The Carmelite Rule: Reading the Bible in the Quest for Holiness

Craig E. Morrison, O.Carm.
Pontifical Biblical Institute
Via della Pilotta 25
00187 Rome
Italy

Introduction

The Carmelite Rule teaches not only by its exhortation but also by its biblical hermeneutic that the path to holiness lies in the prayerful study of the word of God. As Albert developed his response to the hermits who had asked him for a vitae formula, he turned to the only source he knew that could provide guidance, and he invited his interlocutors to do the same. In Albert’s world, biblical study had as its objective the Bible’s appropriation and application to daily life. As a result, in the Carmelite Rule we have the opportunity to read the Bible with Albert, Patriarch of Jerusalem, to observe his choice of texts, his hermeneutic, and his interpretation of particular biblical passages. Given the Rule’s brevity, the texts Albert selected were central, at least in his mind, for illuminating the way of life that the hermits sought to follow. He appealed to those hermits to meditate on the Bible day and night and in his composition he showed them the fruits of his own meditation. Download Morrison Carmelite Rule]

Today, biblical scholarship provides numerous avenues for biblical interpretation. These avenues are coupled with a renewed interest in how the biblical message has been received through the centuries, what is called “reception history.” Often the meaning attributed to a biblical passage during its transmission exerts an extraordinary influence on modern day interpretation. Gone are the days when biblical scholars were dismissive of or hostile to patristic and medieval exegesis. Gone too is the tendency to evaluate medieval exegesis in light of a modern historical critical approach to the Bible. The meaning of the biblical text in its original language, in Hebrew, Greek, or Aramaic, or the Sitz im Leben of the passages that Albert cites is irrelevant. Albert did not ask such questions and we should not impose them on his writing. But new approaches to biblical interpretation, such as the canonical or rhetorical methods, may prove useful. Albert knew the argument of, for example, the letters in the Pauline corpus (rhetorical approach) and when we are equally conversant in Paul’s message, we can observe and appreciate how Albert appropriates Paul’s words in the service of his exhortation. He also read the Bible as a whole book (canonical approach) and most likely he had committed large sections of the Bible to memory. We cannot know if he had read St. Augustine’s De Doctrina Christiana, but without a doubt he observed its central precept:

 

Erit igitur divinarum scripturarum sollertissimus indagator qui primo totas legerit notasque habuerit, et si nondum intellectu, iam tamen lectione, dumtaxat eas quae appellantur canonicae

Therefore, the most adroit interpreter of the sacred writings will be the one who, first of all, has read them all and has retained them in his knowledge, if not yet with full understanding, still with such knowledge as reading gives (as far as those

[biblical books] that are considered canonical).

 

In his Rule, Albert invites Carmelites to observe St. Augustine’s precept with him.

Even though Albert makes generous use of the Bible, he is not writing a biblical commentary. Biblical interpretation in the middle ages culminated in the pithy distich celebrating the four senses of scripture:

 

Littera gesta docet, quid credas allegria, moralis quid agas, quo tendas anagogia.

The letter teaches events, allegory what you should believe,

Morality teaches what you should do, anagogy what mark you should be aiming for.

 

This methodological summary, erroneously attributed to Nicholas of Lyra, helps us understand how Albert might have read the Bible in his private study. But in the Rule, he is responding to a request from a group of hermits who want a vitae formula. Thus his composition, the Carmelite Rule, represents the results of his Bible study from the third and fourth levels of medieval biblical interpretation, namely, what to do and what to aim for. And, for the most part, it is when Albert deals with the question of “aiming” (i.e., his exhortation) that the Bible comes into play.

The purpose of this article is to uncover Albert’s method of biblical interpretation and to observe how his biblical citations function within his composition. What texts interested him? How did he cite the Bible? And what is his interpretation of the texts that he cited? My hope is that Carmelite readers can better appreciate Albert’s exegetical strategies that have placed sacred scripture at the center of Carmelite life.

Albert’s Biblical Text?

The question of the character of the biblical text to which Albert had access bears directly on the study carried out in this paper. In fact, it is critical to any research that deals with the reception history of the Bible. If we are not sure of the biblical text that an ancient or medieval author is citing, then it becomes impossible to identify the borders of his citations and his deviations from his biblical text. And if we cannot be sure of the parameters and accuracy of a biblical citation, then comments on the author’s reworking of a particular citation become spurious, without any textual foundation. Thus, in the case of the Rule, until Albert’s biblical text has been identified, it will remain impossible to accurately describe his handling of a specific biblical passage (and the significance of his changes to it). This question is beyond the scope of this short paper but it remains a significant desideratum for future research, one that requires competence in the Vulgate, the Vetus Latina (and their text critical questions) and the Patrologia Latina. However, I will touch upon this question during my presentation, as it cannot be avoided, and therefore I would like to suggest several possibilities (there may be others) for describing Albert’s Bible:

 

  1. Albert’s Bible was close to Jerome’s Vulgate
  2. Albert’s Bible was close to the Vetus Latina
  3. Albert’s Bible was close to the Vulgate with readings or annotations from the Vetus Latina.
  4. Albert cited the biblical text as he remembered it from various biblical commentaries by the Fathers.
  5. A combination of 1 and 3: sometimes he cites a text close to the Vulgate and sometimes he cites the text as it appears (or as he remembers it) in the Latin Fathers.
  6. A combination of 2 and 3: sometimes he cites a text close to the Vetus Latina and sometimes he cites the biblical text as it appears (or as he remembers it) in the Latin Fathers.
  7. As these possibilities demonstrate, the question is quite complex. But its complexity does not render it trivial. It is a sine qua non before serious study of scripture in the Carmelite Rule can be properly understood and enjoyed.

What is a biblical citation?

Any research into the reception of the Bible in a patristic or medieval text must consider the question of what constitutes a citation of the Bible. How is a citation to be distinguished from an allusion or the reprising of biblical themes and language? In literary criticism today, the term “intertextuality” offers an umbrella under which these questions can be addressed. An intertextual approach views any text as “an intersection of pieces, echoes, and allusions of other ‘texts’”. The Carmelite Rule represents such an intersection of texts. At least three texts can be identified (there are others): the Bible, the exegetical traditions of the Latin Fathers, and Albert’s own composition. At the outset of this paper it is helpful to distinguish among the various types of biblical borrowings that appear in patristic authors.

