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Preface to Poole's "Synopsis": Biblical Interpreters

Updated: Feb 24, 2021

Now these are the Books and Authors from which chiefly I have composed this Synopsis.[1] 1. Nine Volumes of Critical Interpreters of the Sacred Scripture,[2] recently printed in London: in which, among many bits of minutiae, which can be ignored without any loss; useless repetitions, not only of substance, but also of the very same words; and other things alien to our plan; are some of the most valuable and excellent thoughts of the most Learned Men on the interpretation of the Sacred Books. I have endeavored to set them all forth briefly, and, according to my ability, clearly and faithfully. And since not a few verses and chapters of the Sacred Codex have been ingeniously and soundly, although dispersedly and confusedly, expounded in the Treatises that are contained in the two last volumes Of Critical Interpreters, I have brought those Annotations back into the order agreeing, and the place appropriate, to each one, and I have relocated them to their chapters and verses to which they have regard. The Authors in those Tomes Of Critical Interpreters, which we have used in this First Volume of the Synopsis, are as follows. In all or most of the books of this part of Sacred Scripture: Sebastian Munster,[3] Francis Vatablus,[4] Sebastian Castalio,[5] John Drusius,[6] and Hugo Grotius.[7] That lazy and obvious plagiarist, Isidore Clario,[8] I gladly pass over, who for the most part copied out of Munster, not only thoughts, but even the very words, almost verbatim; who, if he had lived in that Republic where, although exemption from punishment had been granted to clever thieves, for those so ignorant and lazy, capital punishment was appointed, without doubt he would have been condemned to the furca.[9] In addition, some short treatises regarding this part: John Drusius’ Concerning Mandrakes,[10] Joseph Scaliger’s[11] and Sixtinus Amama’s[12] works Concerning Tithes,[13] Louis Cappel’s[14] Concerning the Vow of Jephthah[15] and Excerpts out of Villalpando.[16] In the next place: Andrew Masius, Counselor-at-law,[17] On Joshua;[18] a man worthy of a most lengthy life and immortal memory; an Interpreter whose equal you will not easily find with respect to talent, judgment, skill in matters of substance and languages, sincerity, and modesty. Then, in the two last Tomes Of Critical Interpreters, various small Treatises concerning Biblical issues or passages, from which we gathered not a few, the names of which follow: Christopher Helvicus’[19] The Longing of Mother Eve, on Genesis 4:1[20] and The Paradisaical Protevangelium, on Genesis 3:15;[21] John Buteo’s Little Book concerning the Ark of Noah;[22] Matthew Hostus’[23] Inquiry into the Workmanship of the Ark of Noah;[24] Martinus Helvicus[25] on the prophecy of Jacob in Genesis 49:10;[26] Peter Pithœus’[27] Comparison of Mosaic and Roman Laws;[28] Georgius Rittershusius’[29] Short Treatise concerning the Law of the Cities of Refuge;[30] Matthew Hostus’ Concerning the Duel of David and Goliath, 1 Samuel 17;[31] Michaël Rothard’s[32] Samuel Redivivus and Saul the Suicide;[33] Leo Allatius’[34] Treatise concerning the Engastrimyth;[35] Gaspar Varrerius’[36] Disputation concerning the Region of Ophir;[37] William Schickard’s[38] Concerning the Feast of Purim;[39] Benedict Arias Montanus’[40] Book of Jewish Antiquities;[41] Bonaventure Cornelius Bertram’s[42] Concerning the Republic of the Jews[43] and Lucubrations in Frankenthal, or A Specimen of Expositions concerning the Most Difficult Places in Each Testament;[44] Peter Cunæus’ Concerning the Republic of the Jews;[45] Gaspar Waser’s[46] Concerning the Ancient Currency of the Hebrews[47] and Concerning the Ancient Measurements of the Hebrews;[48] Edward Brerewood’s[49] Concerning the Weights and Values of Old Currencies;[50] Anthony Nebrissensis’[51] An Explanation of Fifty Passages;[52] a variety from John Drusius, namely, Of Animadversions,[53] Sacred Parallels,[54] Of Sacred Observations,[55] Of Hebraic Inquiries,[56] Classes of Proverbs,[57] A Miscellany of Sacred Expressions,[58] Concerning Inquiries by Epistle,[59] Elohim, or Concerning the Name of God.[60] These are in the former tome. In the latter tome of critical short treatises: Nicholas Fuller’s[61] Sacred Miscellany;[62] Samuel Petit’s[63] Various Readings in the Sacred Scripture;[64] Simon de Muis’[65] Various Sacred Things, Brought together out of Various Rabbis;[66] John Gregorie’s[67] Notes and Observations on Some Passages of Sacred Scripture;[68] Paul Fagius’[69] Comparison of the Principal Translations, Varying among Themselves, of the Old Testament;[70] Christopher Cartwright’s[71] Hebrew Honey-making, or Choice Observations from the Records of the Ancient Hebrews;[72] Lucas Brugensis’[73] Notations on the Varying Passages of the Sacred Books;[74] Louis Cappel’s The Threefold Sketch of the Jerusalem Temple;[75] John Cloppenburg’s[76] Critical and Sacred Collections through Letters, with Louis de Dieu;[77] Francis Moncæius’[78] Aaron Excused, or Concerning the Golden Calf;[79] Hugo Grotius’ Concerning the Truth of the Christian Religion.[80] Moreover, I have presented the excerpts from the Greek authors, especially those that are presented in the works of Grotius only in Greek, in Latin, not so much recounting the words as rendering the sense, mindful of that maxim: The faithful translator will take care not to translate word for word.[81] 2. The Ultimate Bible,[82] divided into nineteen volumes, published in Paris, 1660, prepared by John de la Haye,[83] patched together from various versions (wrongly collected because of his method) and out of the annotations of literal interpreters: Nicholas de Lyra,[84] William Estius,[85] John Stephen Menochius,[86] James Tirinus,[87] etc. In this Writer, certain interpretations of the Sacred Scriptures present themselves, interpretations which are very little to be despised, yet (so that I might state what the issue is) they appear scattered, swimming in the vast abyss.[88] Consequently, I have been content to dig them out from that immense pile of rubble and, while passing by the rubbish (that is, passing by almost entire volumes), to select that which might carry some importance and might shed some sort of light upon the Sacred Books. 3. Commentaries in the Sacred Scripture from Genesis to Ezekiel[89] by Thomas Malvenda of Spain,[90] who certainly with great industry (if only he had added judgment also) joined together various Versions and Interpretations, especially of difficult passages, from divers Authors, yet with the names of most of them concealed. Also, he added his own Version, literal indeed, but with affected and absurd word choices; he presented the other, more suitable words, recorded either in the margin or in the Comments. 4. Francis Junius’[91] Notes,[92] certainly brief, but refined with broad erudition and the highest judgment, whose few momentous words equal the volumes of others. Hugo Grotius said: The labors of Junius are not to be despised. This is properly and truly spoken; but, he would have been able to say more, and they will say more, however many will have looked upon the labors of Junius with impartial eyes, labors to be esteemed highly and stationed among the first rank of interpreters. 5. John Piscator’s[93] Critical Notes,[94] sound and often shrewd, in which he both revives the version of Junius and Tremellius[95] for consideration, and draws out the force and sense of the words and phrases of the Sacred Books. 6. John Mariana’s[96] Notes,[97] certainly scanty with respect to bulk, but not to be despised with respect to use; written with judgment. 7. Lucas Osiander’s[98] Expositions,[99] etc.: this author is not prolix, but he is solid. 8. Cornelius à Lapide,[100] in whose Commentaries,[101] among many things unrelated to the matter, I discovered not a few things written with learning and acumen beyond that which is common, which things I gathered and inserted here and there into my Work where needed. 9. Tostatus’ massive volumes,[102] a work of immense effort, and not of scanty use. From this Author, not a few succeeding Authors have borrowed many things, who, nevertheless, have left behind some gleanings for us.

