Critici Sacri - Synopsis

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VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
The Critici Sacri: sive doctissimorum virorum in SS. Biblia Annotationes et Tractatus was a 9 volume anthology published in Latin in 1660 by John Pearson and others which attempted to reference every important work on every part of the Bible. A later edition, published in Amsterdam, 1698"“1732, was expanded to 13 volumes. I have seen it for sale at 15,000 pounds.

It served as the inspiration for Matthew Poole's 5 volume Synopsis Criticorum Aliorumque de Scripturae Interpretum Opera Matthaei Poli which was more than an anthology, it was a true Biblical commentary referencing the comments of all the most important writers on every passage of Scripture. My pastor is currently involved in translating the Synopsis from Latin to English.

[Critici Sacri] -- A great monument to biblical scholarship, comprising nearly 10,000 pages of commentaries by well over fifty sixteenth- and seventeenth-century scholars, perhaps the most ambitious universal Bible commentary ever compiled. The present second (first Netherlands) edition includes 13 stunning large engraved plates and is also a typographic monument of the greatest importance. The commentaries and criticism are arranged not by author, but by the Bible passages they discuss, so that one can readily read and compare the views of all the leading scholars concerning any passage. The present edition mentions the compilers only at the end of the preface taken over from the first edition (London 1660), principally John Pearson (1613-1686), Bishop of Chester and later Professor of Theology at Cambridge, with his colleagues Anthony Scattergood, Francis Gouldman and Richard Pearson. They brought together texts by Erasmus, Sebastian Münster, Joannes Drusius, Benedictus Arias Montanus, Isaac Casaubon, Edward Brerewood, Kaspar Waser, Hugo Grotius, Petrus Cunaeus, Joseph Scaliger, Johannes Cloppenburg, James Ussher and many more. Volumes 1-4 cover the Old Testament, volume 5 the Apocrypha and Jewish antiquities, and volumes 6-8 the New Testament. The dedication to Frederick III, Elector of Brandenburg, and the five-page note to the reader are new to this edition.
The main (Latin) text is set in roman types supplemented by italic, with numerous extensive passages in Greek and Hebrew (some running over several pages and some with a parallel Latin translation), one extensive passage in Syriac and shorter passages in Arabic, textura (used for Dutch and English) and fraktur (used for German). Neither the plates nor the engravings in the text or on the title-pages are signed, but they are fine pieces of work. The world map, ten other plates and one engraving in the text are based on those first published in Plantin´s Polyglot Bible (1568-1573) where most were prepared by Arias Montanus. The world map shows how the world was repopulated by Noah´s three sons after the flood, and the origin of the present version (and that with "œTom. VI. pag. 553, probably from the 1660 Critici Sacri) has long puzzled cartographers (see Shirley 125 and his corrigenda). Its inclusion of the northern part of a large land mass south of the East Indies has encouraged speculations about an early sighting of Australia. The lovely scenes of the Garden of Eden and the Flood in the margins of the present version do not appear on any of the earlier ones. The present versions of Arias Montanus´s maps are not in Laor (cf. 45, 46 & 945) or Poortman & Augusteijn (cf. chapter 14, items 1-4).
Isaac Walton´s London Polyglot Bible (1655-1657) secured England´s place in the world of biblical scholarship. While both its preparation and its publication stimulated a great deal of new scholarship, its parallel presentation of eighteen Bible texts in nine languages left limited room for commentary. The 1660 Critici Sacri in nine volumes was the first and most extensive attempt to fill this gap, the only comparable work being Matthew Poole´s five-volume Synopsis Criticorum (1669-1676). Both were printed by James Flesher in London. English book production still lagged behind Dutch at this date, however, so the present second edition reaps the typographic benefits of the Dutch Golden Age. It was published by a syndicate of six bookseller/publishers in Amsterdam and Utrecht, but the typographic materials and their distribution in the book suggest that the printing may have been shared by two offices, one of them probably Hendrik Wetstein´s.