  1. Explicit biblical quotations introduced with a formula that signals the reader to expect a quotation
  2. Apparent biblical quotations though without any formula of introduction
  3. Allusions to a biblical passage
  4. The borrowing of biblical language

These categories are merely for heuristic purposes. Each citation can be evaluated on the basis of how closely Albert’s composition reflects the biblical text in the Vulgate (or Vetus Latina).

The opening line of Berly Smalley’s seminal text on medieval exegesis reminds us that “the Bible was the most studied book of the middle ages.” Thus, if we are to enjoy the Carmelite Rule with its biblical language, allusions, and citations, we too must strive for a similar biblical background in order to perceive the intertextual dynamic between the Bible and Albert’s exhortation. Today literary theory no longer focuses on the implicit/explicit character of allusions but on the relationship between the “intertext” (i.e., the text from which the allusion is drawn) and the new setting in which the intertext finds itself (in this case, the Rule):

The allusion’s potential to guide the reader to an additional referent outside the alluding text and the allusion’s potential to build up semantically significant links between the alluding text and the alluded-to text have moved into the limelight of critical interest.

To the extent that the readers of the Rule nurture their own personal dialogue with the Bible, the Rule (Albert’s dialogue with the Bible in light of the hermits’ request) becomes a fascinating intertextual pastiche, a collage of biblical passages that is intended to illuminate a way of life for those wishing to walk in obsequio Iesu Christi.

The numerous biblical citations in the Rule are well known. I have given the Rule a fresh read and have qualified some of these citations and have noted new ones. In some cases I have been able to suggest the textual source of the citation. The text of the Vulgate is taken from Biblia Sacra Iuxta Latinam Vulgatam Versionem ad Codicum Fidem with its critical apparatus. For convenience, the verse citations follow that text as well. Following convention, the author of the Rule is referred to as Albert and the question of his authorship is not under discussion.

 

The Bible in the Rule

The introduction to the Rule weaves a tapestry of biblical language and allusions. Albert borrows his opening words from the first words in the letter to the Hebrews (Hebr 1,1): Multifarie multisque modis sancti Patres instituerunt (“Many and various ways the holy fathers established”). The words Multifarie multisque modis recall Hebr 1,1. But who are the holy fathers to whom Albert refers? Following the biblical allusion, part of the answer lies in a consideration of the entire text of Hebr 1,1: multifariam et multis modis olim Deus loquens patribus in prophetis (“Many and various ways long ago God spoke to the fathers through the prophets”). The “sancti Patres” to whom Albert refers alludes to those ancient “fathers” to whom God spoke in prophecy mentioned in Hebr 1,1. By associating the “holy fathers” with the “fathers” from Hebr. 1,1, Albert implies that those fathers who established a way of life in Christ are in the same line as those fathers to whom God had spoken long ago through the prophets. (As mentioned in the introduction, for the intertextual allusion to have any impact, the audience must hear the Hebr 1,1 text in the background.) Albert continues to borrow biblical language: “in obsequio Iesu Christi” is lifted out of 2 Cor 10,5 and “de corde puro et bona conscientia” is pieced together from 1 Tim 1,5 (cor and conscientia appear together again in Rom 2,15 and Heb 10,22). This sort of borrowing, without any exegetical comment on the texts cited, lends authority (as well as beauty!) to the composition.

In the next allusion to a biblical text, Albert begins to unveil his approach to biblical interpretation. He exhorts the individual to remain in his cell, or nearby it, die ac nocte in lege Domini meditantes (“day and night meditating on the law of the Lord”). His words are pasted together from Ps 1,2:

sed in lege Domini voluntas eius et in lege eius meditabitur die ac nocte

But in the law of the Lord is his desire and in his law he meditates day and night

To this passage he attaches another biblical text: “in orationibus vigilantes.” This allusion is often linked to 1 Pet 4,7 (prudentes et vigilate in orationibus), but it would be mistaken to limit these words to this one biblical passage. The terms oratio and vigilare appear regularly together, especially in the New Testament (see Col 4,2 and Eph 6,18). In the gospels, Jesus exhorts his disciples to vigilance and prayer (Matt 26,41; Mark 13,33; 14,38; and Luke 21,36). Thus, while this biblical borrowing is close to 1 Pet 4,7, the language of vigilant prayer permeates the New Testament.

These two biblical allusions introduce one of Albert’s methods of biblical interpretation. He sets two biblical texts beside one another for the reader to observe how the two passages complement and interpret one another. The first text urges the Carmelite to remain in his own cell, meditating on the Law of the Lord. The second text teaches that the psalmist’s exhortation fulfils Jesus’ instruction to live lives of prayerful vigilance. And vice versa, Jesus’ instruction to live a life of prayerful vigilance finds concrete expression in the meditation on the law of the Lord day and night. Thus, Albert has created new meaning from the two texts by placing them beside one another in a new context. It is the reader’s task to grasp the dynamic relationship between these two biblical passages since allusions “require the active participation of the reader in the actualization process in order to exhaust the allusion’s evocative potential as far as possible.”

Albert’s method reveals an underlying assumption that he holds regarding the biblical text: the Bible is to be read as a whole; its text is harmonious. Therefore when its various parts are reordered, new meaning emerges. Medieval insistence on the harmony of the Bible can be observed when an author strains to resolve contradictions in the Bible. But more generally, Albert is placing together disparate biblical passages in his composition because he believes that the Bible can be read as a unified text. In this sense, Albert is a product of his milieu, standing among the numerous medieval authors, who, as Henri de Ludac describes, celebrated the infinite depth of meaning that could be recovered from the biblical text. When the two texts are brought together, a meaning emerges that is richer than either text on its own.

When Albert arrives at the question of the division of goods within a community he again borrows biblical language:

Nullus Fratrum dicat sibi aliquid esse proprium; sed sint vobis omnia communia, et ex hiis que Dominus vobis dederit distribuantur unicuique per manum Prioris, id est per hominem ab eo ad idem officium deputatum, prout cuique opus erit, inspectis etatibus et necessitatibus singulorum.

Let no brother say that anything is his own property. But let everything be held in common and, from what the Lord will give you, let it be distributed to each through the prior (namely through the person appointed by him to that office) as anyone has need, taking into account the age and necessities of each.

 

The language in the Rule is culled from two verses in Acts:

(Acts 4,32) multitudinis autem credentium erat cor et anima una nec quisquam eorum quae possidebant aliquid suum esse dicebat sed erant illis omnia communia

(Acts 4,35) et ponebant ante pedes apostolorum dividebantur autem singulis prout cuique opus erat

(Acts 4,32) Now the group of believers was one heart and soul. No one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything of theirs was held in common.

