Biblical Commentary and Translation in Later Medieval England
Experiments in Interpretation
- ISBN: 9781108486644
- Published By: Cambridge University Press
- Published: April 2020
Drawing extensively on unpublished manuscript sources, this study uncovers the culture of experimentation that surrounded biblical exegesis in fourteenth-century England. In an area ripe for revision, Andrew Kraebel challenges the accepted theory (inherited from Reformation writers) that medieval English Bible translations represent a proto-Protestant rejection of scholastic modes of interpretation. Instead, he argues that early translators were themselves part of a larger scholastic interpretive tradition, and that they tried to make that tradition available to a broader audience. Translation was thus one among many ways that English exegetes experimented with the possibilities of commentary. With a wide scope, the book focuses on works by writers from the heretic John Wyclif to the hermit Richard Rolle, alongside a host of lesser-known authors, including Henry Cossey and Nicholas Trevet, and many anonymous texts. The study provides new insight into the ingenuity of medieval interpreters willing to develop new literary-critical methods and embrace intellectual risks.