[BIBLE]. Divi Pauli Apostoli Epistolae, brevissimis & facillimis scholiis per Ioannem Gagneium.

Paris, Simon de Colines & Galliot de Pré, 1538


FIRST EDITION. 8vo. Ff. (vii) 167. Roman letter, some Italic. Tp within architectural woodcut border, floriated woodcut initials. Extensive ms pasted in ffeps on Jean de Gagny, earlier shelfmark to verso. Bookplate of Charles W. G. Howard (1814-1879) to pastedown. Light age yellowing, early ex lib. washed and smudged at foot of tp, margins trimmed slightly close. A very nice copy in handsome C18 French green morocco with gilt tooling, and gilt inner borders, spine in red and green morocco with gilt acorn stamps and fillet borders, some rubbing to edges and joints, dentelles and edges gilt.

Bound in exquisite green morocco, the first edition of Epistles of St Paul, augmented with extensive text and commentary of Jean de Gagny, chaplain to François I (died 1549). De Gagny was a French theologian who studied at the prestigious Collège de Navarre, becoming Rector of the University of Paris in 1531, Almoner Royal in 1536 and Chancellor of the University in 1546. He published several popular Roman Catholic commentaries on the New Testament. He was a close friend of the French type-designer, punch cutter and publisher Claude Garamond (1510-1561), well-known from his font’s namesake, and was also a prolific collector of patristic manuscripts. His relationship with Francis I gave him privileged access to monastic libraries.

The Epistles of Paul are composed of thirteen books from the New Testament attributed to the hand of Paul the Apostle (although alternative authorship candidates have been suggested for some), and make up some of the earliest surviving Christian writings. The dates proposed for their composition are around the 50s AD, and they were first collected into a compilation by Marcion of Sinope in the early 2nd century. His letters are a vital foundation for the theology, worship and pastoral life in the Latin and Protestant traditions of the West, as well as the Eastern Catholic and Orthodox traditions of the East. His writings contain the earliest reference to the Lord’s Supper, otherwise known as the Eucharist, and declared that “Christ is the end of the Law” (Romans 10:4). The Epistle’s significantly influenced the works of Martin Luther and John Calvin.

The ms pasted onto the ffep describes the life of Jean de Gagny in detail including his close friends, professional career and literary works.

Provenance includes Charles Wentworth George Howard (1814-1879) of Castle Howard, long-standing Member of Parliament for Cumberland East.

Renouard, Colines p. 294; Adams B1846; Schrieber 154.
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