(Acts 4,35) And they laid [it] at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as anyone had need.

In this treatment of the Acts text, Albert introduces another technique for handling the Bible. Instead of citing the biblical text directly (as does the Rule of St. Augustine), he rewrites the Acts text adapting it to the structures of the hermits’ community on Mount Carmel, inserting the word “prior” where Acts has “the apostles”. In this intertextual play, the biblical passage shines through his words, teaching the hermits on Mount Carmel that the exhortation to live a life of poverty derives from the practice in the early Christian community. Again, the beauty of the Rule, its textual interplay, can only be appreciated if one hears the Acts text in the background. And one learns how to hear the Acts text in the background by studying the law of the Lord day and night.

A careful (canonical) reading of the entire Acts passage (Acts 4,32-5,11) to which Albert refers, tempers any romanticized view of the division of goods in that first community on Mount Carmel. Albert has borrowed this splendid image of the division of goods from the first section of a larger passage in the Acts of the Apostles. Acts 4,36 reports the exemplary action of the Levite, Joseph, a native of Cyprus, known as Barnabas, who does just as Acts 4,32.35 describes. But this story is followed by a negative example that lasts eleven verses! Ananias and his wife Sapphira try to dupe the community by pretending to turn in all the proceeds from the sale of their property. Each in turn is struck dead! Their unhappy end indicates that the distribution of wealth in the early Christian community was not as rosy as Acts 4,32.35 describes. But Luke is trying to point the community on the right course for the distribution of wealth. We have no evidence as to how Albert’s precept on poverty was received by the hermits, but the story of Ananias and his wife Sapphira provides a sobering insight into the division of goods in any Christian community.

Having legislated certain aspects of the hermits’ life in common, in chapter 18 Albert shifts tone, writing an exhortation that delineates the values to which the hermits’ life together should aim. In the first section, which treats the question of human labour, he sets down his premise regarding the nature of human life and then exhorts the readers to arm themselves for the battle that lies ahead. Human life is a temptation and anyone who earnestly wishes to live in Christ endures persecution. This teaching is woven from Job 7,1 and 2 Tim 3,12. But before coming to the question of his biblical exegesis, the question of Albert’s biblical text for Job 7,1 must be considered. The relevant texts are as follows:

The Rule: temptatio est vita hominis super terram

The Vulgate (Job 7,1): militia est vita hominis super terram

The Vetus Latina (Job 7,1): Nunquid non tentatio est vita humana super terram

Albert has cited the biblical text according to the Vetus Latina as no Vulgate MS reads tentatio. Did Albert know the Vulgate text but prefer the Vetus Latina reading for the purposes of his exegesis (the reading tentatio adapts better to the argument that lies ahead)? What is his source for this reading? Which of the Latin Fathers preserve the Vetus Latina reading tentatio? Could those sources have influenced Albert? These questions, which cannot be answered in this paper, illustrate the need to establish the text from which Albert worked.

Albert then blends his citation of Job 7,1 with a near exact citation of 2 Tim 3,12:

et omnes qui pie volunt vivere in Christo persecutionem patientur

and everyone who wishes to live devoted to Christ Jesus suffers persecution

Thus the implication is that the temptations that one suffers in this world are to be associated with the persecution that one endures for Christ. The author of 2 Timothy is not speaking about temptation but about his own suffering (2 Tim 3,10-11) that he recognizes as an essential part of living in Jesus Christ. Albert, by bringing these two texts together, has created a new meaning from the two: “temptation” is the persecution that the faithful Christian must endure on this earth. Thus, he has established a biblical premise for his argument. Albert’s view of life is not his creation. The theme of vigilance, coupled with ascetic practices, to combat the devil’s machinations appears in the Sayings of the Desert Fathers and elsewhere.

Albert presents a second premise for his exhortation based upon a citation cut from 1 Pet 5,8. He writes:

adversarius quoque vester diabolus, tamquam leo rugiens, circuit quaerens quem devoret.

Moreover, your adversary, the devil, like a roaring lion, prowls around, looking for someone to devour.

 

1 Pet 5,8 reads:

sobrii estote vigilate quia adversarius vester diabolus tamquam leo rugiens circuit quaerens quem devoret

Be prudent, keep alert. Your adversary, the devil, like a roaring lion, prowls around, looking for someone to devour.

 

This third citation could explain why Albert preferred the Vetus Latina reading tentatio to that of the Vulgate, militia, in Job 7,1 (presuming that Albert had access to both texts, a presumption without basis for the moment). The term tentatio coordinates better with the text from 1 Pet 5,8. It is the devil who is regularly associated with tentatio and not with militia (see Matt. 4,1; Luke 4,2.13; and Rev. 2,10).

With these two premises in place, Albert launches into his first exhortation:

 

omni sollicitudine studeatis indui armatura Dei, ut possitis stare adversus insidias inimici

You should take every care to put on the armour of God so that you can stand against the enemy’s devices.

 

Albert is loosely citing Eph 6,11:

induite vos arma Dei ut possitis stare adversus insidias diaboli

Put on the armour of God, so that you may be able to stand against the devil’s devices.

 

Albert prefaces this citation of Eph 6,11 with his own exhortatory language: omni sollicitudine studeatis. It is noteworthy that up to this point in his composition, he has not alerted his audience to the fact that he is referencing the Bible in his exhortation. And we know from later in the Rule that he can do so when he wants.

Having called the hermits to arm themselves, Albert now moves to make explicit the suit of armour that the hermits should put on. Here again he turns to the text of Ephesians. He writes:

accingendi sunt lumbi vestri cingulo castitatis

Your loins should be bound with the belt of chastity

 

He is borrowing from Eph 6,14:

state ergo succincti lumbos vestros in veritate.

Stand, therefore, let your loins be bound with truth

 

The extent to which the readers know the Ephesians text is the same extent to which they can perceive and enjoy his play on the passage (intertextuality again). Albert has substituted in veritate with cingulo castitatis. (There are no textual witnesses of the Vulgate or the Vetus Latina that read cingulo castitatis.) The mention of lumbi in Ephesians makes chastity a natural association. But what is important for us is that Albert, by rewriting the Ephesians text, offers his exegesis of it as it applies to the way of life for the hermits on Mount Carmel. When they read the Ephesians text they are to realize that the “truth” with which they are girt in the fight against the enemy is their chastity. Albert is reading and interpreting the Bible in light of the hermits’ quest for holiness.

