In your kindness give me life,
to keep the decrees you have spoken.
1 Or Iscariota, literally “man from Kerioth” (a Palestininan village). Thaddaios, a word of uncertain origin, could mean, like the Hebrew Lebbeo, “of great heart, courageous.” Comparing the catalogue of apostles in Lk 6:16, Mt 10:3 and Acts 1:13, it seems that Jude, son of James, and Thaddeus were the same person, the probable author of the letter of Jude.
2 Regarding scientific and popular publications dealing with biblical exegesis, see PCB, L'interpretazione della Bibbia nella Chiesa, 1993, n. 36.
3 See pp. 97ff and 191ff.
4 DANTE ALIGHIERI, La Divina Commedia, Inferno, II, 72.
5 It is a Neoplatonic saying, taken from the writings of Plotinus (philosopher who lived from 203/5 to about 270 A.D.) and eventually entered, perhaps through a Syriac monk of the V-VI century, the Pseudo-Dionisius Areopagite (De coelesti hierarchia 4) the writings of Thomas Aquinas and hence Scholasticism. Important for the metaphysics of Plotinus was the process of emanation or outward flux of realities from the invisible One. Plotinus offered metaphors of this emanation, as the radiation of heat from fire, or cold from snow, or the fragrance of a flower, or light from the sun: what is good, he concluded, spontaneously spreads for the simple reason that it is good. Those beings that have reached their perfection of being do not keep it for themselves but express it, thus generating external images of interior activities. The same concept is adopted today as a slogan of free and spontaneous communication in the Internet.
6 Cf. 1Thes 2:19-20: “For what is our hope or joy or crown to boast of in the presence of our Lord Jesus at his coming if not you yourselves?”
7* “Read therefore the Sacred Scriptures, my brothers, read them so that you may not be blind and guides of the blind. Read the Sacred Scriptures and you will find clearly what to accept and what to flee. Read them, for they are sweeter than any honey, sweeter than any bread, more inebriating than any wine. Study them and you will see that the God of gods is the breadth of his charity, the height of his majesty, and the depth and immensity of his Wisdom.” [Author not named: probably it is St. Augustine]
8 “You have revealed them to the childlike.”
9 Moved by youthful radicalism, he sells the Greek manuscripts he possessed for a tiny sum (to indicate renunciation of anything that is not knowledge of God) and dedicates himself to an extremely austere life.
10 The Exapla is one of the most important works of Origen. It consists in the edition of the Old Testament (compiled around the year 240 AD) where the Hebrew text and the various Greek translations appear side by side on six columns. Unfortunately, of the work that reveals an impressive penetration in the search textual criticism, only fragments remain.
11 Together with Jerome, Origen is the greatest “literal” and critical exegete of antiquity. He possesses an inexhaustible curiosity for the different readings or variants that he finds in the manuscripts of both the Old and New Testaments. He takes note and explains everything. For him, however, the Greek text prevails over the Hebrew because it was that which the apostles gave to the Church. The literal meaning of the text is explained accurately with the aid of Greek philology and the history of the usages and customs of the Hebrew people, and hence with the help also of Hebrew interpretations, inasmuch as he was also in touch with some rabbi. The “literal” meaning for Origen is the philological and etymological meaning of the word or phrase. Instead, by literal meaning, we mean what the human author intended and wanted to express. With his literal meaning (better to say literalist, or adherence to the letter) Origen runs the risk of not grasping the figurative language which exists as well in the biblical text (for example, the parables and metaphors). Origen nonetheless knows also the “spiritual” sense, inspired by the Spirit. Like Paul he accepts that the entire Old Testament had been written as “a figure” or “as a warning to us” (cf. 1Cor 10:11), as a prophecy or figure of Christ. As to the exegesis of the New Testament, it ought to apply to every Christian what is said of Christ. In short, Origen's method - which has influenced so much the reading of the Bible in the Church - foresees a threefold meaning of the Scripture in its totality (cf. De Principiis, IV, 2), which corresponds to its three-point anthropology: a corporal (or literal) meaning; a psychic (or moral) one; and one that is spiritual (or mystic). H. de Lubac, Exégèse Médiévale I/1, 198-211, traces to the exegetical practice of Origen the doctrine of the four-fold meaning that will be enunciated by the monk Cassianus (360-435): the literal meaning; the allegorical meaning which consists in the affirmation of Christ as the center of history; the tropological meaning, which concerns the behavior of the Christian; and the anagogical meaning which makes one experience and have a foretaste of the future, eternal goods (see note 7 of p. 40).
12 In LS there is allusion to the translation of the Bible by Msgr. Martini (p. 81, note 8) and to the translation of the Vulgata by Jerome (pp. 245-248). For Don Alberione translations have a considerable pastoral and apostolic value. On the matter, Dei Verbum reaffirms the need for appropriate and correct translations (no. 22).
13 LS, in accordance with the Vulgate, indicates “Is. LXIV, 1-12.” (Is 64:1-12)