The titles to the works have been translated into English.
Order of Contents
Some of the greatest historical, practical, spiritual and theological commentary on God’s Word is contained in Latin whole Bible commentaries through Church history, especially from the Reformation and puritan eras. Here the Church’s treasure is laid open for you.
A man would sell all he has to attain a pearl of great price (Mt. 13:46). Will you diligently commit three years to learning Latin in order to (freely) unlock this vast treasure of spiritual wealth?
About this Collection
This collection of 60+ commentaries includes every whole Bible commentary in Latin in Church history that has survived to our times, is commonly referenced in secondary literature, has not been translated into English and is available on the net. Latin whole Bible commentaries that have been translated into English (such as Calvin’s) are available on our page: Whole Bible Commentaries.
Sets that are only missing a few books of the Bible have been included here, as well as others who made a noble attempt in commenting on most of the whole Bible, or a significant portion thereof. Persons that did not quite make that mark (such as the Reformed Daniel Tossanus with respect to the Old Testament) have not been included here, though their works have been included on other sections of this site.
Oftentimes numerous editions of the works below are available at Post-Reformation Digital Library. We have sought to choose the most readable ones.
In the commentaries (or catenae, glossa and scholia) of the medievalists you will find rich collections of quotations from the early fathers. The same is true of many of the Romanist commentaries on this page, in addition to their often prodigious learning. Under the Protestant section you will find the famed 10+ vol. Critic Sacri (‘The Sacred Critics’), one of the most massive commentaries on Scripture ever produced. Many other notable commentaries are linked as well.
The History of Whole Bible Commentaries
When and how did commentaries on the whole Bible arise?
While numerous early Church fathers commented on much or most of the whole Bible in various separate volumes, that which more resembles our modern whole Bible commentaries began to take shape during the first part of the Middle Ages. C. Kannengiesser writes in his article, ‘Biblical Interpretation in the Early Church’ in Historical Handbook of Major Biblical Interpreters (IVP, 1998) p. 16:
“In the East, patristic exegesis ended with the creation of a new genre, the catenae, or collections of exegetical excerpts. Procopius of Gaza in Palestine (died c. 526) was the first to produce such a compilation. From one Biblical book to another he added, verse by verse, short citations from Philo, Origen, Basil, Theodoret, Cyril and others.
Symphonic commentaries of that sort were written in Palestine during the sixth century. The same compilatory technique prospered in Constantinople from the year 700 on. By quoting numerous sources lost in the meantime, the authors of catenae preserved substantial traces of interpretations otherwise unknown…
The genre proliferated in the Byzantine world until the twelfth century… At least thirty-five such catenae survived. But during the Arab conquest in 638 the library of Caesarea was destroyed, and with it the main center of patristic compilations.”
Whole Bible commentaries in Latin had their hay-day after the Reformation in the late-1500’s and 1600’s. Their decline corresponds roughly to the decline of scholasticism, beginning in the late 1600’s and continuing to decline into the early-1700’s with the rise of the Enlightenment. The Roman Catholic, Augustine Calmet’s (valuable) whole Bible commentary, originally published in French, having some popularity in its 1750’s Latin reprint, appears largely to be the last of its kind. Though it would be reprinted as late as 1791, and Joanne Alber’s Roman Catholic whole Bible commentary in Latin would be reprinted at the turn of the 1800’s, these printings bear the marks of being born out of their due time. The practice in the late-1700’s of sometimes, for convenience, printing a previously published Latin commentary on the Old Testament with another person’s Latin commentary on the New Testament shows the marks of transitional change to an era where whole Bible commentaries in Latin, often by one person, would shortly be no more.
The reasons for the decline of whole Bible commentaries in Latin appear to be:
– The rise of the English language as the lingua Franca in place of Latin, especially in the schools.
– The greater specialization in Biblical studies, with the attendant skepticism of the Enlightenment on the coherence of the Bible as God’s Word. Latin commentaries on the whole Old Testament or whole New Testament would continue to be written into the late-1700’s but they began to decline in the early 1800’s.
– The waning of the commonness of persons with, or the desire for, polymath learning and prodigious labor over their whole lives. May part of this decline be due to the loss of the greatest motivating factor: a vision for life wholly spent in the service of, and for the glory of God, profiting those around us in the best way? Where such prodigious scholars did continue, they were commonly rationalistic and tended to limit their endeavors to more narrow fields.
We hope that this webpage will inspire and facilitate persons to seek to uncover the rich heritage that we have in the dominant language of the theology of the Church.
in ed. Migne, Patrologia Graeca, vols. 12-17
Origen aligned various versions of Scripture in 6 parallel columns, with annotations below, mainly of variant readings.
Selections & Homilies on Gen-Jud, Kings, Job, Pslams
Fragments, Homilies, Excerpts & Selections on Prov, Song-Eze, Hos
Commentary, Homilies & Fragments on Matt, Luke
Commentary, Homilies & Framents on John-Rom, Gal-Eph, Col-Thess, Tit-Heb
Supplement to the Exegetical Works (OT & NT)
Origen (c. 184 – c. 253) of Alexandria, Egypt, was an early Christian scholar, ascetic, and theologian. He was a prolific writer who wrote roughly 2,000 treatises in multiple branches of theology, including textual criticism, biblical exegesis and biblical hermeneutics, homiletics, and spirituality. He is known as having greatly popularized an allegorical method of exegesis and has been one of the most influential commentators in Church history.
Apollinarius (d. 392) was a bishop of Laodicea in Syria. He is best known, however, as a noted opponent of Arianism. Apollinaris’s eagerness to emphasize the deity of Jesus and the unity of his person led him so far as to deny the existence of a rational human soul in Christ’s human nature. This view came to be called Apollinarism. It was condemned by the First Council of Constantinople, in 381.
For references to scholarly works where the above non-linked texts may be found, see ‘Apollinaris of Laodicea’ at FourthCentury.com.