Albert himself composes a parallel exhortation, muniendum est pectus cogitationibus sanctis (“your breast is to be strengthened by holy meditations”) that builds on the body imagery of Ephesians (lumbi/ pectus). This is his first exhortation that is not drawn directly from the Bible. And Albert is well aware that he has strayed from the biblical text since he immediately returns to Scripture and for the first time he alerts his audience that he is about to cite the Bible: scriptum est enim. But he could have used this formula earlier. Why does it appear here for the first time? Albert wants to give authority to the first nonbiblical phrase in his exhortation. Thus he writes:

 

scriptum est enim: “Cogitatio sancta servabit te”

for it is written: “holy meditation will protect you”

 

Again the question of Albert’s Bible cannot be avoided. The Vulgate of Prov 2,11 reads:

consilium custodiet te prudentia servabit te

discretion will guard you, prudence will protect you

 

But the Vetus Latina reads:

Cogitatio sancta servabit te

Holy meditation will protect you

 

Again, Albert’s text is closer to the Vetus Latina. But in this case, the question of his source text is complicated by the fact that Prov 2,11 is regularly cited by St. Augustine, who, as is well known, preferred the Vetus Latina. Thus, what is the biblical text that Albert is reading? Is the reading in his Bible, the Vetus Latina, or is he citing (or recalling) this verse according to Augustine’s reading of Prov 2,11, or another Latin Father? The question must be answered before any conclusion can be drawn with regard to Albert’s use of this biblical passage. What can be said is that his interpretation plays on the word cogitatio. The Carmelite is to be strengthened by holy meditations (cogitationibus), because, in turn, as scripture teaches, holy meditation (cogitatio) will protect you.

Albert takes up the rest of Eph 6,14: Induenda est lorica iustitiae (“put on the breastplate of justice”). Once again he places another biblical passage, albeit loosely cited, next to it, writing:

ut Dominum Deum vestrum ex toto corde et ex tota anima et ex tota virtute diligatis, et proximum vestrum tamquam vosmetipsos.

So that you will love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength, and your neighbour as yourself.

 

Any number of biblical passages are similar to Albert’s text, but Mark 12,30-31 seems to be the closest:

et diliges Dominum Deum tuum ex toto corde tuo et ex tota anima tua et ex tota mente tua et ex tota virtute tua hoc est primum mandatum [v. 31] secundum autem simile illi diliges proximum tuum tamquam te ipsum maius horum aliud mandatum non est

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment’ [31] The second is similar to it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

 

Though the Marcan text looks back to Deut 6,5 (along with Lev 19,18), one hardly need reach to the Old Testament to find Albert’s citation. Mark is the only version with “virtute” and the adverb “tamquam”. Once again, the two biblical texts, set beside each other, interpret one another. In this way, Albert allows the Bible to interpret itself: the breastplate of justice in Ephesians is to be put on so that one might be able to live out one of the central teachings of the Gospel. The text of Eph 6,14 is explained by Mark 12,30-31. Albert seamlessly eliminates words in the biblical passage (such as hoc est primum mandatum secundum autem simile in the passage above) so that the biblical text reads properly in its new context.

Albert continues to employ this technique. He offers a near exact citation of Eph 6,16 that is then explained by Hebr 11,6. The hermits are to grasp the “shield of faith” in order to extinguish the burning arrows of the wicked one, because, as Hebr 11,6 reads, without faith it is impossible to please God. Again one verse interprets and complements the other with the term “fide” acting as the link. Albert adds his own interjection taking up the term “fide” again: Et hec est victoria, fides vestra (“this is victory, your faith”).

Another example of the same technique immediately follows. According to Eph 6,17, Christians should take up the “helmet of salvation” (galeam salutis adsumite). Albert writes:

Galea quoque salutis capiti imponenda est ut de solo Salvatore speretis salutem, qui salvum facit populum suum a peccatis eorum

The helmet of salvation set on your head that you may hope for salvation from the only Saviour who saved his own people from their sins.

 

Albert adds to the Ephesians text that the helmet should be put on the head (capiti), an addendum that coordinates with his mention of other parts of the body (limbi and, especially, pectus). This string of biblical passages plays on the term salus (there is even an alliteration of the “s”). The first motivation for putting on the helmet (de solo Salvatore speretis salutem) borrows language and themes from the New Testament (cf. 1 Tim. 1,1; 4,10 and Titus 2,13 ). The second part is a citation of Matt 1,21:

enim salvum faciet populum suum a peccatis eorum

for he will save his people from their sins.

 

Again the Bible is allowed to interpret itself. According to Albert the helmet of salvation placed on one’s head expresses the hope in salvation. He derives this meaning by borrowing New Testament language and especially by citing the text of Matt 1,21, which contains his key term salus.

 

Now Albert takes up the remainder of Eph 6,17. He writes a near exact citation from the Vulgate:

Gladius autem spiritus, quod est verbum Dei

The sword of the spirit, which is the word of God

 

In Eph 6,17, Paul finishes with this description of the armour so that he can return to the question of prayer (Eph 6,18). But Albert writes so smoothly that the inattentive reader would assume that what follows is a continuation of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. Perhaps that is Albert’s intention. But what Albert writes after the citation is his interpretation of Paul’s words:

 …abundanter habitet in ore et in cordibus vestris et quaecumque a vobis agenda sunt in verbo Domini fiant

…should dwell abundantly in you mouths and in your hearts and whatever you do, let it be done in the word of the Lord

 

This interpretation is culled from various New Testament passages. The idea that “the word should dwell abundantly” is taken from Col 3,1

verbum Christi habitet in vobis abundanter in omni sapientia docentes et commonentes vosmet ipsos psalmis hymnis canticis spiritalibus in gratia cantantes in cordibus vestris Deo

Let the word of Christ dwell in you abundantly; teaching and reminding yourselves in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.

 

This is a clear example of intertextuality. In the entire Vulgate, the terms “habitare” and “abundans” appear together only in Col 3,1. The Ephesians text recalls (at least in Albert’s mind) this text of Colossians since it too makes reference to the “word”, though to the word of Christ. Thus, by borrowing the words “abundanter habitet” from Col 3,1, Albert intends for the entire verse of Col 3,1 to come to mind. The word of God, the word of Christ (symbolized by the sword), should dwell in our hearts, leading to expressions of gratitude to God: psalms hymns and spiritual songs.

