This article discusses the historical backgrounds of the Middle Dutch Gospel Harmony. Although it is generally assumed that this early Middle Dutch translation of biblical prose was connected to the centres of mysticism in the Low Countries, particularly the Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Troud and its abbot Willem, there is no substantial evidence pointing in this direction. The text of the Gospel Harmony itself, its Latin sources and the adaptation, with glosses and annotations, in the Liège-manuscript are strong indications that the harmony should be read in much the same way as Jacob van Maerlants Rijmbijbel: a text to teach the elementary facts of the Gospels. Therefore it seems reasonable to understand the historical background of the Gospel Harmony within the context of the school.
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