“Apollinarius of Laodicea (c. 310-c. 390), condemned for heresy in the last decade of his life, was the most celebrated interpreter of Scripture at Antioch when Jerome enrolled among his students in 374. Well-trained in classical rhetorics, he was imbued with Alexandrian theology, but his ‘countless volumes on the Holy Scriptures’ (Jerome On Illustrious Men [De Viris Illustribus] 104) showed an independence of interpretation… Apollinarius did not perpetuate Origenian allegorism, nor did he formally adhere to the philological method of the Antiochene exegetes, though his his sharp remarks on the letter and the logic of the text were filled with moral applications and christological overtones.” – Kannengiesser in Historical Handbook of Major Biblical Interpreters (IVP, 1998), p. 13
Ambrose of Milan
in ed. Migne, Patrologia Latina, vols. 14-17
Ambrose (c. 340 – 397) was a bishop of Milanwho became one of the most influential ecclesiastical figures of the 4th century.
“From the mid-third century on, Origen’s accomplishment radiated over all provinces of the empire. After him, disciples and admirers produced a whole exegetical literature in the Origenian [allegorical] style:… Ambrose of Milan and Hilary of Poitiers, who introduced him to the Latin West…” – Historical Handbook of Major Biblical Interpreters (IVP, 1998), p. 7
Didymus the Blind
Commentary on Genesis Buy
Fragments & Expositions on Gen-Ex, 2 Sam, Job, Psalms, Prov
In German: Commentary on Ecclesiastes Buy
Commentary on Zechariah Buy
Didymus (c. 313 – 398) was a Christian theologian in the Church of Alexandria, where he taught for about half a century. He was a student of Origen, and, after the Second Counsel in Constantinople condemned Origen, Didymus’s works were not copied. Many of his writings are lost, but some of his commentaries and essays survive.
“…Origen paved the road for Christian hermeneutics as a professional and scientific enterprise fully in tune with the scholarly standard of his time. This was no small achievement. His successors built upon the foundations which he had laid:… Didymus the Blind (313-98) whose prolific exegetical work in the Origenistic tradition has in recent decades become better known through the papyrus find in Toura in Egypt…” – Froehlich, Biblical Interpretation in the Early Church (Fortress, 1984), p. 18
in Migne, Patrologiae Graeca, vols. 51, 53-63
25 Homilies on Certain Places in the New Testament
90 Homilies in Matthew, Part 1, Part 2
88 Homilies in John
55 Homilies in Acts
32 Homilies on Romans
44 Homilies on 1 Cor.
30 Homilies on 2 Cor.
Commentary on Galatians
Homilies on Eph-Phile
34 Homilies on Hebrews
Chrysostom (c. 349-407)
Theodore of Mopsuestia
Commentary, Exposition & Fragments on:
Mopsuestia (c. 350 – 428) is the best known representative of the middle School of Antioch of hermeneutics. The Catholic Encyclopedia says that during his lifetime, Theodore was considered an orthodox Christian thinker. Later though, long after his death, he was condemned as a Nestorian heretic.
Cyril of Alexandria
in ed. Migne, Patrologiae Graeca, vols. 69-74
Cyril of Alexandria (c. 376 – 444) was a leading and prolific protagonist in the Christological controversies of the late-4th and 5th centuries. He was a central figure in the Council of Ephesus in 431, which led to the deposition of Nestorius as Patriarch of Constantinople.
“Cyril produced a biblical exegesis presenting all the marks of a magisterial teaching: solemn diction, a display of vast knowledge and rhetorical skills, a constant affirmation of doctrinal correctness. Verse by verse, Isaiah, the Psalms… School procedures determine Cyril’s exposition of well-organized exegetical works in which the author grasps readers by the hand and, with eloquence and erudition, leads them to the spiritual sense… After Cyril, the exegetical tradition of Alexandria lost its impetus.” – Historical Handbook of Major Biblical Interpreters (IVP, 1998), p. 8
Gregory the Great
Pope Gregory I, or Gregory the Great (c. 540 – 604).
Paterius – Exposition of the Old & New Testament in Migne, Patrologiae Graeca, vol. 79
Paterius (d. 606) was a bishop of Brescia. He is known as a compiler, in particular of works of Pope Gregory I, for whom he worked as a notary.
ed. Migne, Patrologia Latina, vols. 91-93
Exegetical Works: Genuine (On the OT)
Exegetical Works: Genuine (Mt-Acts)
Bede (c.672-735) was an English Benedictine monk. Bede does not comment on all the Biblical books, but he does comment on enough of them to deserve a place on this webpage.
Strabo, Walafridus †849
The Sacred Bible with the Ordinary Gloss
“Within medieval schools, the most important commentary used in the disputations was the Glossa ordinaria, the Ordinary Gloss. Glosses are explanatory notes added to a text, in this case, the Bible.. Adding glosses to texts began in the eight and ninth centuries in Northumbria and Ireland. It steadily increased in popularity and use, until, by the beginning of the eleventh century, glossing was widespread… Collections of these glosses offering interpretation of the entire Bible began to appear in Paris about 1220, and shortly thereafter were found in Germany and England.” – History of Biblical Interpretation, vol. 2, pp. 37-8
“The celebrated Glossa Ordinaria of Walafridus Strabo [c. 808-849], or Strabus, may be considered as a Catena Patrum [chain of fathers] on the Scriptures. He copies considerably from Rabanus Maurus [c. 780-856], on some of the books. The work is valuable for giving the literal sense, historical and moral. It was first published at Nuremberg, 1494, in 6 vol. folio, and several editions were afterwards printed. The best are those of Douay, 1617, and Antwerp, 1634, in which the Postilla of De Lyra were incorporated with other additions, ‘forming together’ says Calmet, ‘a treasure for theologians and preachers.'” – James Darling
See also the comments of T.H. Horne, Manual of Biblical Bibliography, p. 244.
ed. Migne, Patrologia Latina, vol. 145
Damian (c. 1007–1072 or 1073) was a reforming Benedictine monk and cardinal in the circle of Pope Leo IX. Dante placed him in one of the highest circles of Paradiso as a great predecessor of Saint Francis of Assisi and he was declared a Doctor of the Roman Church in 1828.
Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew (Antwerp, 1551)
Ennarations on the Epistles of Paul (Cologne, Germany, 1545)
Anselm (c.1033-1109) was an Italian, Benedictine monk, abbot, philosopher and theologian of the Roman Catholic Church, who held the office of archbishop of Canterbury from 1093 to 1109.
