The Acre Bible: Recasting Hebrew Scripture for Crusaders and the Christian Flock
AbstractThis Article investigates the Acre Bible (Acre Bible), a Norman French version of the Torah.1 The volume includes only Genesis and Exodus, the Torah’s first two books. Likely prepared around 1240 in a monastic scriptorium of the crusader stronghold of Acre,2 the book is thought to be among the most ancient French bibles in existence. French scholarship on the Acre Bible is meager, English scholarship nearly nonexistent. Housed in the French national library (Bibliotheque Nationale de France), the original vellum-and-leather Acre Bible boasts handsome illuminations, but its faded manuscript is difficult to read. Fortunately, this difficulty has been mitigated by Pierre Nobel’s volume La Bible d’Acre: Genese et Exode.3 In modern typography, Nobel’s book is illuminated by editorial notes and enriched by both an instructive glossary and an extensive bibliography.