Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
With Reverence for the WordMedieval Scriptural Exegesis in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Barry D. Walfish, and Joseph W. Goering

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195137279

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195137279.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 05 December 2019

The Four “Senses” and Four Exegetes

The Four “Senses” and Four Exegetes

Chapter:
(p.225) 14 The Four “Senses” and Four Exegetes
Source:
With Reverence for the Word
Author(s):

Edward Synan

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195137279.003.0014

The four senses of scripture honored during the Middle Ages generated two memorable lines of verse, a distich, that would be cited by Nicholas of Lyra around the year 1330 as if well known to all his 14th-century readers. Those Latin lines may be rendered loosely as: “the letter teaches what's been done; allegory—your belief; moral—what you ought to do; anagogy—where you'll get relief”. These four senses, their possible synonyms included, dominated Christian biblical scholarship from patristic to early modern times. After three medieval witnesses to the “four senses”, one post-medieval exegete will be adduced to account for the gap between the Middle Ages and our time: Jean Astruc seems to have transformed the problematic of “senses” into one of “sources”. These three medieval exegetes are Godfrey of Saint Victor, Saint Thomas Aquinas, and Nicholas of Lyra.

Keywords:   Nicholas of Lyra, scripture, four senses, Godfrey of Saint Victor, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Jean Astruc, letter, allegory, moral, anagogy

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .