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date: 08 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Modern critical exegesis began with Erasmus of Rotterdam. During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, it was predominantly Jesuits who emphasized a literal exegesis. The most prominent commentators included Benito Perera (Pererius) (1535–1610) on Genesis, Juan Maldonado (1533–83) on the four Gospels, and Luis de Alcázar (1554–1613) on Revelation. The founder of biblical hermeneutics and the discipline of exegetical introduction, Richard Simon (1638–1712), drew a sharp distinction between textual criticism and theology. The scandal surrounding exegete Johann L. Isenbiehls demonstrated how hard it was to maintain such a separation. During the eighteenth century, Dom Augustin Calmet (1672–1757) was undoubtedly the most distinguished Catholic exegete, although despite his erudition, he falls short of Simon’s achievements. The Catholic hierarchy was very cautious and anxious about exegetes who worked with the philosophical premises of the Enlightenment, and often persecuted even orthodox exegetes or impeded their work.

Keywords: textual criticism, Polyglot, Vulgate, Jesuits, regula fidei, inspiration, veritas hebraica, Enlightenment, Rationalism, Pentateuch criticism

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