Entries for March, 2009

Nicolas of Lyra on the Apocrypha: St. Jerome Revisited

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

You may recall (or may not!) about a year ago I had a post entitled St. Jerome vs. the Council of Trent on Scripture. I would like to continue that “anti-Apocrypha” line into the medievals with Nicolas of Lyra (1270-1340), and while the Roman Catholics might rightly call him Doctor plain and useful (Doctor Planus et Utilis), I think a Protestant might more justly call him either Doctor Sensus Literalis or Doctor Scripturae Canonicae. While reading through this article on Nicolas in the Catholic Encyclopedia, which calls him “one of the foremost exegetes of all time,” I wonder if (more…)

The 16th c. Digitilization Project at the BSB

Monday, March 23rd, 2009




If you thought Google Books was a boon for downloading primary source documents, the digitilization project at the Bavarian State Library (Bayerische StaatsBibliothek) will rock your socks. You can read about it here in German. The gist is basically this, the BSB is digitalizing all of the 16th c.documents published in German speaking lands irregardless of the language of the work. At the moment they have 23,289 documents available for free, the large majority available in PDF format. When the smoke clears, they hope to have almost 100k. That just makes a Historical Theologian giddy …

A few -/+ points: you do have a daily download limit, however, on the upside, unlike some other German university projects, with the BSB you can download a pdf rather than image by image. Some of the works are true high quality color photos, others are scans.

If you want to search their digital catalog, try here. If you want to browse, try here. If you want to just scroll through by title, try here.

If you have ever wanted a full color PDF copy of a 15th c. manuscript edition of Nicolas of Lyra’s Bible, this is the place to go. Or one of Martin Luther’s sermons on the Lord’s Supper (1527), skip the photocopies, microfiche, and film, go here. You won’t regret it.

The Albert Magnus E-Corpus

Friday, March 20th, 2009

Not only was Albert the Great (Albertus Magnus, 1193-1280) a philosopher and what one might call a medieval scientist, but he was also a monumental medieval theologian. He is known as Doctor Universalis for his vast knowledge and erudition in the classical fields of metaphysics, physics, logic, and ethics. What is more, he was also an active preacher and theologian in the Dominican Order. Thomas Aquinas was his student and protege, whom Albert outlived by 6 years and during that time defended his student’s theology. 

Through the tireless efforts of some staff and faculty at the University of Waterloo in Canada, 38 quarto-volumes (minus the inauthentic works) of the 19th c. Borgnet edition of the corpus of Albertus Magnus are available for download for free. Be warned each “volume” is, on average, a 200MB, 900 page pdf – just so you know. And it is totally in Latin. Volumes 14-38 (minus 5 inauthentic works) are the theological works divided between 8 volumes of scripture commentaries, 6 volumes on the Sentences, the 3 volume Summa Mirabilis Scientia Dei, and three volumes on humanity, the philosophical question of aeviternity as a possible conception of time, the mystery of the mass, and the Lord’s body. For theologians, the Summa and his commentaries on the Sentences are perhaps his most substantial contributions to the corpus of medieval theology.

Still interested? go here. 

Further Reading:

Wollebius on Saving Faith

Friday, March 20th, 2009

I had a little time today to read in and translate from Wollebius’ Compendium Christianae Theologiae. I found it encouraging and thought I would pass along the fruits of my daily translation warm-up. Wollebius (1586-1629) was a student of Amandus Polanus von Polansdorf, who in turn was a Lutheran and later came to Reformed persuasions under Beza. By the way, notice the scholastic method in full swing (causes, form, matter, effects, etc. as well as the typical “confirm, deny, or distinguish”). Notice also in Canon X the voluntarist shot (sorry, couldn’t help the pun!) at Thomas Aquinas’ intellectualist account of faith (interesting that he doesn’t acknowledge the RC medieval voluntarists or some of the Protestant intellectualists … ah well, it *is* a compendium after all). Canon X is a very brief glimpse at philosophy and theology interacting on the question of the relationship between the intellect, will, and appetites as well as how that relationship impinges on the understanding of regeneration, faith, salvation, and obedience. It is fair to say that there are a high number of voluntarists in the Reformed Protestant tradition by the mid-17th c. and also some intellectualists in the camp as well, but irregardless, all of the Reformed go after the implicit faith issue with Rome. Voetius (a Reformed, voluntarist contemporary of Wollebius, 1589-1676) is more even-handed in his treatments of voluntarism/intellectualism in his Select. Disputationum than this relatively shorter Compendiumbut then again Voetius’ is 5 phonebook-size volumes.  A note on the translation, I kept the author’s polemical tone by translating Pontifici and Pontani as papists.

Google Books used to have the Compendium available here (but recently this link isn’t working so … hmm … Google did promise to have it up “soon” – perhaps in the Panenbergian sense of the eschaton? who knows … ) For a recent, but out of print translation, see John W. Beardslee, III. Reformed Dogmatics: J. Wollebius, G. Voetius, F. Turretin (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1977) ISBN#: 080100540. There is also an older 1965 edition via Oxford University Press. So stay tuned to Google Books for the Latin or to purchase your own English copy surf your favorite online book dealer. By the way, for all those Yale grads who are curious about Wollebius’ theology and its impact on their college seal, see here for its origin and, of course, a closing riff on Harvard.


Fourth Century Christianity Site

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

This site is run by Dr. Glen Thompson, history prof, at Wisconsin Lutheran College and is replete with a plethora of patristic resources and links. It is well worth your time

Free Greek Lexicons

Saturday, March 14th, 2009

As I was browsing for a few minutes through Google Books the other day, I ran across a few precious lexical aids for New Testament and Classical Greek.

First up, and most significantly, the Liddell & Scott translation of Passow, 1870 edition UNABRIDGED – that’s right, all 1,706 pages right here on Google Books. I think I saw this version in a rare book lot for over $800. By the way, this version was folded into the Oxford Lexicon of Greek in the 20th c., so I don’t know how to commend it further. This is the virtually identical 1848 edition here, and here is the 1858 abridged OUP version.

Next, any NT Greek students and scholars probably know this in English as Thayer’s “A Greek Lexicon of the New Testament” (English version here). There is also a 19th c. Greek/Latin version here by C. Ludwig Wittebald Grimm (of Grimm fairy tales fame) who edited and revised Christian Gottlieb Wilke’s Clavis Novi Testamenta Philologica.

Third, we have Christian Stock’s 1190 page Clavis Linguae Sanctae Novi Testamenti, 1752 edition here.

Fourth up is the 1838 Donegan, Patton, and Schneider A New Greek & English Lexicon, here

Fifth, we have vol 1 of Christian Abraham Wahl’s Clavis Novi Testamenti Philologica here, but alas as far as I can tell, subsequent volumes have yet to be scanned. 

Last up is the complete volume of C. A. Wahl’s 1853 Clavis Librorum Veteris Testamenti Apocryphorum Philologica here.