The Cambridge History treats the Bible as a central document of Western civilization, a source of exegesis and of doctrine, an influence on education, on the growth of scholarship, on art and literature, as well as on the liturgy and the life of the Christian church and its members. This volume commences the study of the Bible in the West. It begins with Jerome and the Fathers and goes on to the time of Erasmus. Introductory chapters look back and rapidly survey the growth of the biblical canon in the pre-Christian period and the early church, and early Christian book-production. The central portion of the volume discusses exposition and exegesis of the Scriptures: in the hands of the Fathers, in the Medieval Schools, in the Liturgy and in the tradition of medieval Jewish scholarship. The permeation of European culture by the Scriptures is illustrated by themes in art and manuscript illustration, and by separate sections on each of the main vernacular languages, giving special attention to English. Each chapter is written by a scholar and expert on the subject, who summarizes existing knowledge and, in many cases, advances it by reporting his own research.
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