Heidegger's Bible Handbook: Old Testament in General: Roman Catholic Interpreters


Cardinal Cajetan

ROMAN CATHOLIC: Lapide,[1] Albert the Great,[2] Aureolus,[3] Brugensis,[4] De la Haye,[5] Estius,[6] Escobar y Mendoza,[7] Glossa Ordinaria, Lyra,[8] Mariana,[9] Sa,[10] Salian,[11] Sixtus Senensis,[12] Tirinus,[13] Tostatus,[14] Vatablus,[15] Vio Cajetan,[16] Ederus, Strabo,[17] Hugo Cardinalis,[18] Dionysius Carthusianus.[19]


Glossa Ordinaria

[1] Cornelius à Lapide (1567-1637) was a Flemish Jesuit scholar. His talents were employed in the professorship of Hebrew at Louvain, then at Rome. Although his commentaries (covering the entire Roman Catholic canon, excepting only Job and the Psalms) develop the four-fold sense of Scripture, he emphasizes the literal. His knowledge of Hebrew, Greek, and the commentators that preceded him is noteworthy.


[2] Albert (c. 1193-1280) was a German Dominican friar and bishop, a noted Aristotlean philosopher, and teacher of Thomas Aquinas.


[3] Peter Auriol (c. 1280-1322) was a Franciscan philosopher and theologian; he served as Archbishop of Aix-en-Provence. He is best known for his Scriptum super Primum Sententiarum, a massive commentary on Sentences of Peter Lombard.


[4] Francis Lucas Brugensis (1552-1619) was a Jesuit scholar, who labored in the collation of manuscripts. He was skilled, not only in Greek and Hebrew, but also in Syriac and Chaldean.


[5] John de la Haye (1593-1661) was a Franciscan philosopher, theologian, and orator. Although he wrote commentaries on Genesis, Exodus, and Revelation, his principal contribution to the field of exegesis is his collation of the comments of others.


[6] William Estius (1542-1613) labored first as a lecturer on Divinity, then as the Chancellor at Doway. Theologically, he bears the imprint of the modified Augustinianism of Michael Baius. In his commentary writing, as exemplified in his Commentarii in Sacram Scripturam and Commentarii in Epistolas Apostolicas, he focuses on the literal meaning of the text; and he is widely regarded for his exegetical skill and judgment.


[7] Antionio Escobar y Mendoza (1589-1669) was a Spanish Jesuit. Although he is most famous for his moral maxim, that purity of intention may justify actions contrary to law, he also labored in the interpretation of the Scriptures.


[8] Little is known about the early life of Nicholas de Lyra (1270-1340). He entered the Franciscan Order and became a teacher of some repute in Paris. His Postilla in Vetus et Novum Testamentum are remarkable for the time period: Lyra was firmly committed to the literal sense of the text, as a necessary control for allegorical exposition; and he drew heavily upon Hebraic and Rabbinical materials. His commentary was influential among the Reformers.


[9] John Mariana (c. 1536-1624) was a Spanish Jesuit priest and scholar. While teaching theology in Rome, Robert Bellarmine was among his pupils. His magnum opus was the thirty-book history of Spain, Historiæ de Rebus Hispaniæ.


[10] Emanuel Sà (1530-1596) was a Portuguese Jesuit. He was appointed to serve as Interpreter of Sacred writings and Professor of Divinity at Rome. In his Commentarii in Sacram Scripturam, Sà demonstrates his learning, and his commitment to the literal sense of Scripture.


[11] Jacques Salian (1557-1640) was a French Jesuit. He wrote Annales Ecclesiastici Veteris Testamenti, quibus Connexi Sunt Annales Imperii Assyriorum, Babyloniorum, Persarum, Græcorum, atque Romanorum.


[12] Sixtus of Siena (1520-1569) converted from Judaism to Roman Catholicism. He was one of the great Dominican scholars of his age, excelling in particular in Biblical scholarship.


[13] James Tirinus (1580-1636) was a Flemish Jesuit priest. His abilities as a commentator are displayed in his Commentaria in Sacram Scripturam.


[14] Alonso Tostado, or Tostatus (c. 1400-1455), was a Spanish, Roman Catholic churchman and scholar. He was trained in philosophy, theology, civil and canon law, Greek, and Hebrew. He wrote commentaries on the historical books of the Old Testament (Genesis-2 Chronicles), and on the Gospel of Matthew.


[15] Francis Vatablus (c. 1485-1547) was a prominent Hebrew scholar, doing much to stimulate Hebraic studies in France. He was appointed to the chair of Hebrew in Paris (1531). Because of some consonance with Lutheran doctrine, his annotations (Annotationes in Vetus et Novum Testamentum), compiled by his auditors, were regarded with the utmost esteem among Protestants, but with a measure of suspicion and concern by Roman Catholics. Consequently, the theologians of Salamanca produced their own edition of Vatablus’ annotations for their revision of the Latin Bible (1584).


[16] Thomas Cajetan (1469-1534) was an Italian cardinal and one of the more able opponents of the Reformation. He wrote a commentary on the Pentateuch, In Quinque Libros Mosis.


[17] Walfrid Strabo (c. 808-849) was a Germanic Benedictine monk. He wrote on the Psalms, Leviticus, and the Gospels. Strabo was incorrectly credited with the collecting of the Glossa Ordinaria.


[18] Hugh of St. Cher, also known as Hugo Cardinalis because he was the first Dominican to achieve the office of cardinal (c. 1200-1263), was a French Dominican Biblical scholar. His exegetical works, covering the entire canon, have been gathered into eight substantial volumes.


[19] Denis the Carthusian (1402-1471) was a Carthusian monk, theologian, and mystic, considered by some to be the last of the Schoolmen. He commented on the entire Bible.

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Dr. Steven Dilday holds a BA in Religion and Philosophy from Campbell University, a Master of Arts in Religion from Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), and both a Master of Divinity and a  Ph.D. in Puritan History and Literature from Whitefield Theological Seminary.  He is also the translator of Matthew Poole's Synopsis of Biblical Interpreters and Bernardinus De Moor’s Didactico-Elenctic Theology.

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