Samuel Bochart

To these I have added many, excellent Expositions of diverse, and especially of difficult, passages, Expositions which are for the most part sprinkled, nay, scattered, in the Works of certain illustrious men, Expositions which are returned by me into their proper places. Now, the names of those Authors and Works are subjoined here: Louis de Dieu’s Sacred Criticism, or Animadversions concerning Certain, Most Difficult Passages of the Old and New Testaments;[103] Samuel Bochart’s[104] Sacred Geography and Sacred Catalogue of Animals, or A Bipartite Work concerning the Animals of Scripture;[105] Louis Cappel’s Sacred Criticism, or Six Books concerning Various Readings which Present Themselves in the Sacred Books of the Old Testament: in which Volumes as Many Passages as Possible Are Explained, Illustrated, and (not a Few) Emended out of the Observation of the Various Readings;[106] John Buxtorf’s[107] Against Criticism, or Vindication of the Integrity of the Hebrew against the Criticism of Louis Cappel, which He Calls Sacred;[108] Solomon Glassius’ Sacred Philology,[109] especially that part called “Sacred Grammar”; the Works of the remarkably learned Joseph Mede of England,[110] packed full of uncommon erudition, written mostly in English; various works of John Lightfoot, Professor of Sacred Theology,[111] published partly in English and partly in Latin, composed with singular learning, who also most kindly offered his assistance in this work; the most learned works of Thomas Gataker,[112] Grimace, or Adversarial Miscellanies,[113] Posthumous Adversarial Miscellanies,[114] and others, partly printed, partly ἀνέκδοτα/unpublished, especially the manuscript Annotations, taken from many Authors, with many others added of his own, which his Reverend Son[115] communicated to me, to whom, on that account, however many Erudite Men will profit from these owe and will render, as I hope, a great many thanks.

