Quincuplex Psalterium.by Jacques Lefevre d'Etaples;Le Quincuplex Psalterium de Lefevre d'Etaples: Un Guide de lecture.by Guy Bedouelle

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  • Quincuplex Psalterium. by Jacques Lefevre d'Etaples; Le Quincuplex Psalterium de Lefevred'Etaples: Un Guide de lecture. by Guy BedouelleReview by: John NothnagleThe Sixteenth Century Journal, Vol. 13, No. 2 (Summer, 1982), p. 118Published by: The Sixteenth Century JournalStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2540064 .Accessed: 15/06/2014 10:18

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  • 118 The Sixteenth Century Journal

    Quincuplex Psalterium. Jacques Lefevre d'Etaples. (Fac-simile de 1e'dition de 1513). Geneve: Librairie Droz, 1979. (588pp.)

    Le Quincuplex Psalterium de Lefevre d'Etaples: Un Guide de lecture. Guy Bedouelle. Travaux d'Humanisme et Renaissance, No.CLXXI. Geneve: Libraire Droz, 1979. xiii + 293 pp.

    This facsimile publication of the Quincuplex Psalterium along with Guy Bedouelle's in- valuable Guide by Librairie Droz shold prove of great and enduring usefulness to theologians, ecclesiologists, historians of Biblical exegesis, and to general scholars as well. On its first publication in 1509 it marked Lefevre's turn from secular to theological pedagogical concerns, the vocation that he would follow the rest of his life, and that would establish him as one of the leaders of the pre-Reformation or evangelique movement to renew the church in France.

    For all its significance in the life and thought of Lefevre himself, the Quincuplex Psalterium (or QP), occurring as it does at a mid-point betwen the devotio moderna of the late Middle Ages and the Reformation proper, is representative rather than monumental. It offers, first of all, five Latin translations of the psalms. Three of the texts, printed in parallel columns, were ascribed to Saint Jerome: the Psalterium gallicum (PG); the Psalterium romanum (PR); and the Psalterium hebraicum. (PH). After these there follow in twin columns the Psalterium vetus (PV) and the Psalterium conciliatum (PC). The latter is Lefevre's own text, not .an original translation but a synthesis of the other four to provide a clear and felicitous reading. The idea for such a publication was not new, and many examples of multiple versions of sacred texts survive from the Middle Ages and the sixteenth century, justified at the very least by the existence of the texts and by their perpetuation in prayers and hymns, in books and liturgy. The PV, for example, was the text known to Saint Augustine and used by him for his commen- taries or Enarrationes on the psalms. The distinctive feature of Lefevre's work is the elaborate apparatus that accompanies each psalm: a succinct resume which announces its sense; a resolu- tion of linguistic or grammatical problems; and a line-by-line comparative analysis and com- mentary, supported by references to other Biblical texts and to patristic 'authorities, by which he tries to reconcile inconsistencies and to make clear the meaning of the text.

    Lefevre's hermeneutics as practiced in these commentaries provides a second and even more significant originality. Rejecting scholastic exegesis which could accommodate as many as four levels of meaning, and convinced as he wrote in the introduction that "sensus litteralis et spiritualis coincidunt," he endeavored to meld the literal with the spiritual meaning to assure a direct contact between the reader or listener and the spirit that inspired the text. His inten- tion, according to the Guide, was "to lead the reader of the psalms to Christ Who is their center," and thereby to revive a faith that he saw dormant everywhere about him. Thus, while Lefevre made use of the tools and methods of humanism, and consulted Greek and Hebrew texts to the extent that his limited knowledge permitted, this is not a work of scholarship but of pious pedagogy.

    Father Bedouelle's Guide de lecture, itself a work of meticulous scholarship, will be in- dispensable for all but the most informed of readers. He conducts the reader through this com- plex work and clarifies its personal, historical, literary, theological, and critical contexts. He also highlights the direction and nuances of Lefevre's thinking in such critical matters as the nature of Christ, grace, faith vs. works, the Church, etc. The two books should be read together, but the Guide can stand alone.

    John Nothnagle University of Iowa

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    Article Contentsp. 118

    Issue Table of ContentsThe Sixteenth Century Journal, Vol. 13, No. 2 (Summer, 1982), pp. 1-160Front Matter [pp. ]Thomas Muntzer Revolutionary Firebrand of the Reformation [pp. 3-16]Continuity and Change: Some Effects of the Reformation on the Women of Zwickau [pp. 17-42]Doctor Maximus Lumen Ecclesiae: The View of Augustine in John Eck's Early Writings [pp. 43-54]Religion and Temporal Authority in the Reformation: The Controversy among the Protestants Prior to the Peace of Nuremberg, 1532 [pp. 55-74]Law, Order, and the Almighty Taler: The Empire in Action at the 1530 Diet of Augsburg [pp. 75-106]Book ReviewsReview: untitled [pp. 107]Review: untitled [pp. 108]Review: untitled [pp. 109-110]Review: untitled [pp. 110-111]Review: untitled [pp. 112]Review: untitled [pp. 113-114]Review: untitled [pp. 114]Review: untitled [pp. 115-116]Review: untitled [pp. 116-117]Review: untitled [pp. 118]Review: untitled [pp. 119-120]Review: untitled [pp. 120]Review: untitled [pp. 121-122]Review: untitled [pp. 122]Review: untitled [pp. 123]Review: untitled [pp. 124]Review: untitled [pp. 125]Review: untitled [pp. 126]Review: untitled [pp. 127]Review: untitled [pp. 128-129]Review: untitled [pp. 129-130]Review: untitled [pp. 131-132]Review: untitled [pp. 132-133]Review: untitled [pp. 133-134]Review: untitled [pp. 135-136]Review: untitled [pp. 136-137]Review: untitled [pp. 137-139]Review: untitled [pp. 140]Review: untitled [pp. 141]Review: untitled [pp. 142]Review: untitled [pp. 143-144]Review: untitled [pp. 144-145]Review: untitled [pp. 146]Review: untitled [pp. 147-148]Review: untitled [pp. 148-149]Review: untitled [pp. 149]Review: untitled [pp. 150-151]Review: untitled [pp. 151-152]Review: untitled [pp. 153-154]Review: untitled [pp. 154]Review: untitled [pp. 155]Review: untitled [pp. 155-156]Review: untitled [pp. 156-157]

    Book Notices [pp. 158-160]Back Matter [pp. ]