Online Medieval Sources Bibliography

An Annotated Bibliography of Printed and Online Primary Sources for the Middle Ages

Source Details

Vega, P.A.C., ed.; Anspach, A.E., ed., Liber de Variis Quaestionibus (Escorial: Typi Augustiniani Monasterii Escurialensis)

Text name(s): Liber de Variis Quaestionibus adversus Judaeos seu ceteros infideles vel plerosque haereticos iudaizantes ex utroque Testamento collectus; Book on Various Questions against the Jews, or against other unbelievers or Judaizing Heretics, collected from both books of the Bible

Number of pages of primary source text: 272


Dates: 560 - 636

Archival Reference: 

Original Language(s): 

  • Latin


  • Original language included.

Translation Comments: 

Geopolitical Region(s): 

  • Europe


Record Types: 

  • Theology - Doctrine

Subject Headings: 

  • Church Fathers
  • Conversion
  • Jews / Judaism
  • Heresy
  • Philosophy / Theology
  • Theology - Christology
  • Theology - Ecclesiology
  • Theology - History
  • Theology - Scriptural / Exegesis
  • Theology - Trinitarian


  • Index
  • Bibliography
  • Introduction


Isidore, Archbishop of Seville and Doctor of the Church, was one of the most significant figures of Visigothic Spain, exerting a tremendous influence in his own time (through his vigorous participation in the various synods of the early seventh century) as well as on education throughout the Middle Ages (through his extensive writings). His vast learning and debt to the Latin classics has led him to be considered “the last scholar of the ancient world.” Written during the reign of Sisebut and a period of concerted political and religious unification in Spain, the Liber de Variis Quaestionibus (although a few doubts remain as to its authenticity) traditionally ranks with the De Fide Catholica as Isidore’s clearest presentation of the Christian faith to the Jews. Major topics include the nature of Sacred Scripture and the Church, as well as the fundamental Christian doctrines, such as that of the Trinity, the Incarnation, and the Resurrection. Much of the work consists of explanations of the ways in which the Old Testament is seen to prefigure and find its fulfillment in the New. An index of passages of Sacred Scripture is included. This is the only critical edition of this work available.

Introduction Summary: 

The considerable introductory material (82 pp.) is divided into two parts. The first, written by the editor Vega in Spanish, discusses the history of, and new interest in, the text of the Liber de Variis Quaestionibus. The second part, in Latin, is by the co-editor Anspach and deals much more fully with the editorial methods used in this volume and the way in which Isidore makes use of Bible quotations. Both editors argue for the authenticity of this text as Isidorian, a position which remains widespread but not universal. They also attempt to fashion a coherent context for the original appearance of the work, contending that it was part of an effort to sway the minds of Jews who had converted to Christianity but were suspected of only obeying it in an external fashion and also those who held heterodox views in a period of strengthening uniformity of belief.

Cataloger: WLL