Commentary on the Gospel of Luke
Publisher Liverpool University Press
Commenting on the Bible was the principal way in which early medieval Christians conducted the work of theology; commentaries also open a window for modern readers onto the way in which these people strove to understand humanity, the world and history through complex acts of layered interpretation and cross-referencing within the sacred text. Bede's commentary on Luke, composed in the first half of the 710s, is a turning point in his career as an exegete. It is ambitious in its length, but also in its subject-matter, because the life of Christ is the key to the meaning of the entire Bible. To expound a Gospel also entails engaging with a formidable body of commentary by the Church Fathers. In Bede's case, the Luke commentary marks as well the moment when he publicly asserts his own intellectual authority by displaying his mastery of the Patristic tradition, and by deftly confronting criticisms of his earlier works. Finally, Bede's treatment of Luke was highly influential in the Carolingian Renaissance, and in the compilation of the Glossa Ordinaria in the twelfth century. This translation is thus an important resource for historians, as well as scholars interested in the role of the Bible in medieval culture.