The Letter of the Law: Carolingian Exegetes and the Old Testament

Abigail Firey

in With Reverence for the Word

Published in print January 2003 | ISBN: 9780195137279
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849482 | DOI:
The Letter of the Law: Carolingian Exegetes and the Old Testament

Show Summary Details


The favored authorities of Carolingian intellectuals—Augustine, Gregory, Jerome, Ambrose—left no works dedicated specifically to detailed exegesis of Leviticus. Hrabanus Maurus relied on Hesychius and Origen, the latter the only author mentioned by Cassiodorus as an interpreter of Leviticus in the description of his cabinets of biblical commentaries. Not only was Leviticus addressed only intermittently by most patristic writers, but few exegetes chose to explore it systematically after Claudius and Hrabanus. While it might appear that Hrabanus and Claudius were simply victims of social obligations and a highly systematized, programmatic approach to biblical studies in which commentators marched through the books of the Old Testament in sequence, their commentaries on Leviticus could have been composed in the context of a volatile cultural milieu. These commentaries may well mark an important stage in the development of Christians' perception of Jews as Other, in terms not only of doctrine, but also of culture.

Keywords: Leviticus; Claudius; Hrabanus Maurus; biblical commentaries; exegesis; culture; Christians; Jews; Old Testament

Chapter.  12766 words. 

Subjects: East Asian Religions

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.