Editions of the Historica Scholastica 1st ed. 1175
Northwest Italy, 1303 Info
Western Germany, 1450 Info
“By the twelfth century, comprehensive, discursive commentaries emerged. The most influential discursive commentary, the Historia scholastica by Peter Comestor, chancellor of the school of Notre Dame, appeared in 1175. This comprehensive exposition of the Bible became widely used in the later Middle Ages.” – History of Biblical Interpretation, vol. 2, p. 38
The Latin Bible with the Ordinary Glosses c. 1220
Biblia Latina cum Glossa Ordinaria, introductions by K. Frehlich and M.T. Gibson (4 vols.; Turnhout: Brepols, 1992)
ed. Rusch, Adolph – Biblia Latina Cum Glossa Ordinaria: Fascimile Reprint of the Editio Pinceps Adloph Rusch of Strassburg 1480/81 Ref rep. Turnhout, 1992
“Around 1220 the first complete glossed Bibles were produced, and about the same time what was by then a more or less standard text came to be called the Glossa Ordinaria, the Ordinary Gloss to Scripture, its status propagated if not at first achieved in connection with the theological faculty of the new university of Paris…” – Historical Handbook of Major Biblical Interpreters (IVP, 1998), p. 77
“The most important glossed Bible was the Ordinary Gloss, nine volumes of interpretation of the Bible… The Ordinary Gloss wielded vast influence in scholasticism, helped by the citations of it in Lombard’s [very popular] Four Books of Sentences…” – History of Biblical Interpretation, vol. 2, p. 38
Anthony of Padua – The Mystical Interpretation in the Sacred Scripture in ed. R.P. Joannis de la Haye of Paris, All the Works of St. Anthony of Padua (Pedeponti Ratisbonam Bibliopolae, 1739), pp. 366-608
Anthony (1195-1231) was a Portuguese Catholic priest and friar of the Franciscan Order.
Hugo of Saint Caro d. 1263
All the Homilies of Hugo from St. Caro, in which are Delineated All the Senses: Literal, Allegorical, Tropological & Analogical, on (1487/1703):
“The most influential type of comprehensive commentary, the postilla, was developed in the Dominican school at the University of Paris in the early thirteenth century, under the influence of Hugh of Saint-Cher (d. 1263). The postilla, a running commentary composed originally as classroom lectures, became the typical Bible commentary of scholasticism. The postilla was intended to supplement the Ordinary Gloss with newer interpretations and theological outlooks. These supplements were often digressions on theological subjects suggested by the passage being interpreted, and focused essentially on the literal sense of the passage.” – History of Biblical Interpretation, vol. 2, p. 38
“…which are much esteemed, particularly those on the Psalms.” – James Darling
Aureolus, Petrus – A Compendium of the Literal Sense of the Whoe Divine Scripture d. 1322
“One early fourteenth century interpreter, the Franciscan Pierre Aureol, made a handy Compendium to rival the old Historia Scholastica. But the form of these achievements was not exclusive.” C. Ocker, Historical Handbook of Major Biblical Interpreters (IVP, 1998), p. 78
De Lyra, Nicholas d. 1349
The Sacred Bible Set in Order and Interlined with Glosses and the Postils and Moral Teachings of Nicholas de Lyra ed. 1545
“The Postilla, or short commentaries of De Lyra [c. 1270-1349], are far superior to the age in which he flourished, and show great acquaintance with the literal sense of Scripture. They are especially valuable for the Old Testament, from his superior knowledge of Hebrew and the Rabbinical writers, particularly Jarchi [1040–1105]. An edition was printed by Mentelin, in 1473, in 4 vol. folio, and many other editions were printed. The best are those which accompany the Glossa of Strabo [above]. The Postilla are also to be found in the Biblia Maxima of De la Haye [below].” – James Darling
“A book regarded as having no small part in bringing on the Reformation. ‘Lyra’s lyre woke Luther’s dance.'” – Howard Malcom
See also the comments of T.H. Horne, Manual of Biblical Bibliography, p. 244.
Denis the Carthusian d. 1471
Commentary on the Old & New Testament (in Works, vols. 1-13)
Gen – Ex 19
Ex 20 – Dt
Josh – 1 Kn
2 Kn – Chron, Job 37
Job 38-42, Ezra, Esther, Psalms 1-43 Does not include Nehemiah
The 7 Penitential Psalms
Eccl, Isa Prov & the Song are not included
Mt – Lk 9
Lk 10 – Jn
Rom – 2 Pet
1 Jn – Rev
Epitomes of all the Books of the Bible
Denis (1402-1471) “Without much secular learning or much criticism, Dionysius the Carthusian has great discernment, knowledge and piety, with an easy style. There were various editions of the different volumes of his commentaries printed in the sixteenth century.” – James Darling
Oecolampadius (1482-1531) was a reformer and humanist, largely in Basel.
“Pellican gives the Latin Vulgate retouched, and rendered more conformable to the Hebrew and Greek; his commentaries are excellent for elucidating the literal and grammatical sense of Scripture, and for throwing light on many obscure passages. He did not write on Jonah, Zechariah, or the Apocalypse. The commentary on the Apocalypse, by S[ebastian] Meyer, in which Pellican assisted is often added. The work thus complete (in 10 vol. folio) is very scarce.” – James Darling
Pellican, Conrad, Henry Bullinger, Leo Jud, Theodore Bibliander – The Most Holy Bible of the Old & New Testament… with a Consulting of Orthodox Interpreters (Tigur, 1543)
This has light margin notes, similar to a study Bible. On the authors, see Wikipedia on Pellican, Jud & Bibliander. On this work, see John Kitto, Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature, on Bibliander, p. 363.
Junius, Tremellius & Beza
The Sacred Bible, 6 vols. (London, 1592-3)
Not every edition of this work includes the commentary via margin notes. The six volume London edition (1592-3, above) does, and is one of the best editions in this regard.
“The first edition of the Old Testament was published by Andreas Wechel in Frankfurt am Main in five volumes, which appeared between 1575 and 1579… The Old Testament was almost immediately reprinted in London in 1579 to 1580, with Tremellius’ Latin rendering of the New Testament constituting a sixth part. Thereafter, Tremellius’ and Junius’ Old Testament went through a significant number of reprintings in locations throughout Europe, including Frankfurt, London, Geneva, Hanau and Amsterdam.