The expression in ore et in cordibus vestries is a biblical merism that expresses the whole person, mind and body together. As Moses closes his discourse in the book of Deuteronomy he reminds his audience that his word (sermo) is “in your mouth and in your heart” (Deut 30,14: in ore tuo et in corde tuo). The terms “mouth” and “heart” regularly appear together (Job 22,22; Ps 18,15; and Sirach 39,41). They appear in Rom 10,8 where the term verbum also appears:

sed quid dicit prope est verbum in ore tuo et in corde tuo hoc est verbum fidei quod praedicamus

But what does it say? The word is near, in your mouth and in your heart. This is the word of faith that we preach.

 

As in the borrowing from Col 3,1, Albert has again alluded to a text that contains the term verbum.

Albert’s interpretation of the text of Eph 6,17 closes with a final exhortation: “let whatever you have to do be done in the word of the Lord.” His words find correspondences in Col 3,17 and to a lesser extent in 1 Cor 10,31. In Col 3,17 the author exhorts the audience to do all things “in the name of the Lord Jesus” (in nomine Domini Iesu). This is a good example of intertextuality in that a reader, well versed in the biblical text, hears the shift from “name” to “word”. The expected text, “let it be done in the name of the Lord” becomes “let it be done in the word of the Lord.” Thus, built from various biblical passages, we can summarize Albert’s interpretation of Eph 6,17 as follows: the “sword of the Spirit” which is the “word of the Lord” should dwell in us so that all our actions are done in that “word.”

In chapter 15 of the Rule, Albert opens a new question, the value of work. At the center of his argument is a lengthy citation of 2 Thess 3,7-12. He sets out his exhortation (“You should do some kind of work…”) and then turns to the Bible to sustain his argument. For only the second time in the Rule, Albert alerts his audience to a biblical citation (Habetis in hoc beati Pauli Apostoli). The length of the citation (given that the rule is so short!) suggests its importance. In order to introduce the Apostle, Albert merges texts of Paul’s own statements about himself. Paul is the one through whom Christ spoke (cf. 2 Cor 13,3 [in me loquitur Christi] and less explicitly in 2 Cor 2,17 and 12,19 [in Christo loquimur]). The second part of the introduction to St. Paul is a text rewritten from 1 Tim 2,7.

 

The Rule

qui positus est et datus a Deo praedicator et Doctor gentium in fide et veritate

who was set and given by God as preacher and teacher of the nations in faith and truth.

 

1 Tim. 2,7

in quo positus sum ego praedicator et apostolus veritatem dico non mentior doctor gentium in fide et veritate

For this I was appointed a preacher and apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

Albert follows the biblical text fairly closely, rewriting what does not suit his discourse. Why he forgets apostolus is a mystery, but the elimination of veritatem dico non mentior is because it hardly suits his introduction to this Pauline citation. He adds a Deo making explicit the implicit agency in the biblical text. Thus, once again, Albert borrows and adapts. But in this case, there is no biblical exegesis involved. He merely lifts phrases from Paul’s writings in which the apostle describes himself.

He then comes to a citation, which corresponds almost exactly with the Latin text of 2 Thess 3,7-12 that has come down to us in the Vulgate. It seems that Albert saw the passage as self-explanatory (which, indeed, it is). Therefore, unlike the previous passages that he exegeted with other biblical texts, in this case he offers no interpretation. The Rule of Innocent IV adds a further admonition: Haec via sancta est et bona; ambulate in ea. (This language, borrowed from Isa 30,21; Jer 6,16 and, less explicitly, from 1 Kgs 8,36 and Prov 2,20, is associated with the text of 2 Thess 3,11 on the basis of the word ambulare.) But Albert remains silent. It seems that for him the meaning of 2 Thess 3,7-12 was self-evident.

Paul concludes his exhortation about work by urging the Christians at Thessalonica to work “quietly” (cum silentio). Albert takes as his point of departure this Pauline dictum and offers his interpretation that work must be done in silence. But silence is not Paul’s primary concern in 2 Thess 3,7-12—cum silentio is an adverbial phrase that modifies the primary exhortation that one should avoid idleness. But Albert wants to focus on the question of silence in the hermits’ life together and he finds in Paul’s phrase cum silentio a suitable foundation on which to build an argument. He begins a cascade of biblical citations that trace the biblical teachings on silence. Again he signals that a biblical citation is coming: et quemadmodum Propheta testatur. Then he writes:

Cultus iustitiae silentium est

The effect of justice is silence

 

His words are cut from Isa 32,17:

et erit opus iustitiae pax et cultus iustitiae silentium et securitas usque in sempiternum

The task of justice is peace, and the effect of justice is silence and trust forever.

 

Albert exegetes the text of 2 Thess 3,12 by means of this text of Isaiah. According to the Rule, Paul recommended that the community at Thessalonica work in silence because, as Isaiah teaches, silence gives rise to justice. Immediately Albert has another biblical text ready for our consideration (et rursus):

In silentio et spe erit fortitudo vestra

Your strength will be in silence and hope

 

He has lifted these words from Isa 30,15:

quia haec dicit Dominus Deus Sanctus Israhel si revertamini et quiescatis salvi eritis in silentio et in spe erit fortitudo vestra et noluistis

For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel: if you return and rest you shall be saved. Your strength will be in silence and in trust. But you refused.

 

By means of Isaiah 30,15, Albert explains the purpose of silence: silence (together with hope) is the hermit’s strength. Again Albert exercises his method of biblical interpretation. He cites a biblical text and then explains that text by putting it beside other texts that have the same word under discussion (in this case “silence”). The second text interprets and expands on the first.

Having established the value of silence in a direction beyond what Paul encourages in 2 Thess 3,7-12, Albert is ready to set down the rule for silence in the rhythm of the hermits daily life: outside of night time, silence does not have to be so strictly observed. But he reminds his audience to beware of much chatter (multiloquio). This new idea sets off another cascade of biblical citations to sustain this exhortation. From here on he usually alerts his audience to the biblical citation (sicut scriptum est). He first turns to Wisdom Literature, offering an exact citation of the Vulgate text of Prov 10,19: in multiloquio peccatum non deerit (“in much chatter sin is not lacking”). This citation picks up the word multiloquio in Albert’s admonition. Then he turns to Prov 13,3 and offers another near exact citation of that text: qui inconsideratus est ad loquendum sentiet mala (“whoever is thoughtless in speech will suffer harm”). Again Albert tells us that all this comes from the Bible. Finally he turns to Sirach 20,8 and borrows another precise citation: qui multis utitur verbis, laedit animam suam (“whoever uses many words wounds his own soul”). By means of these biblical citations, he has moved the discussion from the question of silence to the question of idle chatter. He now moves onto New Testament texts to bolster his argument. Borrowing from Matt 12,36 (another near exact citation), Albert writes:

De omni verbo otioso, quod locuti fuerint homines, reddent rationem de eo in die iudicii

People will have to render an account on the day of judgement for every otiose word that they speak.