And since in the preceding Commentators not a few necessary things are lacking for a full and sound knowledge of many passages of the Sacred Text, I consulted other Authors, as subsidiaries, three or four, Critical Interpreters especially, or other Interpreters of foremost quality on individual Sacred Books; namely, those that have openly and more extensively elucidated those books by their Comments, and have especially labored in clarifying difficulties. Namely, in the Notes concerning the Pentateuch, the Commentary on the Pentateuch[116] of Oleaster,[117] wherein many things are incisively discussed, many things eruditely drawn out from the inner chambers of the Hebrew tongue: the Annotations upon the Five Books of Moses of Henry Ainsworth of England,[118] written in the English language, and indeed written with so much acumen and judgment, fidelity and skill, that I dare to pronounce the Annotations, which are translated into foreign languages, worthy; therefore, I gleaned from him more, and more meticulously, in order to please theologians, especially the foreign ones): Jacobus Bonfrerius’[119] The Pentateuch of Moses, Illuminated with Commentary,[120] lengthy enough, but erudite and sound, elaborated with an extraordinary skill in languages and in matters of substance, in which difficult passages, by the rest nearly neglected, are diligently investigated and often satisfactorily explained.

To these I added many choice things from the Commentaries of John Mercerus[121] on Genesis,[122] of Andrew Rivet[123] on Genesis[124] and Exodus,[125] of Andrew Willet of England[126] on Genesis,[127] Exodus,[128] and Leviticus;[129] moreover, from the Annotations of Peter Picherel[130] on the three first chapters of Genesis;[131] if only he had applied that perceptive intellect, that weight of judgment, and that thorough knowledge of the languages to commenting upon more places in Sacred Scripture. Also I selected not a few things concerning the location of Paradise, Genesis 2, out of our own Marmaduke Carver,[132] who wrote an erudite short treatise concerning this in the English language.[133] In Joshua and Judges, I cited Nicholas Serarius,[134] Jacobus Bonfrerius,[135] and Arias Montanus;[136] Serarius and Bonfrerius have set forth the Book of Ruth, explicated with their comments. To them I added Peter Martyr[137] On the Book of Judges.[138] In the books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles, I consulted Nicholas Serarius, Gaspar Sanchez,[139] Peter Martyr,[140] and Strigelius,[141] also Mendoça[142] on part of 1 Samuel. In the books of Ezra and Nehemiah: Gaspar Sanchez[143] and John Wolfius.[144] In the Book of Esther: Nicholas Serarius,[145] Gaspar Sanchez,[146] and Bonart.[147] And here the First Volume concludes.

John Calvin

Perhaps some will be surprised that, in the catalogue of Authors, John Calvin does not appear as an Interpreter, being acute, learned, and solid, even in the judgment of adversaries. There are some that will treat this as a fault in me, and they will sue me for the injury of so great a name; others will be glad that I have passed by him, whom they have hated worse than a dog or snake. Therefore, I desire that both should know that I did not insert any Author into this Work in order to gain the favor of anyone, nor did I decline any so that I might avoid the odium of others; but I applied my judgment, such as it may be, purged, as much as I was able, of all zeal for parties. Concerning Calvin: 1. I have touched on some things from him, where it was needed, from time to time, intent on gathering other things in like manner from him in the progress of the Work, if ever other Interpreters failed, or use required. 2. The Commentaries of Calvin are not so much Critical (upon which sort the present plan especially focuses), as they are Practical; neither do they so much examine words and phrases (in which things this Synopsis is principally engaged), as they thoroughly treat Theological matters and apply them to practice. 3. They, who wrote after Calvin, gathered almost everything out of Calvin; they furnish their books with his interpretations, even those who assault the Author, their Teacher, with insults, as it would be easy to demonstrate with specific names. Therefore, these refurbished his discoveries with some of their own additions, and, they fashioned them into a better and more accurate form, which was not difficult. Consequently, gathering many things from these, I by no means neglect Calvin, but I everywhere bring him forth, even amplified and illustrated by the additions of others. 4. Almost all have Calvin in their hands and libraries; those that are favorable to that name consult him, and they will join him perhaps with the Critical Interpreters in perusal. However, those to whom Calvin is displeasing are able freely to pass over him, if they wish. Thus, neither ought to be angry with me. For, those that might wish him absent will not much be weighed down with his presence; however, those that might prefer him present will remember that waters are sweetest from the fount itself,[148] and that I would not wish to shake Calvin out of the hands of anyone.