Following Tremellius’ death, Junius made sufficient revisions to the text and additions to the annotations to merit releasing them as revised editions. Thus a ‘second version’ appeared in 1590, a ‘third’ in 1596 and a ‘fourth’ in 1603. With the exception of the original Frankfurt edition, every edition included a version of the New Testament. The first London edition, which used Tremellius’ translation from Syriac, was exceptional; every subsequent edition had Beza’s translation from the Greek and Tremellius’ translation from the Syriac printed together in parallel columns, or else joined Tremellius’ Old Testament with Beza’s New Testament.”
– Kenneth Austin, From Judaism to Calvinism: the life and writings of Immanuel Tremellius (c. 1510–1580). St. Andrews Studies in Reformation History (Aldershot, Hants, England; Burlington, VT: Ashgate Pub, 2007) 147, 179.
On the Difficult Places of:
Annotations on the New Testament (Franeker, 1616) The first part of the volume is a dictionary of Hebrew words in the NT with philological comments.
Annotations in the Whole Testament of Jesus Christ (Amsterdam, 1632) This is different than that above.
Drusius (1550-1616) was a Flemish divine, distinguished specially as an Orientalist, Hebraist and exegete.
Pareus, David d. 1622
Theological & Exegetical Works
Observations on the Old Testament Books in Louis Cappel, Commentaries & Critical Notes in the Old Testament (Amsterdam, 1689), pp. 579-695
Cappel (1570-1624) was a professor of Hebrew and theology and the uncle of the well-known Louis Cappel.
“Reformed ancestors of the federal school, like Piscator, produced highly typological and christological readings of the Old Testament, whereas others, like Ainsworth, retained Calvin’s reserve.” – R. Muller, Historical Handbook of Major Biblical Interpreters (IVP, 1998), p. 141
Doughtie (1598–1672) was a reformed Anglican.
Sacred Analecta, or Brief Philological Excursus on Diverse Places of the Old and New Testaments, to which is subjoined the Animadversions of Norton Knatchbul on the Books of the New Testament 1694 While this edition contains commentary on the NT, the scanning of it is so bad that it is hardly usable.
Knatchbul (1602–1685) was a scholar and may have been reformed as Peter du Moulin the younger in 1680 dedicated to him his ‘Short View of the Chief Points in Controversy between the Reformed Churches and the Church of Rome’.
Knatchbul “In the year before the Restoration [in 1660]… published his ‘Animadversiones in Libros Novi Testamenti. Paradoxæ Orthodoxæ… The work consists of a large number of critical emendations, based upon a fair knowledge of Hebrew, and showing considerable intrepidity for a critic of that period… a fourth edition, in English, appeared in 1692, entitled ‘Annotations upon some difficult Texts in all the Books of the New Testament,’ Cambridge, 1693 [Ref]. The translation is, according to Darling (Cyclop. Bibl. 1738), the author’s own… The work was held in great estimation for a century after its publication, and figures in a list of books annotated by the learned Ambrose Bonwicke (1652–1722) [q. v.] (Nichols, Lit. Anecd. v. 141). Kitto, however, says that Knatchbull’s remarks ‘are entirely wanting in depth, and we cannot read them without wonder at the small amount of knowledge which procured for their author such a widespread reputation’ (Cyclop. Bibl. ii. s.v.) ” – Dictionary of National Biography
Cartwright, Christopher – The Honey of the Hebrews, or Diverse Observations out of the Hebrews, Especially of Antiquities and Monuments, with Many Place in the Old & New Testament Explained, Illustrated and Other Many Notes… in Critici Sacri (1660), vol. 9, cols. 2943-3128
Cartwright (1602–1658) was an English clergyman, known as a Hebraist and for his use of targums in Biblical exegesis, following the lead of Henry Ainsworth with John Weemes.
“This [work] was first published in the ninth volume of the Critici Sacri, 1660…” – Wikipedia
Song of Hannah
2 Sam. 23:1-8
Chronology of the Judges & Kings
The Psalms translated by Coccejus
Song of Solomon translated by Coccejus, & Dt. 32
Song of Solomon
On the Antichrist: 2 Thess. 2, Mt. 24, Dan. 2,7,11, Apoc. 13,17, 1 John 2,4
Coccejus (1603-1669) was a Dutch theologian born in Bremen, known for his alternate covenant theology.
Key to the Hebrew OT and Greek NT in which Difficult Subjects are Driven Back, Irregular Words and Constructions are Explained, Other Difficulties are Unfolded and Sacred and Profane Philological Observations and Antiquities are Annotated (Utrecht, 1672/83)
Leusden (1624-1699) was a Dutch theologian and professor of Oriental languages at Utrecht.
This set is different (much more massive and detailed) than Poole’s Annotations on the Whole Bible, which has been reprinted in 3 vols.
“If you are well enough versed in Latin, you will find in Poole’s Synopsis a marvelous collection of all the wisdom and folly of the critics. It is a large cyclopaedia worthy of the days when theologians could be cyclopean, and had not shrunk from folios to octavos. Query–a query for which I will not demand an answer–has one of you ever beaten the dust from the venerable copy of Poole which loads our library shelves? Yet as Poole spent no less than ten years in compiling it, it should be worthy of your frequent notice–ten years, let me add, spent in Amsterdam in exile for the truth’s sake from his native land.
His work was based upon an earlier compilation entitled Critici Sacri, containing the concentrated light of a constellation of learned men who have never been excelled in any age or country.” – Charles Spurgeon, Commenting and Commentaries
“The reprint edited by Leusden, Ultr. 1684, is greatly esteemed.” – James Darling
“On the suggestion of William Lloyd (1627-1717), ultimately bishop of Worcester, [Matthew] Poole (1624-1679) undertook the great work of his life, the ‘Synopsis’ of the critical labours of biblical commentators. He began the compilation in 1666, and laboured at it for ten years. His plan was to rise at three or four in the morning, take a raw egg at eight or nine, and another at twelve, and continue at his studies till late in the afternoon. The evening he spent at some friend’s house, very frequently that of Henry Ashurst, where ‘he would be exceedingly but innocently merry,’ although he always ended the day in ‘grave and serious discourse.’