 

By means of this citation, he further develops his teaching: silence avoids idle chatter, and idle chatter falls under divine judgment. Again, to underscore the eschatological implications of idle chatter, he turns to Sirach 28,29-30. Albert writes:

Faciat igitur unusquisque stateram verbis suis, et fraenos rectos ori suo, ne forte labatur et cadat in lingua sua, et insanabilis sit casus eius ad mortem

Therefore let each one make a balance of his words and a suitable bridle of his mouth lest he stumble and fall by the tongue and his fall will be incurably fatal.

 

He borrows themes and vocabulary from Sirach 28,29b-30. However, as the various texts of Sirach presented below indicate, its text is difficult to establish. The Vulgate reads:

aurum tuum et argentum confla et verbis tuis facito stateram et frenos ori tuo rectos [30] et adtende ne forte labaris in lingua et cadas in conspectu inimicorum insidiantium tibi et sit casus tuus insanabilis in mortem

gather your gold and silver and make a balance of your words and a suitable bridle of your mouth. And be careful lest you slip by the tongue and fall before enemies who would ambush you. Your fall will be incurably fatal.

 

The Vetus Latina and the Vulgate are not distinct texts for the book of Sirach. St. Jerome did not provide a new translation of it and “in the fifth or sixth century, the Old Latin of Sirach began appearing in MSS of the Vulgate after it had first undergone many alterations by scribes and editors.” The Peshitta, a valuable resource for reconstructing the Hebrew Vorlage of Sirach, reads (28,24c-26):

 

affh\b Kmrk tna gasd ryg ankya aRkwsw a[Rt db[ Kmwpl Pa

amtj tna db[ Kbhdlw Kpskl

alwtm db[ Ktlmlw

Lpt amld rhsza

Kans Mdq amrtt ald

Just as you hedge your vineyard with brambles,

So make doors and locks for your mouth.

Fashion a seal with your gold and silver,

Make a balance for your word.

Be on guard, lest you fall,

Lest you be tossed before your enemy.

 

The LXX reads (28,25-26):

kai; toi'” lovgoi” sou poivhson zugo;n kai; staqmo;n

kai; tw’/ stovmativ sou poivhson quvran kai; moclovn.

[26] provsece mhvpw” ojlivsqh/” ejn aujth’/,

mh; pevsh/” katevnanti ejnedreuvonto”.

Make with you words a balance and weight,

And with your mouth make a door and bar.

Guard yourselves lest you slip in it,

Lest you fall before those lying in ambush.

 

These various textual witnesses to Sirach illustrate how difficult it will be to establish the exact Latin text that Albert had under his eyes. However, among these various textual witnesses only the Vulgate adds et sit casus tuus insanabilis in mortem. Returning to Albert’s argument, the Sirach citation sustains and develops the previous citation of Matt 12,36: since the person will have to give an account for every idle word, it seems best to weigh one’s words carefully. If not, as Ben Sira teaches, one risks a fatal fall. This last expression alludes to the final judgement to which Jesus refers in Matt 12,26, a passage that Albert has recently cited. Thus, once again, two verses complement and develop each other. Before concluding his argument, Albert picks up the term lingua from the Sirach citation and alludes to Ps 38,2. He writes:

custodiens cum Propheta vias suas, ut non derelinquat in lingua sua

observing, with the prophet, his ways, lest he trespass with his tongue.

 

Ps 38,2

dixi custodiam vias meas ut non delinquam in lingua mea

I said, I will guard my ways so as not to sin with my tongue

 

Albert brings in the Psalm verse, which contains the key term lingua, rewriting it in the service of his argument. Perhaps he assumes that we perceive this play between the psalm verse and the theme he has developed: that control of the tongue is done with silence. Now his argument returns to where it began (inclusion): avoiding idle chatter and restraining the tongue leads to justice: Cultus iustitiae silentium est. Though this time he rewrites the Isaiah citation, fronting the term “silence” (et silentium, in quo cultus iustitiae est) which has been central to his argument.

At first blush it may appear that Albert’s argument is overwhelmed by this string of biblical citations and allusions. Such pronounced intertextual interference is discussed by literary theorists:

 

If only few quotations occur within a text, their impact on its structure and meaning may be comparatively insignificant. In this case, the determining influence of the quotational context proves stronger than that of the quotations themselves. The situation, however, changes, when the pre-text interpolations increase in frequency. In that case the influence of the context diminishes in proportion. The final stage in such a development is reach with a text completely compounded of quotations. At this point a context in the sense of an original creation no longer exists. Its part is taken over by the quotations preceding and following each quotation. As there is a multiplication of quotations, so there is also a multiplication of contexts. The structural result of this procedure can be termed collage, the procedure itself montage.

 

Plett’s point is that once a text becomes a catena of citations, an original creation no longer exists. But this is precisely Albert’s point. He is demonstrating, by means of a “montage” of biblical citations (his method of exegesis), that he is not writing anything new. Instead, he is merely drawing out the insights that God revealed to the biblical authors. However, the “collage” he creates is not without new meaning. Paul’s teaching to the community at Thessalonica is interpreted and expanded in order to show the hermits what they should be aiming for.

Albert closes with a final word to Brother B. Leadership must be guided by the words of Jesus, which Albert cites very close to the text of Matt 20,26-27. He exhorts the hermits to honour their prior and once again he turns to scripture for support. He offers a near exact citation from Jesus’ speech to the seventy (Luke 10,16). Albert labels the seventy ecclesiarum praepositis, “Church leaders”. And though the gospel does not attribute that title to the “seventy,” Albert participates in the patristic tradition of explaining the role of these seventy (whose existence is only reported in Luke). In early Christian literature, various communities claimed to have been founded by one of these anonymous seventy. Albert calls them “church leaders” and he wants the hermits on Mount Carmel to see the prior as one of the anonymous seventy who received his evangelizing mission from Christ. Faithful adherence to Jesus words to the seventy will warrant the “reward of eternal life.” These words, vitae aeternae mercedem, are culled from John 4,36.

 

Summary of Albert’s techniques for interpreting scripture

This consideration of the use of the Bible in the Rule has uncovered several techniques that its author utilized to draw out an interpretation of a biblical text. (A note of caution: these insights are provisional given that a text-critical study of the Rule has not yet been done.)

