Andrew of Saint-Victor

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Canon regular of the Abbey of Saint-Victor, Paris, and on two occasions, abbot of Wigmore Abbey in Hereforshire, England. Andrew is most remembered for his dedication to the literal exegesis of Scripture and his use of Jewish traditions in pursuing the literal/historical sense of the biblical text. Born in England, c. 1110, he died at Wigmore, Oct. 19, 1175. He entered the Abbey of Saint-Victor in 1130 and studied under Hugh of Saint-Victor (d. 1141), whose interest in the literal sense of Scripture was a fundamental influence on Andrew. In 1147, Andrew went to England as the first abbot of Wigmore. At one point he returned to Saint-Victor, but then returned to England as abbot at Wigmore again c. 116163, remaining there until his death. Unlike Hugh, who was interested in the allegorical and moral senses as well as the literal, Andrew devoted himself only to the literal sense, and only to exegesis of the Hebrew Bible. He commentaries on the Octateuch, the Books of Kings and Chronicles, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the Minor Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel are extant. It appears that Andrew discussed points of interpretation with rabbis in the vernacular and then presented their ideas in his Latin commentaries, indicating such materials by referring to "the Jews" and using in some places not only the Latin but also the Hebrew biblical text. His interest in and focus on the literal meaning of the Scripture text drew him to the Jewish exegetical tradition stemming from the work of Rashi (Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac of Troyes). In a treatise entitled De Emmanuele, Richard of Saint-Victor entered into a dispute with Andrew over the interpretation of Isaiah 7:14, criticizing what Richard considered Andrew's acceptance of Jewish teaching about this major text for Christian Messianic prophecy. Andrew's influence in stressing the fundamental place of the literal exegesis of the biblical text (and the use of Jewish learning and Hebrew language study in that exegesis) can be traced in the work of many later medieval exegetes, including Herbert of Bosham (Thomas Becket's guide in theology and exegesis), Peter Comestor, Peter the Chanter, Stephen Langton, Hugh of Saint-Cher, and Nicholas of Lyra.

Bibliography: andreas de sancto victore, Expositio in Ezechielem, ed. m. a. signer, Corpus Christianorum Continuatio Mediaevalis 53E (Turnhout 1991). Expositio super Danielem, ed. m. zier, Corpus Christianorum Continuatio Mediaevalis 53F (Turnhout 1990). Expositio super heptateuchum, ed. c. lohr and r. berndt, Corpus Christianorum Continuatio Mediaevalis 53 (Turnhout 1986). r. berndt, Expositiones historicae in Libros Salomonis, Corpus Christianorum Continuatio Mediaevalis 53B (Turnhout); André de Saint-Victor (1175) Exégète et théologien (Turnhout 1992). m. a. signer, "Peshat, Sensus Litteralis and Sequential Narrative: Jewish Exegesis and the School of St. Victor in the 12th Century," in The Frank Talmage Memorial Volume, ed. b. walfish (Haifa 1993) 1:20316. b. smalley, The Study of the Bible in the Middle Ages (Oxford 1983) ch. 4. "Andrew of St. Victor, Abbot of Wigmore: A Twelfth-Century Hebraist," Recherches de théologie ancienne et médiévale 10 (1938) 358373. "The School of Andrew of St. Victor," Recherches de théologie ancienne et médiévale 11 (1939) 145167. j. w. m. zweiten, "Jewish Exegesis within Christian Bounds: Richard of St. Victor's De Emmanuele and Victorine Hermeneutics," Bijdragen 48 (1987) 32735.

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Andrew of Saint-Victor

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