The prospectus of Poole’s work bore the names of eight bishops (headed by Morley and Hacket) and five continental scholars, besides other divines. Simon Patrick (1626-1707), Tillotson, and Stillingfleet, with four laymen, acted as trustees of the subscription money. A patent for the work was obtained on 14 Oct. 1667. The first volume was ready for the press, when difficulties were raised by Cornelius Bee, publisher of the ‘Critici Sacri’ (1660, fol., nine vols.), who accused Poole of invading his patent, both by citing authors reprinted in his collection, and by injuring his prospective sales. Poole had offered Bee a fourth share in the property of the ‘Synopsis,’ but this was declined. After pamphlets had been written and legal opinions taken, the matter was referred to Henry Pierrepont, marquis of Dorchester, and Arthur Annesley, first earl of Anglesey, who decided in Poole’s favour. Bee’s name appears (1669) among the publishers of the ‘Synopsis,’ which was to have been completed in three folio volumes, but ran to five. Four thousand copies were printed, and quickly disposed of.
The merit of Poole’s work depends partly on its wide range, as a compendium of contributions to textual interpretation, partly on the rare skill which condenses into brief, crisp notes the substance of much laboured comment. Rabbinical sources and Roman catholic commentators are not neglected; little is taken from Calvin, nothing from Luther.” – Dictionary of National Biography
Heidegger, Johann Heinrich – A Biblical Manual: Sacred Reading, a General Analysis of each of the Books of the Old & New Testament… (Amsterdam, 1688)
Heidegger (1633-1698) was a Swiss theologian and the principal author of the Formula Consensus Helvetica (1675).
de Dieu, Ludovici
Animadversions on: (These are different than that above)
de Dieu (1590-1642) was a Dutch minister and an orientalist.
Iken (1689-1753) was a professor of theology at Bremen, Germany.
Commentaries on (especially in Corpus Reformatorum, vols. 13-15):
Gen-Dt in Works, vol. 1
Josh-Esth in Works, vol. 2 Chronicles are not included
Job-Psalms in Works, vol. 3 with Theodore Snepf
Eccl-Mic in Works, vol. 4 Prov, Song, Lam, Dan, Joel, Oba & Nah-Mal are not included
Mt-Lk in Works, vol. 5
John in Works, vol. 6
Acts-Rom, Gal, Phil, Phile in Works, vol. 7 The other NT books are not included
“Lauded by Luther.” – Howard Malcom
This one volume work has commentary via margin notes on the Bible. The commentary is similar to, but a bit different and less full than the multi-volume edition below.
A Brief & Clear Explication of 1583-4
Osiander (1534-1604) was a German Lutheran and the son of the more well known reformer, Andreas Osiander, who had advocated a view of being justified by infused righteousness, which Calvin argued against in his Institutes.
“It has been said of Lucas Osiander, that he had discovered the secret of being brief with fertility, and fertile with brevity.” – James Darling
Quistorp, I, Johann – Annotations in All the Biblical Books: Collected & Furnished (Francofurt, 1648)
Quistorp, I (1584-1648) was a preacher and a professor of theology in Rostock, Germany.
The Bible Illustrated 1672/1719
R. Muller: “Among Lutheran efforts of the late seventeenth century, Abraham Calovius’s Biblia Illustrata stands out as a most influential example of the running commentary on the entire text of the Bible. It functioned both as a somewhat polemical textual response to Grotius’s Annotationes and as a highly respected devotional Bible, treasured well into the next century by J.S. Bach, among other.” – Historical Handbook of Major Biblical Interpreters (IVP, 1998), p. 147
“An immense storehouse of information, touching versions, expositions, and other Biblical subjects. Strong against Papists and Socinians.” – Howard Malcom
“His Biblia Illustrata… contains valuable dogmatic material.” – H. Schmid
Walther, Jr., Michael – Biblical Harmony, or a Brief and Plain Reconciliation of Places in the Old and New Testament which Appear to Contradict Themselves… Illustrated… (Nuremberg, 1665)
Walther (1638-1692) was a German mathematician and Lutheran theologian. This work is very full, commenting on much of most chapters in the Bible.
Commentary and Annotations on:
Common Places in the OT in Collegium Biblicum, vol. 1
Job, vol. 1 (1-20), vol. 2 (21-42)
Psalms of Christ (2,8,19,23,29,31,35,40,41,45,47,48,50,67,68,69,70,72,78,87-89,93,95-100,102,109-110,117-118,126)
Jer, vol. 1 (1-26), vol. 2 (27-52)
Gezelius, Sr., Johannes & Johannes Gezelius, Jr. – Unknown Titles 1711-1713 & 1724-1728
R. Muller: “The vast posthumous biblical commentary of the Finnish Lutheran bishops, Johannes Gezelius Sr. (1615-1690) and Johannes Gezelius Jr. (1647-1718), published in 1711 to 1713 (New Testament) and 1724 to 1728 (Old Testament), also deserves mention as a pastoral and homiletical effort, despite the vehement anti-Pietist sentiments of both its authors.” – Historical Handbook of Major Biblical Interpreters (IVP, 1998), p. 147
Castellio (1515-63) was a French preacher and one of the first religious proponents of religious toleration (disputing with Calvin about this). He also wrote a work on Rom. 9 against Theodore Beza. Castellio’s annotations are included in the Critici Sacri.
This work is less full than the one above, being often brief summaries of the Biblical books, though longer commentary is included on some of the books.
Annotations on the
Grotius (1583-1645) was a leading Biblical scholar of his day as well as an Arminian and Erastian. His commentary was widely influential for generations afterwards, though it greatly suffers for his aberrant doctrinal views and often idiosyncratic and unlikely textual interpretations.
“An unsafe guide; But Doddridge thinks ‘he has done more to illustrate Scripture by profane learning, than all other commentators put together.'” – Howard Malcom
See also the comments of T.H. Horne, Manual of Biblical Bibliography, p. 245. Though these Annotations were translated into English, they do not appear to be available in English on the net.
The Sacred Critics [Critici Sacri]
“A great monument to biblical scholarship, comprising nearly 10,000 pages of commentaries by well over fifty sixteenth- and seventeenth-century scholars, perhaps the most ambitious universal Bible commentary ever compiled… The commentaries and criticism are arranged… by the Bible passages they discuss, so that one can readily read and compare the views of all the leading scholars concerning any passage.