  1. As was noted in the introduction, patristic citations of the Bible fall into several categories. Albert can borrow biblical language for his argument, such as in obsequio Iesu Christi or in ore et in cordibus vestries, without comment. The function of such borrowing is to lend authority to his discourse. Thus, when he introduces St. Paul (Deo praedicator et Doctor gentium in fide et veritate), he borrows language from the Pauline corpus without exegetical comment.
  2. Albert can alert the reader that a biblical citation (scriptum est enim) follows or he can withhold such information depending on the function that the citation plays within his argument. When he alerts the reader to an upcoming citation, the biblical passage is supposed to lend its authority to his argument. Thus, he can write a precept, such as “your breast is to be strengthened by holy meditations,” and then insert a scriptural quotation that he believes buttresses his statement. Such a notice does not indicate the degree of accuracy of the citation with respect to the biblical text. We have seen that Albert can indicate that he is quoting the Bible and then cite the text quite freely. On the other hand, where no such notice is given, his citation can be almost precise.
  3.  Albert’s primary technique of biblical interpretation involves lifting two or more biblical passages from their original biblical context and placing them in the Carmelite Rule. He selects the passages and arranges them, but he adds little else. The two (or more) biblical passages, set next to one another, interpret and complement each other. The new meaning that emerges from the two texts is Albert’s exegesis. This methodology allows the Bible to interpret itself and thus requires only minimal comments from the interpreter. Sometimes there is an identical term in a catena of citations (such as fide in the Eph 6,16 and Hebr 11,6 citations) that links the two passages. Such wordplays remain crucial to understanding Albert’s interpretation of the passage. For example, when he comes upon the term silentium in 2 Thess 3,11, Albert arranges a string of biblical texts that employ the term silentium in various contexts. He hopes that this catena of texts instructs his audience on the value of silence.
  4.  Another central technique of biblical interpretation appears when Albert rewrites a biblical passage so that it adapts to his argument. He lifts a sufficient portion of the biblical passage so that it remains recognizable but at the same time he makes his own adjustments so that his interpretation of the passage becomes apparent. Citation and interpretation merge resulting in a rewritten biblical text for a new context. The clearest example of rewriting appears when Albert cites Isa 32,17 for the second time. The first time he cites the Isaiah text he follows the word order from the Vulgate. But the second time, he opts to rearrange the words, fronting his key term silentium, the issue at stake in this section of his exhortation. When he alludes to Eph 6,14, but substitutes veritate with castitatis, the reader hears the original text of Ephesians and, at the same time, hears Albert’s interpretation of that text. Thus, what at first glance might look like deviations from the biblical text are in fact traces of his exegesis of the passage in question.
  5.  When Albert considers the meaning of a biblical text to be transparent, as in the case of 2 Thess 3,7-12, he simply cites it and offers no exegetical comment.
  6.  Finally, Albert enjoys alluding to a biblical text. The impact of these allusions depends on the reader’s knowledge of the biblical passage from which the allusion is drawn.

 

Conclusion

As a medieval exegete, Albert trusted that the Bible revealed what to do (moralis quid agas) and what to aim for (quo tendas anagogia). Thus, he quarried the sacra pagina to formulate a response to the hermits’ request for a vitae formula. And he encouraged his interlocutors to do the same die ac nocte. The Bible was his book, his resource for guiding human efforts against the tentatio super terram. He was conversant in its themes, its imagery, and its language. Where else could he turn to formulate a way of life for those who had asked for his guidance. As he writes, his composition eventually dissolves into a collage of biblical citations and allusions. By means of this collage he demonstrated to those first hermits that his ideas were not new. They were merely the fruit of a rereading of the Bible in light of the quest for holiness. The Rule entreats us to imitate its author, to know the Bible as well as he did so that we can delight in the biblical allusions contained therein. And when we Carmelites are so engaged by God’s word, the Rule illuminates our quest for holiness today.

Craig E. Morrison, O. Carm.
Pontifical Biblical Institute
Via della Pilotta 25
00187 Rome
Italy

 

NOTES

I want to thank Fr. Alberto Martino, O.Carm., for his assistance with my Latin questions and for his example of a life lived according to the spirit of our Carmelite Rule.

For an illuminating discussion of the expression vitae formula see Carlo Cicconetti, La Regola del Carmelo: Origine – Natura – Significato (Textus et Studia Historica Carmelitana 12; Rome: Institutum Carmelitanum, 1973) 115-26.

See The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church (Boston: St. Paul Books & Media, 1993),

See my article on the reception of the Bible in Aphrahat’s Demonstrations: Craig Morrison, “The Reception of the Book of Daniel in Aphrahat’s Fifth Demonstration, ‘On Wars’”, Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies 7 (2003) 69-99.

Sometimes the title given to a biblical passage (not part of the biblical text itself), such as “The Prodigal Son” (Luke 15,11-32) or “The Penitent Woman” (John 7,53-8,11), becomes an integral part of the text during its transmission. It can influence the contemporary appropriation of the text, sometimes adversely as in the case of the “Prodigal Son” title that forgets that there are two sons in the parable and perhaps the evangelist is more interested in the reader’s reaction to the second son.

Brian E. Daley, “Is Patristic Exegesis Still Usable? Some Reflections on Early Christian Interpretation of the Psalms,” in The Art of Reading Scripture (eds. Ellen F. Davis — Richard B. Hays; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans 2003) 69-88. Many ancient authors knew the Bible by heart.

Aurelius Augustine, De doctrina christiana: libros quattor (ed. Henr. Jos. Vogels; Florilegium patristicum 24; Bonn: Hanstein, 1930) book 2, chap 8.

Nicholas of Lyra, Postilla suer totam Bibliam IV, ii iii [Ad Galatas] 4,24.

I have borrowed de Lubac’s translation of this distich as it is presented in Henri de Lubac, Medieval Exegesis (Trans. by Mark Sebanc; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1998-2000) vol. 1, 1.

See Henri de Lubac’s discussion of this question in Exégèse médiévale: Les quatre sens de l’Écriture (Paris: Aubier, 1959) Tome 1, 23.

See my treatment of Aphrahat’s biblical text in Craig Morrison, “Recasting Elijah in Aphrahat’s VI Demonstration” The Harp 18 (2005) (forthcoming).

See the discussion on the Vetus Latina in Julio Trebolle Barrera, The Jewish Bible and the Christian Bible: An Introduction to the History of the Bible (Trans. Wilfred G.E. Watson; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1998) 349-358. See also Ernst Würthwein, Der Text des Alten Testaments (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft 1988).

