19. DECORATED CANON TABLES

Byzantine Gospels, Greek
Constantinople, c.1150
Parchment, 24.2 x 17.4 cm 254 leaves


National Gallery of Victoria, MS Felton 710-5, fols 3v-4r

 

Canon Tables, which were formulated by Eusebius of Caesarea in the early 4th century, regularly introduce the Gospels in eastern and western Gospel books. They present both the common and the distinctive subject matter of the four texts in a series of comparative tables, each of the Gospels having been divided into numbered sections as a basis for this analysis. The Canon Tables stress the individual and comprehensive character of each Gospel and the inter-relatedness of all four. They were interpreted as the Church's official guarantee that these accounts were the authentic expression of Christian faith and teaching, handed down from the apostles.