By Deeana Copeland Klepper

Within the yr 1309, Nicholas of Lyra, an immense Franciscan Bible commentator, positioned forth a question on the college of Paris, asking even if it used to be attainable to end up the arrival of Christ from scriptures bought via the Jews. this query displays the demanding situations he confronted as a Christian exegete decided to price Jewish literature in the course of an period of accelerating hostility towards Jews in western Europe. Nicholas's literal remark at the Bible grew to become the most greatly copied and disseminated of all medieval Bible commentaries. Jewish remark was once, therefore, extra greatly learn in Latin Christendom than ever earlier than, whereas on the comparable second Jews have been being driven farther and farther to the margins of eu society. His writings depict Jews as obdurate unbelievers who additionally held vital keys to knowing Christian Scripture. within the perception of Unbelievers, Deeana Copeland Klepper examines past due medieval Christian use of the Hebrew Bible and Jewish interpretation of Scripture, concentrating on Nicholas of Lyra because the most crucial mediator of Hebrew traditions.Klepper highlights the $64000 influence of either Jewish literature and Jewish unbelief on Nicholas of Lyra and on Christian tradition extra usually. through conscientiously interpreting where of Hebrew and rabbinic traditions within the Christian research of the Bible, The perception of Unbelievers elaborates in new methods at the dating among Christian and Jewish scholarship and polemic in past due medieval Europe.

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Additional info for The Insight of Unbelievers: Nicholas of Lyra and Christian Reading of Jewish Text in the Later Middle Ages (Jewish Culture and Contexts)

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42 That Nicholas had earned a measure of authority in this regard may be seen from an interesting passage in a late fourteenth-century adaptation of Nicholas’s work by a Dominican friar named George of Siena. George assembled a collection of 116 prophecies from Hebrew Scripture proving the advent of Christ. In addition to heavy use of Augustine and Jerome, George inserted the entire text of Nicholas’s Quaestio de adventu Christi, pasting it into the appropriate sections of his own treatise. George never mentioned that he was using Nicholas of Lyra’s work but carefully edited Nicholas’s self-references to suggest that he himself was writing the arguments.

The lines of influence ran in both directions. 77 Throughout the thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries, virtually all advanced students spent at least some time in Paris studying, and English scholars including John of Wales, John Pecham, William de la Mare, and John Duns Scotus were regent masters in theology there. The mid-thirteenth century saw a conflict at Oxford regarding the teaching of theology at the university, at least for as long as Bishop Robert Grosseteste remained alive. The point of contention was the extent to which philosophical methods and the disputation of speculative questions ought to apply to theology.

30 In both cases, the application of the literal sense served to convey an alternative to established interpretations; both Rashi and Nicholas challenged traditional authorities—rabbinic or patristic—specifically on the basis of literal rather than allegorical understanding. M. ’’34 Rashi’s continuous commentary on the Hebrew Bible may have been especially congenial to Nicholas’s own continuous commentary, and new theories of authorship may have, in part, allowed Nicholas to separate Jewish wisdom from Jewish error, but these would seem to be at most facilitating factors that still beg the question of why Nicholas was interested in what the Jews had to say about the text in the first place.

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