[1] The following section of the “Preface to the Synopsis: Genesis-Esther” is invaluable, and will repay the careful study of the student of the Sacred Text. It stands as a veritable “Who’s Who” of Reformation-era interpreters, most of whom, having written in Latin, and having never been translated into English, are unavailable to the English-speaking world. Seeing that these Latin works have never been translated into English, it was necessary to provide English renderings of the Latin titles, so that the English-speaking reader might gain some insight into the subject matter of these books; but the reader, of course, will not be able to find these works under these English titles. The Latin titles have been provided in the footnotes.

[2] Critici Sacri.

[3] Sebastian Munster (1489-1552) was a German scholar of great talent in the fields of mathematics, Oriental studies, and divinity. He left the Franciscans to join the Lutherans, became Professor of Hebrew at Basil (1529-1552), and produced an edition of the Hebrew Bible with a Latin translation and important early Reformation annotations (Annotationes in Vetus Testamentum).

[4] 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).

[5] Sebastian Castalio (1515-1563) distinguished himself as a scholar by means of his linguistic talents, evident in his Annotationes in Vetus et Novum Testamentum. After a period of working closely with Calvin, the two fell into controversy. Castalio was inclined towards Pelagianism, and his views were influential in the development of Socinianism. As a translator of the Bible, he takes great liberty with the text, molding the speech of the prophets to conform to the standards of classical Latin.

[6] John Drusius (1550-1616) was a Protestant scholar; he excelled in Oriental studies, Biblical exegesis, and critical interpretation, as is evident from his Annotationes in Pentateuchum, Josuam, Judices, Ruth, Samuelem, Estheram, Jobum, Coheleth, seu Ecclesiasten, Prophetas Minores, Ecclesiasticum, Tobit, 1 Librum Machabæorum and Notæ Majores in Genesin, Exodum, Leviticum, et Priora 18 Capita Numerorum. He served as Professor of Oriental Languages at Oxford (1572), at Leiden (1577), and at Franeker (1585).

[7] Hugo Grotius (1583-1645) distinguished himself in the field of international law, but he was interested in many fields of learning, including Christian apologetics, theology, and Biblical criticism and exegesis. He was a strict practitioner of the historical-contextual method of exegesis, and both his methods and conclusions are on display in his influential Annotationes in Vetus et Novum Testamentum. He is also remembered for his role in the Arminian controversy, siding with the Remonstrants, and for his governmental theory of atonement.

[8] Isidore Clario (1495-1555) was a Benedictine monk. He served as the Prior of the Monastery of St. Peter in Modena, in northern Italy (1537) and as the Bishop of Foligno, in central Italy (1547). He was present at the Council of Trent. Clario produced a corrected edition of the Latin Vulgate, accompanied by his Annotationes in Vetus et Novum Testamentum.

[9] The furca (which literally means “fork”) was a wooden, A-shaped frame, used as an instrument of punishment. An offender’s head would be inserted into the triangle-shaped gap of the A, and his arms would be tied to the arms of the frame. The punishments that could be administered with the furca varied widely with respect to severity, from the humiliation of having to wear it, to the painful death of being beaten to death while restrained by it.

[10] De Mandragoris.

[11] Joseph Scaliger (1540-1609) was a classicist, chronologer, and skilled linguist, one of the most learned men of his age. During the course of his studies and travels, he became a Protestant and suffered exile with the Huguenots. He was offered a professorship at Leiden (1593), a position which he eventually accepted and in which he remained until his death.

[12] Sixtinus Amama (1593-1629) was a Dutch Reformed orientalist and theologian. He served as Professor of Hebrew at Oxford (1615) and at Franeker (1618), succeeding John Drusius. He is remembered for his skill in Oriental languages and his defense of the ultimate authority of the original texts of Scripture.

[13] De Decimis.

[14] Louis Cappel (1585-1658) was a Huguenot divine of broad and profound learning. He served as a minister of the gospel and Professor of Hebrew and Theology at Saumur. Although his expertise in the Hebrew language was beyond question, his denial of the authority of the vowel points and of the absolute integrity of the Hebrew texts was hotly contested.

[15] De Voto Jephthæ.

[16] Excerpta ex Villalpando ad Capita 40, 41, 42, et 46 Ezechielis. John Baptist Villalpando (1552-1608) was a Spanish Jesuit. He is noteworthy for his interest in architecture and fascination with Ezekiel’s Temple vision.

