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G. C. Giese histor. Nachchricht von der Bibeluebersetzung Luthers.
Of Melancthon and others of the same class. It was principally by Homilies, and by that species of commentaries which was called Postilla, that Luther and his friends promoted the cause of religious instruction. To these succeeded the Bibles attended with notes. But from the commencement of the Reformation, the exegetical works of those of our communion, had received more or less of a polemical character, and this evil increased, until they became almost entirely controversial or doctrinal.
The most distinguished exegetical writers of the Geneva School, were, Zuinglius, Leon Juda, Oecolampadius, Calvin, Beza, Bullinger, Hyperius, and Seb. Castalio.
A very important work of this period, was the following.
Matth. Flucii Clavis Scripturæ Sacræ. It consists of two parts. The first is in the form of a Dictionary, in which all the words and forms of expression occuring in the Bible, are explained. The second, contains many rules of interpretation, and a Series of Tracts, on the style of Scripture-difficulties—mode of surmounting them, &c. There have been several editions of this work, the first in 1576, the last in 1719. Most of our writers on Hermeneutics, are followers of Flacius. Among these, the most important are,
Jo. Gerhardi Tract. de legitima S S. interpretatione 1610---1663.
Jo. Weberi Scrutinium Ser. S. hoc est de rite intelligenda et dextre interpretanda Scr. liber unus. Gissæ 1614.
Wolfg. Franzii Tractatus theol. novus et perspicuus de interpretatione Sacr. Scripturarum maxime legitima, duabus constans regulis essentialibus et perspicuis, quæ Luthero familiares fuere. Various editions from 1619 to 1708.
Casp. Finckii Regularum, observationum proprietatum et consuetudinum Sacræ Scriptura Centuria. Gissæ 1612.
Jo. Com. Dannhaueri Hermeneutica Sacra.
Jo. Reinhardi Hermeneutica Sacra, Sacram Scripturam pie et feliciter interpretari docens. Silus. 1693.
The most distinguished, however, were
Sixtini Amamæ Prof. quondam Franeq. Antibarbarus biblicus, ed. postrem ma cui accesserunt variæ diss. et oratt. nec non responsio ad censuras D. Mart. Marsenni 1656, and the
Sal. Glassii Phil logiæ sacræ, qua totius sacrosanctæ Vet. et Novi Test. Scripturæ tum stylus et literatura, tum sensus et genuinæ interpretationis ratio expenditur Libri V. Glassii Philol. sacra his temporibus accommodata a D Jo. Aug. Dathe Lips. 1776. Tomum II. cujus sectio prior Criticam Sacram V. T. continet, secunda Hermeneuticam salaam V. T. edidit, prorsus immutatum, dedit Geo. Laur. Bauerus.
There were many Interpreters, of whom, some attended principally to grammatical exposition as Erasm. Schmidius, Dav. Heineius, Pricaeus, Lud. de Dieu, others to doctrinal interpretation, as Aug. Hunnius, Abr. Calovius, &c.; and others, who treated of difficult passages, as Tarnovius, Hackspanius, &c.
The Roman Catholics, though restrained by the Council of Trent, had many Commentators and Teachers of the art and history of Interpretation ; of whom the most celebrated were, Sixtus Senensis, (ars interpretandi Scripturas Sacras absolutissima.) Rich. Simon, (Histoire crit des principaux commentateurs du N. Test., Rotterd. 1693.) And Lud. Elias du Pin, (Diss. preliminaire ou Prolegomenes sur la Bible.)
On the principles of Interpretation of F. Socinus.
V. Ei. L. de auctoritate sacrae Scripturae 1570. et Lectiones Sacræ. F. W. Dresde Pr. de fallaci Fausti Socini libros sacros interpretatione, Vit. 1790.
The most distinguished Commentators of this class, were : Faust. Socinus, Jo. Crellius, Sam. Przipcovius, Christoph. Ostorodius, Val. Smalcius, Dan. Brenius, Sam. Crellius.
Bibliotheca Fratrum Polonorum, quos unitarios vocant, instructa operibus omnibus F. Socini, Jo. Crelli, Jonæ Schlichtingii. Jo. Lud. Wolzogenii, etc. 1656. VI. f.
Commentators of the Arminian School. On the merits of Grotius, consult
Herder Briefe das studium der Theol. betreffend, Tom II. p. 357. Car. Segaar or. de Hugone Grotio, illustri humanorum et divinorum N. T. Scriptorum interprete, Ultrai. 1785. Hug. Grotii Annott. in N. T. Amst. 1641.
The commencement of Philosophical Interpretation.
(Lud. Meyer) Philosophia Seripturæ Interpres exercitatio paradoxa in qua veram philosophiam infallibilem S. Litt. interpretandi normam esse apodictice demonstratur etc. 1666, with additions by Semler, in 1776. (Lud. Wolzogen de Scripturarum interprete adversus exercitatorem paradoxum.)
