheims Bible
Week 9: Women Old and New
1. ‘Judith’, in The Middle English Metrical Paraphrase of the Old Testament, available at TEAMS online:
2. The N-Town play of the ‘Nativity’, ed. by Douglas Sugano. Available at TEAMS Middle English Texts online:
3. King James Bible: Old Testament: The Book of Judith; and New Testament: Matthew 1-7; Luke 1-4; John 1: 1-14.
Week 10: Passion
1. ‘Mary at the Foot of the Cross’, in Middle English Marian Lyrics, ed. by Karen Saupe. See esp. Lyric 42.
This is a collecton of Marian lyrics: short poems concerning the Virgin Mary as she stands at the foot of the cross. I will choose a selection of these for the course booklet, but you can have a look at them more generally.
Available at TEAMS Middle English Texts Online:
2. ‘The Crucifixion (York)’, Available at Luminarium online:
3. King James Bible: New Testament , Matthew 24-28 ; Mark 13-16 ; Luke 21-24 ; John 16-21.
Week 11: Course Revision
Sam Jones l English Literature, American Studies and Creative Writing Programmes Administrator|
The School of Arts, Languages & Cultures l Room W113 Samuel Alexander Building |The University of Manchester |Oxford Road Manchester, M13 9PL | Tel. +44 (0) 161 275 8590|
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