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Ambrosiaster is the name given to the writer of a commentary on St Paul's epistles, "brief in words but weighty in matter," and valuable for the criticism of the Latin text of the New Testament. This commentary was erroneously attributed for a long time to St Ambrose.

Erasmus in 1527 threw doubt on the accuracy of this ascription, and the author is usually spoken of as Ambrosiaster or pseudo-Ambrose. Because Augustine cites part of the commentary on Romans as by "Sanctus Hilarius" it has been ascribed by various critics at different times to almost every known Hilary. Germain Morin broke new ground by suggesting in 1899 that the writer was Isaac,[1] a converted Jew and writer of a tract on the Trinity and Incarnation, who was exiled to Spain in 378-380 and then relapsed to Judaism; but he afterwards abandoned this theory of the authorship in favour of Decimus Hilarianus Hilarius, proconsul of Africa in 377.

With this attribution Alexander Souter agrees.[2] There is scarcely anything to be said for the possibility of Ambrose having written the book before he became a bishop, and added to it in later years, incorporating remarks of Hilary of Poitiers on Romans. The best presentation of the case for Ambrose is by P. A. Ballerini in his complete edition of that father's works.

In the book cited above Souter also discusses the authorship of the Quaestiones Veteris et Novi Testamenti, which the manuscripts ascribe to Augustine. He concludes, on very thorough philological and other grounds, that this is with one possible slight exception the work of the same "Ambrosiaster." The same conclusion had been arrived at previously by Dom Morin.

Contents

References

Notes

  1. ^ Rev. d'hist. et de litt. religieuses, tom. iv. 97 f.
  2. ^ Study of Ambrosiaster (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1905).

Bibliography

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Texts

  • Heinrich Joseph Vogels, Vinzenz Bulhart, and Rudolf Hanslik. 1966. Ambrosiastri qui dicitur Commentarius in Epistulas Paulinas. Corpus scriptorum ecclesiasticorum Latinorum vol. 81, pt. 1-3. Vindobonae: Hoelder-Pichler-Tempsky.
  • Isaac Judaeus, Isacis Judaei Quae supersunt, ed. A. Hoste, CCL 9 (Turnhout: Brepols, 1957), pp. 331–48. The questions were at this time attributed to Isaac the Jew, but now to Ambrosiaster.
  • also see links below

Studies

External links


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

AMBROSIASTER. A commentary on St Paul's epistles, "brief in words but weighty in matter," and valuable for the criticism of the Latin text of the New Testament, was long attributed to St Ambrose. Erasmus in 1527 threw doubt on the accuracy of this ascription, and the author is usually spoken of as Ambrosiaster or pseudo-Ambrose. Owing to the fact that Augustine cites part of the commentary on Romans as by "Sanctus Hilarius" it has been ascribed by various critics at different times to almost every known Hilary. Dom G. Morin (Rev. d'hist. et de Litt. religieuses, torn. iv. 97 f.) broke new ground by suggesting in 1899 that the writer was Isaac, a converted Jew, writer of a tract on the Trinity and Incarnation, who was exiled to Spain in 378-380 and then relapsed to Judaism, but he afterwards abandoned this theory of the authorship in favour of Decimus Hilarianus Hilarius, proconsul of Africa in 377. With this attribution Professor Alex. Souter, in his Study of Ambrosiaster (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1905), agrees. There is scarcely anything to be said for the possibility of Ambrose having written the book before he became a bishop, and added to it in later years, incorporating remarks of Hilary of Poitiers on Romans. The best presentation of the case for Ambrose is by P. A. Ballerini in his complete edition of that father's works.

In the book cited above Professor Souter also discusses the authorship of the Quaestiones Veteris et Novi Testamenti, which the MSS. ascribe to Augustine. He concludes, on very thorough philological and other grounds, that this is with one possible slight exception the work of the same "Ambrosiaster." The same conclusion had been arrived at previously by Dom Morin.


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Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

The name given to the author of a commentary on all the Epistles of St. Paul, with the exception of that to the Hebrews. It is usually published among the works of St. Ambrose (P.L., XVII, 45-508). Before each Epistle and its interpretation a short prologue is found which sets forth purpose and context. In the commentaries the text is given by sections; and for each portion a natural and logical explanation is furnished. All in all the commentary is an excellent work. Some modern scholars believe it the best that was written before the sixteenth century. Its teaching is entirely orthodox, with, perhaps, the sole exception of the author's belief in the millennium. The Latin text of the Pauline Epistles differs considerably from the Vulgate. According to all appearances it was taken from the version known as the "Itala". Reference to the Greek text is rarely found; in fact the writer seems to be ignorant of the Greek language. The author hardly ever seeks a hidden or mystic sense in the text; hence it becomes evident how widely the commentary differs in character from the exegetical works of St. Ambrose. In his interpretation of Scriptural works St. Ambrose is not much given to research into the natural and literal meaning. Generally he is in quest of a higher allegoric or mystic sense. And although he distinguishes between the literal and the higher signification, still it is the latter principally that he tries to bring out. Not so with Ambrosiaster. The natural and logical sense is the only object the writer has in view. As to the time when the commentary was written, there are many indications which point to the latter part of the fourth century. Of the heresies or sects referred to, none antedates that period. The persecution of the Emperor Julian (361-363) is spoken of as a recent occurrence. Finally Pope Damasus (366-384) is mentioned as actually presiding (hodie) over the destinies of the Church. It is quite likely that the writer lived in Rome; his reference to the primacy of St. Peter and the power wielded by Pope Damasus would suggest the idea. The identification of the writer however is not so easy. During the Middle Ages the commentary was commonly ascribed to St. Ambrose. The first doubts as to his authorship were raised by Erasmus in the sixteenth century; since that period the author has been known as Ambrosiaster (Pseudo-Ambrosius). Scholars have suggested a great variety of names. St. Augustine, in quoting a passage from the commentary, attributes it to St. Hilary; hence some writers believed the either St. Hilary of Poitiers, or St. Hilary of Pavia, or the schismatic deacon Hilary of Rome was meant. Others sought the writer in St. Remigius, in the Pelagian Bishop Julian of Aeclanum, in the African writer Tyconius, in the schismatic priest Faustinus of Rome, or in the converted Jew Isaac of Rome. Most of these views are mere conjectures, or directly opposed to the facts known about the writer. The more recent opinion is that the author of the commentar ies is also the author of the pseudo-Augustinian "Quaestiones Veteris et Novi Testamenti". According to a suggestion made by Dom Germain Morin, O.S.B., and adopted by A. Souter, the author of these commentaries was a distinguished layman of consular rank, by the name of Decimus Hilarianus Hilarius.

Portions of this entry are taken from The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1907.

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