[17] Andrew Masius (1516-1573) was among the most learned Roman Catholic scholars of his age, and in no field is that more evident than in the field of Oriental languages, having received training in Hebrew, Arabic, and Syriac. He also served as Counselor to William, Duke of Cleves. He wrote a major commentary upon Joshua, Joshuæ Imperatoris Historia Illustrata atque Explicata.

[18] In Josuam.

[19] Christopher Helvicus (1581-1616) was a German Lutheran divine, chronologist, and Hebraist of great learning. He served as Professor of Divinity at Giessen (1610).

[20] Desiderium Matris Evæ, ad Genesin 4:1.

[21] Protevangelion Paradisiacum, ad Genesin 3:15.

[22] John Buteo (c. 1489-1564) was member of the Augustinian Order at Vienne. He was accomplished in mathematics and mechanics, which skills he applied in calculations concerning the form and dimensions of the ark in his Libellus de Arca Noë.

[23] Matthew Hostus (1509-1587) was a German Protestant and antiquarian, who labored as an archeologist and as a professor of Greek.

[24] Inquisitio in Fabricam Arcæ Noah.

[25] Martinus Helvicus (1596-1632) was the court-preacher of Philip of Hess and the brother of Christopher Helvicus. He served as Professor of Hebrew and Greek at Giessen.

[26] Sceptrum Judæ.

[27] Peter Pithœus (1539-1596) was a Huguenot, but later converted to Roman Catholicism. Pithœus was a practicing Parisian lawyer and an advocate of Gallicanism (a movement within Roman Catholicism to decrease papal authority and increase the authority of the state in and concerning ecclesiastical affairs).

[28] Mosaicarum et Romanarum Legum Collatio.

[29] George Rittershusius (1595-1661) was a German nobleman and statesman in the Republic of Nuremburg.

[30] Tractatus de Jure Asylorum.

[31] In Monomachiam Davidis et Goliathi.

[32] Michaël Rothard (flourished around 1615) was a Lutheran of Muhlhausen, Germany.

[33] Samuel Redivivus et Saul Αὐτόχειρ.

[34] Leo Allatius (1586-1669) was born to Greek parents, but he embraced Roman Catholicism. With his unique background, he greatly desired, and labored for, the reunion of the Eastern and Western Churches. Allatius was a prolific author, and his works display wide reading. He was appointed as the keeper of the Vatican library by Pope Alexander VII (1661).

[35] De Engastrimytho Syntagma. Allatius calls the Witch of Endor an “Engastrimyth” because of the oracular speech (mythos) arising from within her belly (engastri-).

[36] Gaspar Varrerius (died 1574) was a Portuguese, Franciscan theologian and geographer.

[37] De Ophira Regione Disputatio.

[38] William Schickard (1592-1635) was a man of diverse interests, which interests carried him through several vocations. He was a Lutheran minister, a Professor of Hebrew (1619) and then of Astronomy (1631) at Tübingen, and an inventor.

[39] De Festo Purim.

[40] Benedict Arias Montanus (1527-1598) was a Spanish Benedictine monk. He attended the Council of Trent, and he was heavily involved in the production of the Antwerp Polyglot Bible. Montanus also commented on a number of Biblical books.

[41] Antiquitates Judaicæ.

[42] Bonaventure Cornelius Bertram (1531-1594) was minister of the Gospel and Professor of Hebrew at Geneva, at Frankenthal, and at Lausanne. His revision of the French Bible is used by French Calvinists to the present day.

[43] De Republica Judæorum.

[44] Lucubrationes Franktallenses, sive Specimen Expositionum in Difficillima Utriusque Testamenti Loca.

[45] Peter Cunæus (1586-1638) studied under Scaliger and Drusius, and in 1611 he became Professor of Law at Leiden. His De Republica Judæorum was based upon Bertram’s work of the same title, but enlarged with his own research. The republic of the ancient Israelites is set forth as a pattern for the republic of the Dutch. His book was well-received by Hebraists and Calvinists in the Netherlands.

[46] Gasper Waser (1565-1625) was a minister, and a philologist specializing in Oriental languages. He was Professor of Hebrew (1596), and later of Greek (1607), at Zurich. He was eventually promoted to the chair of theology (1611).

[47] De Antiquis Numis Hebræorum.

[48] De Antiquis Mensuris Hebræorum.

[49] Edward Brerewood (1565-1613) was an English mathematician and antiquarian. He served as Professor of Astronomy at Gresham College (1596). He is also remembered for his Enquiries Touching the Diversity of Languages and Religions, through the Chief Parts of the World, and A Learned Treatise of the Sabbath (written against Nicholas Byfield’s strict Sabbatarianism).

[50] De Ponderibus et Pretiis Nummorum.