Of the Jansenists. Pash. Quesnelli Nov. Test, et Annotatt. 1693. cf. Rosenmueller Hand. IV. and on the versions of this school, p. 370. On the Cocceians, idem T. IV. Mosheim Institutt. hist. Eccles.
V. At the close of the 17th century, many excellent Theologians, perceiving how greatly every thing pertaining to Christian doctrine, had been reformed, and wishing still farther to promote the progress of piety, (whence the name Pietists) endeavoured to introduce a better method of interpreting the Scriptures. These attempts, although they are to be censured, as following too much double senses and feigned emphasis ; as neglecting grammatical rules and eastern usage—as departing too much from elegance and accurate doctrine--and as opening the way for mystical errors; yet they are to be valued, as bearing testimony to the importance of exegetical studies, and to the dignity of Biblical pursuits, and as facilitating the introduction of a method more worthy of approbation. A more liberal method has been introduced ; attended, however, by new and various disputes, since the recent age did not attain
to a method so certain as to prevent the occurrence of error.
Before the age of the Pietists, both the allegorizing interpretations of the Cocceians, and the grammatical expositions of Grotius, had excited the displeasure of those, who were devoted to the dogmatico-polemical method of interpretation.
Concerning the Pietists, consult the author last quoted, in Comm. Decr. Relig. Christ. Of the writings of this class, those of most consequence, are the following:
Aug Herm. Franckiï Prælectiones Hermeneuticæ, ad viam dextre indagandi et apponendi sensum S. S. Theologiæ studiosis ostendendam in Acad. Halensi publice habitæ. Hal. 1717-23.
Jach. Langii Hermeneutica Sacra exhibens genuinæ interpretationis leges de sensu litterali et emphatico investigando, deinde idiomata sermonis Apostolici et Apocalyptici cum ulteriore ipsius praxeos exegetica adpendice. Hal. 1733.
On the whole method of these Writers, consult Plank Einleitung, II.
Nearly connected with the Pietists, was Rambach.
Jo. Jac. Rambach d. de idoneo S. S. Interprete Jen. 1720. Ejusdem Institutiones Hermeneuticæ S. variis observationibus copiosissimisque exemplis Bibl. illustratæ cum. præf. J. Fr. Buddei.
Rambachii Exercitationes hermeneuticæ, s. Pars altera Institutt, hermeneuticarum sacrarum, 1728.
During this period, the Wolfian system of philosophy, was transferred to all parts of theology. It was used in Hermeneutics by Wollius, who translated Blackwall's Defence of the Sacred Classics into Latin, and accompanied them with remaks of his own.
Hermeneuticam N. Foed, acroamatico-dogmaticam, certissimis defecatæ philosophiæ principiis corroboratam, eximiisque omnium Theol. Christ. partium usibus inservientem. L. 1736.
The following work of Turrettin, was of a much higher character.
Ja. Alph. Turrettini de S. Scr. interpretandæ methodo, Tractatus bipartitus, in quo falsæ multorum interpretum hypotheses refelluntur veraque interpretandæ S. Scr. methodus adstruitur, 1728 ; with additions by Teller in 1776,
Worthy of notice also are,
Sal. Deylingii diss. de Scripturæ recte interpretandæ ratione et fatis 1721.
Dan. Wyttenbachii Elementa Hermeneuticæ Sacræ eo, quo in scientiis fieri debet, modo proposita, Marb. 1760.
Among the critics on the N. T. of this period, were, Le Clerc, Mill, Whitby, Bentley, Bengel, Wetstein, and Valkenar,
J. S. Semler added to the Prolegomena of Wetstein notes, and an appendix on the Ancient Latin recensions extant in various MSS. Hal. 1764.
Wetstenii Libelli ad crisin atque interpretationem N. Test. adjecta est recensio introduct. Bengelii ad crisin N. Test. ed J. S. Semler, Hal. 1776.
L. C. Valkenar Or. de critica emendatrice in libris N. 'T. a literatoribus quos vocant non adhibenda, Hermsterh. et Valck. Oratt. 1784.
There were many Authors of Observations and Commentaries, who had different objects, and pursued different methods. The result has been, that many passages have been more accurately examined. The works of these writers will be mentioned below.
The language of the Sacred Writers, now began to be illustrated, from profane authors. Lamb. Bos, Raphelius, Elsner, and Albertius, taking the lead in this department.
The controversy concerning the Hebraisms of the N. T. and the elegance and purity of its style, was now greatly agitated.
The remarks of various commentators were collected, as in the following works.
Critici Sacri s. clarissimorum virorum in SS. utriusque Fæderis Biblia doctissimæ adnotationes atque tractatus theol. philologici, Lond. 1660. IX vols. f.
Matth. Poli Synopsis criticorum aliorumque. Lond. 1669. Die. h.