Commentaire littéral sur tous les livres de l'Ancien et du Nouveau Testament  

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Commentaire littéral sur tous les livres de l'Ancien et du Nouveau Testament is a work by Antoine Augustin Calmet

The first volume appeared in Paris in 1707; the last of the twenty-three quarto volumes, owing to various delays, was published only in 1716. To satisfy the demand for the work a second edition in twenty-six volumes quarto was issued 1714-1720, and a third, enlarged, edition in nine volumes folio 1724-1726. A Latin translation by J. D. Mansi was published at Lucca, 1730-1738, in nine folio volumes, with new editions at Augsburg (1756, eight volumes folio) and Würzburg (1789, nineteen volumes quarto); another Latin translation by F. Vecelli appeared at Venice and Frankfurt (1730, six volumes folio). This shows how much the commentary was esteemed. But while it was received with high praise, even by Protestants, critics were not wanting, among whom may be mentioned the Oratorian Richard Simon. It cannot be denied that in spite of its merits and great erudition it is in some respects open to criticism. Difficult passages are often passed over lightly, and too frequently different explanations of a text are set down without a hint to the reader as to which is the right or preferable one.

The work inaugurated a new method of Biblical exegesis. Its author departed from the custom of giving an allegorical (mystical) and tropological (moral) interpretation besides the literal. The most valuable part of the commentary were the introductory prefaces to the several books and 114 learned dissertations on special topics. These he published separately with nineteen new ones in three volumes, under the title Dissertations qui peuvent servir de prolégomènes à l'Écriture Sainte (Paris, 1720). The collection met with such success that two editions were printed at Amsterdam in 1722, the title being changed to Trésors d'antiquités sacrées et profanes. It was translated into English (Oxford, 1726), Latin (by Mansi, Lucca, 1729), Dutch (Rotterdam, 1728), German (Bremen, 1738,1744, and 1747) and Italian.




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