Ian Levy, Philip Krey, and Thomas Ryan’s Letter to the Romans presents the history of early and medieval interpretations of Romans and gives substantial translations of select medieval commentaries. Written by eight representative medieval interpreters between the ninth and fourteenth centuries, these commentaries have never been translated into English before.
This valuable book will enhance contemporary reading of the Bible even as it lends insight into medieval scholarship. As Levy says, the medieval commentaries exhibit “qualities that many modern commentaries lack: a spiritual depth that reflects their very purpose, namely, to read Holy Scripture within the sacred tradition under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.”
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“The major intent of the series The Bible in Medieval Tradition is to reacquaint the Church with its rich history of biblical interpretation and with the contemporary applicability of this history, especially for academic study, spiritual formation, preaching, discussion groups, and individual reflection. Each volume focuses on a particular biblical book or set of books and provides documentary evidence of the most significant ways in which that work was treated in the course of medieval biblical interpretation.” (Page iv)
“Third, he disproves it by constructing an argument that is based on the fact that Christ’s grace is so much opposed to sin that it even killed and crucified us to sin. So great is this grace in itself that it has eternally, essentially, and irreversibly established us within the life of Christ, which is completely contrary to our old way of sin.” (Page 144)
“To understand things more fully, one should first seek their beginnings” (Page 59)
“Predestination and freedom of the will are not mutually exclusive” (Page 54)
“Christianity’s first several centuries coincided with a major expansion of written textual interpretation, including the development of Rabbinic literature—the compilation of the oral Torah along with the interpretation of it and the written Torah.” (Page 4)
A judicious selection of medieval Latin commentaries on the Epistle to the Romans. . . . Will be especially illuminating to readers interested in the history of exegesis who do not have much background in medieval theology, for whom the interpretations may be surprisingly rich and sophisticated. A cogent preface places the texts in helpful historical, theological, and literary contexts. Levy, Krey, and Ryan deserve our thanks for making these texts available to students of the Bible at all levels, from undergraduates to professors.
——E. Ann Matter, William R. Kenan, Jr. professor of religious studies, University of Pennsylvania
This book is a labor of love and a gift given by three of the world’s leading interpreters and translators of medieval biblical exegesis. . . . The chronological span taken on is breathtaking, with translations from late antiquity to the dawn of the Reformation. . . . This work altogether successfully defies the stereotype that medieval interpretation was simply parasitic upon patristic exegesis. It will be extremely valuable as a teaching tool.
——Kevin Madigan, Winn Professor of Ecclesiastical History and associate dean for faculty and academic affairs, Harvard Divinity School
This intelligently presented volume is a model not only in its choice of texts but also for its readable (and learned) introductions and notes. The keen interest in Romans over the centuries explains why Paul’s letter is a classic: it provides a surplus of meaning both in the past and in the present day.
——Lawrence S. Cunningham, John A. O’Brien Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame
One cannot understand patristic and medieval theology without careful attention to Romans. This volume, with its excellent introduction and well-balanced series of translated texts, is an impressive contribution to making the riches of medieval exegesis available to contemporary readers.
——Bernard McGinn, Naomi Shenstone Donnelley Professor Emeritus of Historical Theology, University of Chicago Divinity School
Ian Christopher Levy teaches theology at Providence College. He is also editor of A Companion to John Wyclif and coeditor (with Gary Macy and Kristen van Ausdall) of The Eucharist in the Middle Ages.
Philip Krey is Ministerium of New York Professor Early Church History at the Lutheran Theological Seminary of Philadelphia.
Thomas F. Ryan is director of the Loyola Institute for Ministry in New Orleans and the author of Thomas Aquinas as Reader of the Psalms.