The recent publication of the more important medieval handbooks of penance in an English version raises afresh the often disputed question, whether the Venerable Bede was the author or compiler of a penitential. What may be called the positive evidence that he did so is slight. In, or soon after, 906 Regino of Prüm composed his treatise, De synodalibus causis et disciplinis ecclesiasticis, in which he refers by name to the penitentials of Bishop Theodore and of the Venerable Bede. In the second place, there still survive several nearly related penitentials which are ascribed to Bede in the extant manuscripts. However, this ascription to Bede carries little weight, if unsupported by other evidence. For several centuries after his death his authority as a theologian ranked next to that of the four Latin doctors and the list of works going under his name, but not by him, is long. Nor is Regino's testimony unimpeachable, for his acquaintance with Bede's writings was not extensive. He does not seem to have used the theological works when composing the De synodalibus causis; and, though he did, when compiling his Chronica, make use of the chronicle inserted by Bede in the De temporum ratione, he did not consult the Ecclesiastical History. Had he been familiar with that basic work on British history, he would assuredly have drawn on it, as so many others did. He would also have found in 5, 24 Bede's own list of his writings. Thus we may suspect that Regino attributed a penitential to Bede merely on the strength of a rubric in a manuscript, and we shall do well to query the accuracy of his statement, unless corroborated by other proofs.