Bede the Venerable

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Bede the Venerable (672-735), also known as Saint Bede, was an English Benedictine monk at the monastery of St. Peter and its companion monastery of St. Paul in the Kingdom of Northumbria of the Angles.  He is well known as an author, teacher, and scholar.  His ecumenical writings were extensive and included a number of Biblical commentaries and other theological works.  Another important area of study for Bede was computus, the science of calculating calendar dates.  He helped popularize the practice of dating forward from the birth of Christ (A.D. = Anno Domini, or “in the year of our Lord).  Bede was one of the greatest teachers and writers of the Early Middle Ages and is considered by many historians to be the most important scholar of antiquity for the period between the death of Pope Gregory I in 604 and the coronation of Charlemagne in 800.

In 1899, Pope Leo XIII declared him a Doctor of the Church.  He is the only native of Great Britain to achieve this designation as Anselm of Canterbury was originally from Italy.  Bede was moreover a skilled linguist and translator, and his work made the Latin and Greek writings of both the Bible and the early Church Fathers much more accessible to his fellow Anglo-Saxons, which contributed significantly to English Christianity.  Bede was the first to refer to Jerome, Augustine, Pope Gregory and Ambrose as the four “Latin Fathers of the Church.”  It is clear from Bede’s own comments that he felt his calling was to explain to his students and readers the theology and thoughts of the Church Fathers.  His most famous work, Ecclesiastical History of the English Peoplegained him the title of “The Father of English History.”  It was for his theological writings that he earned the title of Doctor Anglorum and why he was declared a saint.


  • Ecclesiastical History of the English People
  • On the Reckoning of Time (De temporum ratione)
  • De arte metrica
  • De schematibus et tropis sacrae scripturae
  • The Life of Saint Cuthbert of Lindisfarne
  • The Martyrology (a listing of Saints)
  • Commentary on Revelation
  • Commentary on the Catholic Epistles
  • Commentary on Acts
  • Reconsideration on the Books of Acts
  • On the Gospel of Mark
  • On the Gospel of Luke
  • Homilies on the Gospels
  • Unfinished translation of the Gospel of St. John into English
  • Commentary on Samuel
  • Commentary on Genesis
  • Commentaries on Ezra and Nehemiah
  • On the Temple
  • On the Tabernacle
  • Commentaries on Tobit
  • Commentaries on Proverbs
  • Commentaries on the Song of Songs
  • Commentaries on the Canticle of Habakkuk

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