The present edition [1698, the revised and best edition] mentions the compilers only at the end of the preface taken over from the first edition (London 1660), principally John Pearson (1613-1686), Bishop of Chester and later Professor of Theology at Cambridge, with his colleagues Anthony Scattergood, Francis Gouldman and Richard Pearson. They brought together texts by Erasmus, Sebastian Munster, Joannes Drusius, Benedictus Arias Montanus, Isaac Casaubon, Edward Brerewood, Kaspar Waser, Hugo Grotius, Petrus Cunaeus, Joseph Scaliger, Johannes Cloppenburg, James Ussher and many more…
Isaac Walton´s London Polyglot Bible (1655-1657) secured England´s place in the world of biblical scholarship. While both its preparation and its publication stimulated a great deal of new scholarship, its parallel presentation of eighteen Bible texts in nine languages left limited room for commentary. The 1660 Critici Sacri in nine volumes was the first and most extensive attempt to fill this gap… English book production still lagged behind Dutch at this date, however, so the present second edition reaps the typographic benefits of the Dutch Golden Age.” – Swaen.com
1660: Joannes Pricaeus on Mt, Lk, Acts, Tim, Tit, Phile, Jms, 1-3 Jn, Jud, Rev
1695: vol. 2. Historical
1696: vol. 6. Tracts
1698: vol. 4. Mt-Rom
1698, Largest & Best ed.
Additional Volumes to the Series
Brenius, Dan – Brief Annotations in the Old & New Testament 1664
Brenius (1594-1664) was a Socinian. The comments are full on some books and sparse on others.
Raphel, Brandan Ludolph
Annotations on Sacred Scripture out of Xenophon, Polybius, Herodotus, etc. (1747)
Not every book and not every passage of the Bible is commented on, as this is a collection of annotations from secular histories where they relate to Scripture.
Commentaries According to the Literal Sense, on:
Cajetan (1469–1534) was an Itallian cardinal, philosopher and a chief apologist for Romanism in his day.
Clarius, Bishop – Annotations in Vetus et Novum Testamentum 1542
These annotations are in the Critici Sacri above.
“The annotations of Clarius were printed in folio at Venice 1542, and again 1557. Some parts of them having been placed in the Index [the Roman Catholic list of banned books], an expurgated edition was published in 1564. He has left nothing on the Apocalypse. His notes on the Old Testament are, in a great measure, taken from Sebastian Munster.” – James Darling
The Sacred Bible with the Annotations of Various Interpreters 1545/1729
Vatable (-1547) was a French, humanist scholar.
“The annotations of Francis Vatablus were written from his lectures, as professor in the University of Paris, by one of his scholars (Bertin le Comte), and published by Robert Stephens in his edition of the Latin Bible, 1545, and again in 1557. Stephens was accused of mixing Protestant sentiments with them; and the doctors of Salamanca, in their celebrated and rare edition, 1584, profess to have again rendered them proper for Roman Catholics. The works has been often reprinted. The annotations of Vatablus are inserted in the Critici Sacri.” – James Darling
Ferus (1495-1554) appears to have been a pseudonym for Johann Wild. Wild was a German Franciscan scriptural commentator and preacher. Not even his opponents disputed his title of being the most learned preacher in Germany in the sixteenth century. The Protestant historian, Henry Pantaleon, said of him:
“His days and nights were spent in the fulfillment of his sacred functions and in study, so that he became a most learned theologian. To profound learning and rich eloquence he united great sanctity of life”.
Sixtus of Sienna – A Holy Library, Collected out of Principal Catholic Church Authors (Venice, 1566)
Sixtus (1520–1569) was a Jew who converted to Roman Catholicism. He is considered one of the two most outstanding Dominican scholars of his generation.
“…also published as Ars Interpretandi Sacras Scripturas, discusses the canon and authority of Scripture, the individual biblical authors and their writings, and the interpretation of the text in its various senses and offers comments on passages of theological and critical interest in both Testaments. Sixtus’s work is noteworthy for its critical and hermeneutical dimensions, such as its argument for the multiple authorship of the Psalter, its assumption of a twofold literal sense much like that taught by Nicholas of Lyra, and its advocacy of the use of original texts and multilingual tools like the Complutensian Polyglott.” – R. Muller, Historical Handbook of Major Biblical Interpreters (IVP, 1998), p. 135
ed. Montano, Benito Arias – Antwerp Polyglot, vol. 6 (Antwerp, 1571)
Montano (1527-1598) was a Spanish orientalist and editor of the Antwerp Polyglot. “…the Antwerp polyglot, funded by Philip II of Spain and therefore also called the Biblia Regia, represents the flowering of sixteenth-century Roman Catholic philology.” – R. Muller, Historical Handbook of Major Biblical Interpreters (IVP, 1998), p. 136
The 8 volume Antwerp Polyglot was the first of the polyglots to be produced in that era. The first 4 volumes contain the Old Testament in multiple languages in parallel columns. Vol. 5 is the New Testament in parallel columns. This 6th volume contains a Latin interlinear of the New and Old Testaments with critical marginal notes. The New Testament comes first; the books of the Old Testament follow in reverse order.
The seventh volume contains various language lexicons and grammars. Vol. 8 contains the original texts of the Old and New Testaments with Latin translations.
Lucas de Brugensis, Francis
“Judicious and well-considered notes. They are inserted in the Critici Sacri.” – James Darling
A Commentary on the Most Holy Gospels of Jesus Christ, vol. 1 (Mt), 2 & 3 (Mk-Lk), 4 (Jn)
Latin Bible of the Theologians of Louvain [Belgium] (Biblia Latina Theologorum Lovaniensum) 1580
“Reprinted, 1582-83-84-87, and 1590. This Bible is accompanied with various readings and good notes by Lucas Brugensis, Molanus, and others. They are to be found in the Critici Sacri, and they have been much commended by Mill, Simon, John Fabricius, and other critics.” – James Darling
Sa (1530-1596) was a Portuguese Jesuit theologian and exegete.