[51] Anthony Nebrissensis (1441-1552) was a Spanish Renaissance scholar and classicist. He employed his learning to further classical literature among his people, to produce the first grammar of the Spanish language, and to assist in the production of the Complutensian Polyglot Bible.

[52] Quinquaginta Locorum Explanatio.

[53] Animadversorum.

[54] Parallela Sacra.

[55] Observationum Sacrarum.

[56] Quæstionum Ebraicarum.

[57] Proverbiorum Classes.

[58] Miscellanea Locutionum Sacrarum.

[59] De Quæsitis per Epistolam.

[60] Elohim, sive de Nomine Dei.

[61] Nicholas Fuller (1557-1622) was an Anglican churchman, a learned divine, and a critic of considerable reputation. He excelled in the languages of the Scripture, and he applied his considerable talents to the resolution of Scripture difficulties.

[62] Miscellanea Sacra.

[63] Samuel Petit (1594-1645) was a precocious scholar, who was so advanced in his studies that he was made Professor of Greek at Nîmes in 1615, and a minister of the gospel the same year. Later, he served as Professor of Theology, Greek, and Hebrew in that city.

[64] Variæ Lectiones in Sacram Scripturam.

[65] Simon de Muis (1587-1644) was one of the most learned Hebraists of his day. He served in both the academy, as Hebrew Professor of the Royal College of France, and in the Roman Church, as Canon and Archdeacon of Soissons.

[66] Varia Sacra, Variis è Rabbinis Contexta.

[67] John Gregorie (1607-1646) was an English divine and churchman. In spite of the relative brevity of his life, his attainments in learning were considerable, especially in Oriental studies. He was preferred to the Prebendary of Salisbury in 1641, but he was deprived at the outbreak of the civil war.

[68] Notæ et Observationes in Aliquot Sacræ Scripturæ Loca.

[69] Paul Fagius (1504-1550) was among the early Reformers and a Hebrew scholar of some ability. He studied in Germany and labored there, first as a schoolmaster, then as a minister. Feeling pressure from the rising tide of the Counter-Reformation, he left Germany for England in 1549, and died at Cambridge in 1550. His bones were later burned during the reign of Queen Mary.

[70] Translationum Præcipuarum Veteris Testamenti inter Se Variantium Collatio.

[71] Christopher Cartwright (1602-1658) was an Anglican divine, ministering at York, and a Rabbinic scholar. He is noteworthy for his use of the Targums and the Rabbis in the interpretation of Scripture.

[72] Mellificium Hebraicum, sive Observationes ex Hebræorum Antiquiorum Monumentis Desumptæ.

[73] 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.

[74] In Variantia Sacrarum Bibliarum Loca Notationes.

[75] Templi Hierosolymitani Delineatio Triplex.

[76] Johann Cloppenburg (1592-1652) was a Dutch Reformed theologian and controversialist. He studied at the University of Leiden, and held various ministerial posts until his appointment as professor at the University of Harderwijk (1641), and then at Franeker (1643). He was a lifelong friend of Voetius, and colleague of Cocceius at Franeker.

[77] Collationes Criticæ Sacræ per Epistolas, cum Ludovico de Dieu. Louis de Dieu (1590-1642) was a Dutch Reformed minister, linguist, and orientalist. He brought his considerable learning to bear upon the interpretation of the Scripture.

[78] Francis Moncæius was a French archeologist and author, who flourished in his work during the late sixteenth century.

[79] Aaron Purgatus, sive de Vitulo Aureo.

[80] De Veritate Religionis Christianæ.

[81] Quintus Horatius Flaccus’ Ars Poetica. Horace (65 BC-8 AD) was a Roman poet, perhaps the greatest of his day.

[82] Biblia Maxima.

[83] 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.

[84] 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.

[85] 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.

[86] John Stephen Menochius (1576-1656) joined the Society of Jesuits at an early age. His superiors in the order, recognizing his academic abilities, set him apart for training in the exposition of Holy Scripture. His critical acumen and commitment to the literal sense of the text are on display in his Commentarii in Sacram Scripturam.

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

[88] Virgil’s Æneid 1:118.

[89] Commentaria in Sacram Scripturam à Genesi ad Ezechielem.

[90] Thomas Malvenda (1566-1628) was a Spanish Dominican. Within his order, he was widely regarded for his abilities in philosophy and divinity.

[91] Francis Junius (1545-1602) was a Huguenot divine of great learning. He suffered the varied fortunes of his people; but he had the opportunity to study in Geneva, and he was eventually appointed Professor of Divinity at Leiden (1592). Junius’ De Vera Theologia was massively important in the development of the Dogmatic structure of Reformed Scholasticism. He also labored with Tremellius in the production of their famous Latin Version of the Old Testament.

