Thomas Aquinas is most well-known as a scholastic theologian and philosopher, and his work is often considered primarily as the archetype of systematic theology: rational, system-building scholasticism. But in fact, he also wrote over twenty Scripture commentaries and other Biblical works, including five sustained treatments of Old Testament books. Among these, his commentary on Jeremiah and his Commentary on the Prophet Isaiah have never been translated.
Only recently have scholars began studying Aquinas’ commentaries in detail. Increasingly they are realizing that not only are Thomas’s scriptural works essential for understanding his theological and philosophical works, but that the image of Thomas as a rationalist system-builder must be adapted to accommodate Thomas the thoroughly scriptural theologian. Indeed, it is becoming increasingly clear that the Thomism that was dominant in Catholic theology in the modern period was not the theology of Thomas himself, which retained a medieval, even monastic, foundation in Scripture.
What has become increasingly accepted is that in the Middle Ages theology was ultimately based on discursive Scriptural exegesis and was directed toward a better understanding of the meaning of Scripture—this included the theology of Thomas Aquinas, and so his exegesis and his theology cannot be divorced. In medieval exegesis there were understood to be two primary meanings of Scripture, the literal and the spiritual (the spiritual was subdivided into the moral, allegorical, and anagogical). Thomas’s exegetical works tend to focus on the literal sense rather than the mystical sense of Scripture. Thomas’s focus on the literal is a compliment to his Aristotelianism.
Thomas, of course, did not repudiate Augustinianism in his theology and likewise he did not repudiate the mystical exegesis of the monastic tradition in his exegesis, rather he built on both of them. Thomas, then, has been seen by some scholars as a bridge figure—someone capable of reconnecting the critical exegesis of the late modern period to the mystical exegesis of the early Christian centuries.
Thomas’s Scriptural works have taken on renewed importance in post-modern thought. Their study, though, remains in its infancy. The translation of his Commentary on the Prophet Isaiah into English will be a profound contribution to this on-going project. With linking of Bible references, indexing by Bible verse, and integration as a commentary into your Passage Guide, this makes the Logos edition of the Commentary on the Prophet Isaiah: English and Latin (2 vols.) more powerful and easy to use than anything else available.
Looking for more never-before translated works of Aquinas? Aquinas' Commentary on the Prophet Jeremiah: English and Latin (2 vols.) is also available!
Currently, there are no sample pages for this book because the work of translation into English is still in progress.