“Useful short notes, often reprinted. They were added to an edition of the Scholia of Mariana, 2 vol. folio, 1624, and they form part of the Biblia Magna of De la Haye [below].” – James Darling
Montano, Benito Arias
A Latin Psalter with annotations
Montano (1527-1598) was a Spanish orientalist and editor of the Antwerp Polyglot.
de Mariana, Juan – Scholia on the Old & New Testament 1613/1620
Mariana (d. 1624) was a Spanish Jesuit priest, scholastic and an historian.
R. Muller: “Juan de Mariana (1536-1604) adopted theological genre of the older exegesis in his Scholia…” – Historical Handbook of Major Biblical Interpreters (IVP, 1998), p. 145
On ‘scholia’, see Wikipedia.
Estius (1542-1613) was Dutch.
R. Muller: “Protestant exegetes of the seventeenth century were concerned to respond to Estius, and they often cited [other Roman Catholics] Maldonatus [1535-1583], [Benito] Arias Montanus [1527-1598] and Sixtus Senensis [1520–1569] with approval.” – Historical Handbook of Major Biblical Interpreters (IVP, 1998), pp. 145-6
“They are inserted in the Biblia Magna and Maxima; but they are inferior to the author’s exposition of the Epistles.” – James Darling Estius’ 7-12 vol. commentary on the epistles is at PRDL.
Commentary on Sacred Scripture 1632/1757
Tirini (1580-1636) was a Belgian, Jesuit, Biblical scholar.
“The work is inserted in the Biblia Magna and Biblia Maxima. The Prolegomena on ancient weights and measures are to be found in Walton’s Polyglott. Tirinus in his commentary has collected and abridged what he considered best in other commentators, particularly Cornelius a Lapide [below].” – James Darling
Gordon, James – The Bible with Comments According to the Literal Sense, 3 vols 1632/1636
Gordon (1553-1641) was a Jesuit member of the house of Lesmore, Aberdeenshire. “This commentary, which is much in the style of Tirinus, is not much esteemed.” – James Darling
a Lapide, Cornelius
Commentaries on the Old and New Testament (1615-45 & 1653-64)
a Lapide (1567-1637) was a Flemish, Catholic, Jesuit priest.
R. Muller: “His work is notable for its grasp of patristic and medieval exegesis and its ability to sum up the tradition by offering not only literal but also allegorical, moral and anagogical meanings and by engaging more contemporary developments in the examination of the Hebrew and Greek texts.” – Historical Handbook of Major Biblical Interpreters (IVP, 1998), p. 145
“The commentaries of Cornelius a Lapide are held in great esteem by learned men, especially the commentaries on the Pentateuch and on the Epistles of St. Paul, which have been considered the chef d’oeuvres of erudition.” – James Darling
Menochio, Giovanni Stefano – Commentaries on the Whole of Sacred Scripture
Menochio (1575-1655) was an Itallian, Jesuit, Biblical scholar.
“Short but solid explanations of Scripture. According to Dupin and Father Simon, Menochius gives in a few words more than others do in lengthened commentaries. They are inserted in the Biblia Magna and Maxima of De la Haye [below].” – James Darling
de la Haye, Jean et al.
de la Haye (1593 – 1661) was a French preacher and Biblical scholar. He held important offices in the Franciscan Order and at the Court of Louis XIII, and is the author or editor of some forty folio volumes and several unpublished manuscripts. These two major commentaries were designed principally for the use of priests and preachers. After every chapter, Haye quotes verbatim the commentaries of Gagnaeus, Estius, Manuel de Sá, Menochius, and Tirinus (S.J.).
The Greatest Bible [Biblia Maxima], vol. 1 (Proleg-Gen), 2 (Ex-Lev), 3 (Num-Josh), 4 (Judg-2 Kings), 5 (1 Chron-Job), 6 (Ps), 7 (Prov-Song), 8 (Ecclesiasticus), 9 (Isa), 10 (Jer-Lam), 11 (Eze-Dan), 12 (Minor & Macc), 13 (Mt-Mk), 14 (Lk-Jn), 15 (Rom-Gal), 16 (Gal-Heb), 17 (Acts, Catholic Letters, Rev), 18 (Indices), 19 (Indices) (Paris, 1660) Table of contents to the volumes
In this work Hayes appends to each Biblical section 1. the various readings of the versions, 2. a paragraph in which the harmony of these readings and the literal meaning of the text are briefly discussed, and 3. annotations drawn from the commentators above cited, but headed, in this case, by Nicolaus Lyranus (O.F.M.).
Carrière, Francis – Commentary on the Whole Scripture (Leiden, 1663)
Carriere (d. 1665) was a part of the Order of Franciscans.
de Escobar y Mendoza, Antonio – Literal & Moral Commentaries on the Old & New Testament: 1. Pentateuch, 2. Josh – 2 Kings, 3. Chron, Apocrypha, Esther, 4. Job – Psalms, 5. Prov – Song, 6. Major, 7. Minor, 8. Gospels – Acts, 9. Rom – Rev
Antonio (1589–1669) was a Jesuit, preacher and a leading ethicist of his time.
Du Hamel, Jean-Baptiste – The Sacred Bible: Vulgate Edition, with Select Excerpted Annotations out of the Best Interpreters 1705
Du Hamel (1624-1706) was a French cleric and natural philosopher. “The chronological tables by Tournemine are well executed.” – James Darling See the comments by Horne, Manual of Biblical Bibliography, p. 250.
Calmet, Antoine Augustine – A Literal Commentary on All the Books of the Old and New Testament, vols. 1.1 (Gen-Ex), 1.2 (Lev-Deut), 2.1 (Josh-2 Kings), 2.2 (1 Kings-Ezra), 3 (Esth-Job, Apocrypha), 4 (Psalms-Prov), 5 (Eccl-Isa), 6 (Jer-Mal), 7 (Mt-Acts), 8 (Rom-Rev) trans. Joanne Mansi (Venice, 1730/1754 & Würzburg, Germany, 1791) The three editions here combined vary volume numbers. A French edition was published as early as 1707.
Calmet (1672–1757) was a French Benedictine monk born in the Duchy of Bar, part of the Holy Roman Empire at that time, though it is now part of the French department of Meuse, located in the region of Lorraine. He was especially known for his standard Bible dictionary, which remained the basis for many older Bible dictionaries (including protestant ones) into the mid-1800’s.
