Commentary on Ecclesiastes

Commentary on Ecclesiastes

Commentary on Ecclesiastes

Commentary on Ecclesiastes

Excerpt

The Commentary on Ecclesiastes by St. Bonaventure (d. 1274) was written between 1253–1257, when Bonaventure was teaching at Paris, and quickly became the dominant commentary on Ecclesiastes, displacing the commentaries of Jerome, Hugh of St. Victor, and Hugh of St. Cher as well as the Glossa Ordinaria. Although its primary audience seems to have been the classroom, its multiple spiritual interpretations and the role that Ecclesiastes played as the second step of a three-step spiritual life suggest that this commentary may have aided preachers and spiritual directors. As far as I can tell, all of Bonaventure’s Latin commentary on Ecclesiastes has never been translated into a modern language.

See Medieval Exegesis of Wisdom Literature: Essays by Beryl Smalley, edited by Roland E. Murphy (Atlanta: Scholars Press Reprint, 1986), esp. 39–40.

In a tradition going back to Origen, Proverbs was for beginners. Ecclesiastes was for those making progress in the spiritual life while The Song of Songs was for the perfect.

For the Latin original see Commentarius in librum Ecclesiastae in S. Bonaventurae Commentarii in Sacram Scripturam, Tomus VI (Quaracchi: Collegium S. Bonaventurae, 1893), 1–99.

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