[92] After the death of Tremellius in 1580, Junius produced four corrected editions of their translation and annotations until his death in 1603. It appears that these notes are in view. Junius also wrote Explicationes Analyticæ Pentateuchi.

[93] John Piscator (1546-1626) was a learned Protestant divine. He held the position of Professor of Divinity at Herborn (1584). His German version was the first, complete and independent, since that of Martin Luther. Through the course of his career, his views changed from those of the Lutherans to those of the Calvinists, and from those of the Calvinists to those of the Arminians. He remains widely regarded for his abilities as a commentator.

[94] Commentarii in Omnes Libros Veteris et Novi Testamenti.

[95] John Immanuel Tremellius (1510-1580) converted from Judaism to Christianity and quickly embraced the principles of the Reformation. He taught Hebrew at Strasburg (1541) and at Cambridge (succeeding Paul Fagius in 1549), and served as Professor of Old Testament at Heidelberg (1561).

[96] 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.

[97] Scholia Brevia.

[98] Lucas Osiander (1534-1604) was a Lutheran theologian. He produced an edition of the Vulgate with supplemental annotations and corrections, inserting Luther’s translation in the places in which the Vulgate departs from the Hebrew. He was also an accomplished composer of music.

[99] Annotationes in Utrumque Testamentum and Biblia Latina ad Fontes Hebraici Textus Emendata, cum Brevi and Perspicua Expositione.

[100] 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.

[101] Commentaria in Vetus et Novum Testamentum.

[102] 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.

[103] Critica Sacra, sive Animadversiones in Loca Quædam Difficiliora Veteris et Novi Testamenti.

[104] Samuel Bochart (1599-1667) was a French Protestant pastor and scholar with a wide variety of interests, including philology, theology, geography, and zoology. Indeed his works on Biblical geography (Geographia Sacra) and zoology (Hierozoicon, sive Bipertitum Opus de Animalibus Scripturæ) became standard reference works for generations. He was on familiar terms with many of the greatest men of his age.

[105] Geographia Sacra and Hierozoicon, sive Bipertitum Opus de Animalibus Scripturæ.

[106] Critica Sacra, sive de Variis quæ in Sacris Veteris Testamenti Libris Occurrunt Lectionibus Libri Sex: in quibus ex Variarum Lectionum Observatione Quamplurima Sacræ Scripturæ Loca Explicantur, Illustrantur, atque adeò Emendantur non Pauca.

[107] John Buxtorf, Jr. (1599-1664) succeeded his father as Professor of Hebrew at Basel (1629-1664), and was perhaps the equal of his father in learning.

[108] Anticritica: seu Vindiciæ Veritatis Hebraicæ Adversus Ludovici Cappelli Criticam quam Vocat Sacram.

[109] Solomon Glassius (1593-1656) was a German Lutheran divine and critic. He was Professor of Divinity at the University of Jena. His Philologia Sacra was a groundbreaking work in Biblical Hebrew.

[110] Although most remembered for his work on John’s Apocalypse and his escatological views, Joseph Mede (1586-1638) treats texts spanning the entire Bible in his Works. Mede was first a student, and then a fellow, tutor, and Reader of Greek, at Christ’s College, Cambridge.

[111] John Lightfoot (1602-1675) was an English churchman and divine of such distinction and learning that he was invited to sit as a member of the Assembly of Divines at Westminster. He specialized in Rabbinic learning and lore. He brought that learning to bear in his defense of Erastianism in the Assembly and in his comments upon Holy Scripture. He had a long and distinguished career at Cambridge, serving as Master of Catharine Hall, and later as Vice-chancellor of the University.

[112] Thomas Gataker (1574-1654) was an English churchman, theologian, and critic, of great reputation in his own day. On account of his great learning, he was invited to sit as a member of the Assembly of Divines at Westminster. His abilities as a critic are on display in his commentaries on Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Lamentation, found in the English Annotations.

[113] Cinnus, sive Adversaria Miscellanea.

[114] Adversaria Miscellanea Posthuma.

[115] Charles Gataker (c. 1614-1680), son of Thomas Gataker, was Rector of Hoggeston, Buckinghamshire from 1647 to 1680.

[116] Commentaria in Pentateuchum.

[117] Jerome Olivier, or de Oleastro (died 1563), was a Portuguese Dominican monk. He was widely esteemed within his order for his abilities in Greek and Hebrew, and his intimate acquaintance with the Scriptures.

[118] Henry Ainsworth (1571-1622) was an English Nonconformist, Separatist, and early Congregationalist. Ainsworth served a group of English Nonconformists in Amsterdam; he held the office of Doctor. He was one of the great Hebraists of his age, and his annotations upon the Pentateuch, Psalms, and the Song of Solomon demonstrate his command of the Hebrew language and Rabbinical learning and lore.