“Exceedingly valuable. [Thomas] Horne used it largely in his Introduction [to the Bible, 4 vols.].” – Howard Malcom
“One of the best commentaries which have ever been written; it displays immense learning, good sense, sound judgment, and deep piety. It contains the Latin Vulgate… with a commentary, literal, historical and critical, on the historical books, and literal and moral on the others; the prefaces, dissertations, and other illustrations, are full of interesting information.” – James Darling
Alber, Joanne Nep. – Interpretation of Sacred Scripture on all the Old and New Testament Books (Pesth, Hungary, 1801-4), vol. 1 (Pro-Gen), 2 (Ex-Num), 3 (Dt-Ruth), 4 (Sam-Kings), 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 (2 Cor-Phile), 16 (Heb-Rev)
On this massive work, see T.H. Horne, Manual of Biblical Bibliography, p. 252.
A Complete Course through Sacred Scripture out of all the Most Perfect Commentaries… & a great part of the bishops, even theologians of Catholic Europe… with many of the older annotations… these are annotated in truth & at the same time given by Migne (Paris, 1839 ff.)
vol. 1 – Of the Whole, Versions, Theology of: Bonfrerius, Valtonus, Renaldotus, Mariana, Jerome, Poncius, Marcellius
vol. 2 – Relation of OT & NT: Bucanus, Huetius, Acosta, Editors, Frassenius, Iahn
vol. 3 – Natural History, Archeology, Geology, Chronology: Marchini, W. Carpenter, Editors, du Bocage, Le Quien
vol. 4 – Authority of the Books, Against Unbelievers: Duvoisin, Tuvache, Stattler, Veith
vol. 5 – Intro to Pentateuch, Gen, Ex: Iahn, Lapide, Calmet
vol. 6 – Ex-Num: Lapide, Calmet
vol. 7 – Num, Dt, Pentateuch, Josh: Lapide, Calmet, Vence, Jerome, Masius
vol. 8 – Josh-Ruth: Masius, Calmet, Vence, Bonfrerius, Rondetus, Jerome
vol. 9 – 1-2 Sam: Sanctius, Calmet, Sacy, Lapide, Duclot
vol. 10 – 2 Sam – 1 Kings: Sanctius, Lapide, Calmet, Sacy., Duclot.
vol. 11 – 2 Kings – 2 Chron: Sanctius, Calmet et al.
vol. 12 – Esdras, Tobias, Judith: Vatablus, Tirinus, Serarius
vol. 13 – Esther – Job: Serarius, Menochius, Jerome, Corderus et al.
vol. 14 – Job – Psalms 1-14: Corderus, Genebrardus, Berthier et al.
vol. 15 – Psalms 14-104: Genebrardus, Berthier et al.
vol. 16 – Psalms 105-150, Proverbs: Genebrardus, Berthier, Baynus
vol. 17 – Eccl, Song, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticum: Lyra. Bossuet, Jansenius, Sa, Houbigant, Calmet, Vence, Besoigne, et al.
vol. 18 – On the Prophets Generally, Isaiah: Luzerne, Pompignan, Jacquelot, Sherlock, Forerius et al.
vol. 19 – Jeremiah, Baruch, Ezekiel: Vatablus, M. Poole, Pearson, Maldonatus, Jerome, Lapide, Vence et al.
vol. 20 – Daniel, Minor Prophets, Maccabees: La Haye, Calmet, Lapide, Vence, Rosenmuller et al.
vol. 21 – Harmony of the Gospels, Matthew: Arnaldus, Editors, Maldonatus, Du Hamel
vol. 22 – Mark, Luke: Cajetan, Erasmus, Brugensis, Jansenius
vol. 23 – John, Harmony, Miracles, Acts: N. Alexander, Sacy, Wouters, Legrand, Haraeus, Menochius, Wouters, et al.
vol. 24 – Romans – 2 Thess: Bernardinus, Gorcum, Estius, Lapide
vol. 25 – Epistles of Paul, 1 Tim – Rev: Bernardinus, Gorcum, Estius, Lapide, Wouters, Fromondus, Gagneus
vol. 26 – Gen-Chron, Esdras, Judith, Esther, Maccabees: Wouters
vol. 27 – Psalms, Meditations, Integrity of the Texts, etc.: Duguet, Molette, Paulmier, Fabricy, Biornstahl, Pezron
vol. 28 – Various, Indices
History of Commenting on the Bible
ed. McKim, Donald – Historical Handbook of Major Biblical Interpreters Buy (IVP, 1998)
ed. Houser & Watson – History of Biblical Interpretation, 3 vols. Buy (Eerdmans, 2009)
Simon, Richard – A Critical History of the Critical Commentators on the New Testament… ToC (Rotterdam, 1693)
Simon (1638–1712) was a French priest, a member of the Oratorians, who was an influential biblical critic, orientalist and controversialist. Simon represented the height of Romanist Bible scholarship in the early modern era.
“His History of the Commentaries of the New Testament of 1693 comprises over 1,000 pages and remains, even now, useful and informative reading.” – Marius Reiser, Oxford Handbook of Early Modern Theology, p. 81
Stegmuller, Fridericus – Repertorium Biblicum Medii Avei, 10 vols. Buy
Darling, James – ‘Commentaries, etc. on the Old and New Testament’, pp. 125-35 in Cyclopedia Bibliographica: A Library Manual of Theological and General Literature, vol. 1 (Subjects) (1859)
This is perhaps the most exhaustive bibliographical collection up to its day. It includes foreign language titles.
Malcom, Howard – ‘Commentators on the Whole Bible’, pp. 91-2 in Theological Index: References to the Principal Works in Every Department of Religious Literature, embracing nearly Seventy Thousand Citations, Arranged under Two Thousand Heads (Boston, 1868)
Malcom was likely an old Princeton grad as he mentioned his indebtedness to the Drs. Alexander and Miller in the ‘Preface’. Malcom was a pastor who worked on this volume for over 40 years.
This work includes titles in foreign languages and is more comprehensive than the work of James Darling. The drawback is that there is very limited reference information, which can make finding the works difficult at times.
Whole Bible Commentaries in English
Commentaries on the Whole Old Testament in English
Commentaries on the Whole New Testament in English
Reformed Systematic Theologies in Latin Titles are in English