Nicholas of Lyra (c. 1270–1349) and the Late Medieval Bible

Nicholas of Lyra (c. 1270–1349) and the Late Medieval Bible is a one-day conference exploring the work of a Franciscan theologian and biblical scholar. He was a highly influential biblical commentator in the late Middle Ages and into the 16th century, and his scholarship seems to have been particularly important to the followers of John Wyclif who produced at the end of the 14th century the first complete translation of the Bible into English, the Wycliffite Bible. The Wycliffite translators used Nicholas of Lyra’s Postilla on the Bible in their study and criticism of the Vulgate, making the first attempt, as far as we know, in the tradition of biblical translation in England to establish a correct source text. The 14th-century scholars were well aware that the Vulgate was a translation and that its text, as it was commonly circulated, was variable and corrupt. To address this the Wycliffite translators undertook linguistic and textual research in order to improve the Latin text and understand it more correctly. Many of their interpretations, incorporated as glosses and corrections in their translation and always acknowledged, were dependent on the commentaries of Nicholas of Lyra, particularly on his  observations on the differences between the Latin and Hebrew texts.

The conference explores different aspects of Lyra’s work, including his theology, sources,  influence in England and Bohemia, and presentation of his work in manuscripts. For further details, please see the conference programme.


To register, click here. The registration fee, Standard – £20/Student – £15, includes a sandwich lunch and tea/coffee.

For further information please contact Elizabeth Solopova (


In association with AHRC-funded project ‘Towards a New Edition of the Wycliffite Bible’

With generous support from the Ludwig Humanities Research Fund, New College, Oxford.