[119] Jacobus Bonfrerius (1573-1642) joined the order of the Jesuits in 1592. He enjoyed a long tenure as a professor of the Scriptures and Hebrew at Douay, France.

[120] Pentateuchus Mosis Commentario Illustratus.

[121] John Mercerus (c. 1510-1572) was a French Catholic Hebraist, successor to Francis Vatablus as Professor of Hebrew and Chaldean at the Hebrew College, Paris (1549), a scholar and lecturer of great reputation in his day. He was suspected of having Calvinistic sympathies.

[122] In Genesin Commentarius.

[123] Andrew Rivet (1573-1651) was a Huguenot minister and divine. He ministered at Sedan and at Thouara; he went on to teach at the University of Leiden (1619-1632) and at the college at Breda. Rivet’s influence extended internationally throughout the Reformed churches and schools.

[124] Exercitationes CXCI Theologicæ et Scholasticæ in Genesin.

[125] Commentarii in Exodum.

[126] Andrew Willet (1562-1621) was a product of Christ’s College, and he went on to serve the Anglican Church in various ministerial posts. Willet is remembered for his abilities as a commentator, being learned in language, history, and literature; and for his polemical writings against Roman Catholic doctrine.

[127] Hexapla in Genesin.

[128] Hexapla; or, Sixfold Commentarie upon Exodus.

[129] Hexapla; or, Sixfold Commentarie on Leviticus.

[130] Peter Picherel (c. 1510-1590) was a learned French monk. He took part in the Colloquy of Poissy in 1561, designed to bring about reconciliation between French Catholics and Huguenots.

[131] In Cosmopœiam ex Quinque Primis Geneseos Capitibus Paraphrasis; Opuscula Theologica.

[132] Marmaduke Carver (died 1665) was a learned English Protestant, skilled in chronology, geography, languages, and rhetoric. He served as Rector of Harthill, Yorkshire.

[133] A Discourse of the Terrestrial Paradise, Aiming at a More Probable Discovery of the True Situation of That Happy Place of Our First Parents’ Habitation.

[134] Nicholas Serarius (1555-1610) was a Jesuit scholar. He served as Professor of Theology at the University of Mentz. He wrote Commentarius in Librum Josuæ, Judicum, Ruth, Regum, et Paralipomenon.

[135] Josue, Judices et Ruth, Commentario Illustrati.

[136] De Optimo Imperio.

[137] Peter Martyr Vermigli (1499-1562) began his career as an Augustinian monk, preacher, and lecturer in Italy. Through personal study of the Scripture and the Reformers, he came to embrace the Protestant doctrines. He settled in England and served as Professor of Divinity at Oxford and as Canon of Christ Church. Unhappily, he was forced to flee from England as well, when Mary Tudor took the throne. He settled in Zurich and became Professor of Divinity there.

[138] In Librum Judicum Commentarii.

[139] Gasper Sanchez (1554-1628) was a Jesuit scholar. He served as Professor of Divinity at Alcala. He wrote Commentarius et Paraphrasis in Libros Regum, as well as commentaries on Isaiah, Jeremiah, and the Song of Solomon.

[140] In Duos Libros Samuelis Prophetæ Commentarii Doctissimi.

[141] Victorinus Strigelius (1524-1569) was a Melanchthonian Lutheran scholar and Professor of Philosophy at Jena, and then at Leipzig. He wrote Libri Samuelis, Regum, et Paralipomenon, ad Veritatem Hebraicam Recogniti et Breviis Commentarii Explicati.

[142] Francisco de Mendoça (1573-1626) was a Portuguese Jesuit scholar. He wrote Commentaria in Libros Regum.

[143] In Nehemiam.

[144] John Wolfius (1521-1571) was a Professor of Theology at Zurich. His In Esdram Commentarii and Nehemias, etc., de Instaurata Hierosolyma, sive in Nehemiæ Librum Commentaria was commended by Bishop Parkhurst for its excellence.

[145] In Esther.

[146] In Librum Esther.

[147] Olivier Bonart (1570-1655) was a Flemish Jesuit scholar. In Estheram Commentaria Litteralis et Moralis.

[148] Publius Ovidius Naso’s Epistulæ ex Ponto 3:5:18. Ovid (43 BC-17 AD) was a Roman poet.

1 comentário

Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
06 de mai. de 2019

This is a veritable "Who's Who" of the history of Biblical Interpretation. It is hard work, but a familiarity with these interpreters will repay the effort of a careful reading.

See Ephesians 4:11, 12.

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