Allusion has been defined by Harold Bloom as “any implied, indirect or hidden reference” (Harold Bloom, A Map of Misreading [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1975], 126 ). For an excellent review of the current research into allusion, see Udo J. Hebel, “Towards a Descriptive Poetics of Allusion” in Intertextuality (ed. Heinrich F. Plett, Research in Text Theory 15; Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1991) 133-164.

The term was first coined by Julia Kristeva (Recherches pour une Sémanalyse [Paris: Seuil 1969]). See also Jay Clayton — Eric Rothstein, “Figures in the Corpus: Theories of Influence and Intertextuality” in Influence and Intertextuality in Literary History (eds. Jay Clayton — Eric Rothstein; Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin, 1991) 3-36.

Beth LaNeel Tanner, The Book of Psalms Through the Lens of Intertextuality (New York: Peter Lang [2001]) 5.

These categories loosely follow the work of Gerd Häfner who has identified “die verschiedenen Formen des Schriftbezuges.” His categories include “Zitate”, “Anspielungen”, “Paraphrasen”, “biblische Sprache”, and “Echoes”. See Gerd Häfner, “Nützlich sur Belehrung” (2 Tim 3, 16): Die Rolle der Schrift in den Pastoralbriefen im Rahmen der Paulusrezeption (HBSt; Freiburg: Herder, 2000), 43-63.

Beryl Smalley, The Study of the Bible in the Middle Ages (Oxford: Blackwell 1984) xxviii. Her study is still recognized as the “best historical introduction to this period” (Joseph W. Goering, “An Introduction to Medieval Christian Biblical Interpretation”, in With Reverence for the Word: Medieval Scriptural Exegesis in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam [Oxford: Oxford University Press 2003] 197-203).

Udo J. Hebel, “Towards a Descriptive Poetics of Allusion”, 136.

Biblia Sacra Iuxta Latinam Vulgatam Versionem ad Codicum Fidem. Cura et Studio Monachorum Abbatiae Pontificiae Sancti Hieronymi in Urbi (Roma: Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis 1926-).

See C. Cicconetti’s discussion of this citation of Hebr. 1,1 in Carlo Cicconetti, La Regola del Carmelo, 387-8.

Ancient authors often link themselves to the biblical line of revelation. One well-known example appears at the beginning of the Pirke Aboth. See R. Travers Herford (ed,), Pirke Aboth: the Tractate “Fathers” from the Mishnah, commonly called “Sayings of the Fathers” (New York: The Jewish Institute of Religion Press, 1925).

This exhortation appears in a similar form in Josh 1,8 (non recedat volumen legis huius de ore tuo sed meditaberis in eo diebus ac noctibus).

The term “law” here is a technical term. Albert has borrowed it from the biblical text where it renders the Hebrew term “Torah.” In Ps 1,2 “Torah” has a broad sense, i.e., teaching. The psalmist is not referring to the Pentateuch but to divine revelation as he knows it. When Albert lifts this language out of the Old Testament, the term “lege” refers to the entire biblical text as he knew it.

Udo J. Hebel, “Towards a Descriptive Poetics of Allusion”, 140.

See James Kugel, Traditions of the Bible: A Guide to the Bible As It Was at the Start of the Common Era (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998) 17.

See my article to appear later this year, “The Bible in the Hands of Aphrahat the Persian Sage”, in Syriac and Antiochene Exegesis and Biblical Interpretation in the Church (Robert D. Miller, ed; De Gruyter, November 2005).

In de Lubac’s terms, the Bible for medieval exegetes was a “mira profunditas”, Henri de Lubac, Exégèse médiévale: Les quatre sens de l’Écriture (Paris: Aubier, 1959) Tome 1, 119.

Petri Sabatier, Bibliorum sacrorum latinae versiones antiquae seu Vetus Italica: et caeterae quaecunque in codicibus mss. & antiquorum libris reperiri poterunt: Quae cum Vulgata Latina, & cum Textu graeco comparantur 3 vols. (Paris 1751) vol 1.2, 844.

Douglas Burton-Christie, The Word in the Desert: Scripture and the Quest for Holiness in early Christian Monasticism (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993) 181-212.

There are no Vulgate MSS that reflect the Vetus Latina reading.

LXX: e[nnoia de; oJsiva thrhvsei se (“holy thoughts will guard you”)

Petri Sabatier, Bibliorum sacrorum latinae versiones antiquae seu Vetus Italica, vol. 2, 300.

This citation of Prov 2,11 appears several times in Augustine’s works, see A.-M., LaBonnardière, Biblia Augustiniana: A.T., Le Livre des Proverbs (Paris: Études Augustiniennes, 1975) 197.

salvatoris nostri et Christi Iesu spei nostrae

expectantes beatam spem et adventum gloriae magni Dei et salvatoris nostri Iesu Christi

I could find no Vetus Latina or Vulgate MSS that contain Albert’s reading.

Albert omits sed curiose agentes. There are no traces of this omission in Vetus Latina or Vulgate MSS.

et aures tuae audient verbum post tergum monentis haec via ambulate in ea neque ad dexteram neque ad sinistram

haec dicit Dominus state super vias et videte et interrogate de semitis antiquis quae sit via bona et ambulate in ea et invenietis refrigerium animabus vestris et dixerunt non ambulabimus.

These are the only two instances in Isaiah (32,17 and 30,15) where “silence” is used in the context of salvation. The term only appears three times in all of Isaiah and the third instance (62,7) is not suitable for Albert’s Rule.

Patrick William Skehan – Alexander A. Di Lella, The Wisdom of Ben Sira (AB 39; New York: Doubleday, 1987) 57.

Heinrich R. Plett, “Intertextualities”, in Intertextuality (ed. Heinrich F. Plett, Research in Text Theory 15; Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1991) 11.

The “seventy” only appear in the gospel of Luke and are mentioned in view of Luke’s description of the early mission of the Jerusalem community in Acts.

or seventy-two according to the Vulgate and many Greek MSS

The Doctrina Addai asserts that Addai, the apostle sent by Jesus to India, was one of the seventy, see The Doctrine of Addai, The Apostle, Now First Edited in a Complete Form in the Original Syriac (London 1876). See also, Craig Morrison, “A Few Thoughts on Syriac Studies Today”, The Maronite Voice 7 (Nov. 2000) 6-7.

et qui metit mercedem accipit et congregat fructum in vitam aeternam ut et qui seminat simul gaudeat et qui metit.

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