On the suggestion of William Lloyd (1627-1717), ultimately bishop of Worcester, Poole (1624-1679) undertook the great work of his life, the 'Synopsis' of the critical labours of biblical commentators. He began the compilation in 1666, and laboured at it for ten years. His plan was to rise at three or four in the morning, take a raw egg at eight or nine, and another at twelve, and continue at his studies till late in the afternoon. The evening he spent at some friend's house, very frequently that of Henry Ashurst, where 'he would be exceedingly but innocently merry,' although he always ended the day in 'grave and serious discourse." The prospectus of Poole's work bore the names of eight bishops (headed by Morley and Hacket) and five continental scholars, besides other divines. Simon Patrick (1626-1707), Tillotson, and Stillingfleet, with four laymen, acted as trustees of the subscription money. A patent for the work was obtained on 14 Oct. 1667. The first volume was ready for the press, when difficulties were raised by Cornelius Bee, publisher of the 'Critici Sacri' (1660, fol., nine vols.), who accused Poole of invading his patent, both by citing authors reprinted in his collection, and by injuring his prospective sales. Poole had offered Bee a fourth share in the property of the 'Synopsis,' but this was declined. After pamphlets had been written and legal opinions taken, the matter was referred to Henry Pierrepont, marquis of Dorchester, and Arthur Annesley, first earl of Anglesey, who decided in Poole's favour. Bee's name appears (1669) among the publishers of the 'Synopsis,' which was to have been completed in three folio volumes, but ran to five. Four thousand copies were printed, and quickly disposed of. The merit of Poole's work depends partly on its wide range, as a compendium of contributions to textual interpretation, partly on the rare skill which condenses into brief, crisp notes the substance of much laboured comment. Rabbinical sources and Roman catholic commentators are not neglected; little is taken from Calvin, nothing from Luther.

[Edited on 10-24-2005 by VirginiaHuguenot]
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
I got a good look at the Synopsis tonight as well as my pastor's translation work. The Synopsis is an amazing work; I can't wait until it is available to all.
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Charles Spurgeon:

If you are well enough versed in Latin, you will find in POOLE'S SYNOPSIS,[4] a marvellous collection of all the wisdom and folly of the critics. It is a large cyclopaedia worthy of the days when theologians could be cyclopean, and had not shrunk from folios to octavos. Query"”a query for which I will not demand an answer"”has one of you ever beaten the dust from the venerable copy of Poole which loads our library shelves? Yet as Poole spent no less than ten years in compiling it, it should be worthy of your frequent notice"”ten years, let me add, spent in Amsterdam in exile for the truth's sake from his native land.

His work was based upon an earlier compilation entitled Critici Sacri, containing the concentrated light of a constellation of learned men who have never been excelled in any age or country.
 

Mayflower

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by VirginiaHuguenotIt served as the inspiration for Matthew Poole's 5 volume Synopsis Criticorum Aliorumque de Scripturae Interpretum Opera Matthaei Poli which was more than an anthology, it was a true Biblical commentary referencing the comments of all the most important writers on every passage of Scripture. My pastor is currently involved in translating the Synopsis from Latin to English. quote][Edited on 10-24-2005 by VirginiaHuguenot]


Dear Andrew thats sounds great. Do you how many volumes the english transelation is gonne be ?
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Originally posted by Mayflower
Originally posted by VirginiaHuguenotIt served as the inspiration for Matthew Poole's 5 volume Synopsis Criticorum Aliorumque de Scripturae Interpretum Opera Matthaei Poli which was more than an anthology, it was a true Biblical commentary referencing the comments of all the most important writers on every passage of Scripture. My pastor is currently involved in translating the Synopsis from Latin to English. quote][Edited on 10-24-2005 by VirginiaHuguenot]


Dear Andrew thats sounds great. Do you how many volumes the english transelation is gonne be ?

I don't think that has been determined just yet. I can guesstimate that the final translation work will be rather large. The five Latin volumes that I have seen are themselves very large and double-columned. The Latin introduction is 8 pages, but the translation of the introduction is around 60 pages. This is due, in part, to my pastor's view that footnotes are required to make many of Poole's references intelligable for today's reader, because most readers today do not have the educational background or exposure that Poole had. So I could not even guess how large the final work will be, but it will be a treasure trove of information.
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Originally posted by Peter
What's the difference between Poole's Synopsis and the Critici Sacri?

I gather that the Critici Sacri was more of an anthology of works related to every passage in the Bible whereas the Synopsis was an actual collation or synthesis of commentaries (and relevant works) on every passage of the Bible. Poole's commentary on the Bible was derived from the Synopsis. I'll ask my pastor if he would care to comment further on the differences between the Critici Sacri and the Synopsis.
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
The purpose of Poole's Synopsis was to assemble together in one place the combined learning and commentary of the church (not just the Reformed church, but Roman Catholic, Arminians and other learned commentators are referenced as well) so that the average poor divinity student would not have to visit various bookstores and libraries to see what the church has said about a particular text of scripture.

The volume of resources that Poole compiled for this work indicates that he achieved his goal; however, sadly, the Synopsis itself was not widely available (both in his days and through the centuries since, as well as geographically and to the English-speaking world). It is hoped that that will change as a result of my pastor's translation efforts.
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Some of the men who supported Poole in his preparation of the Synopsis were quite notable: Edward Reynolds, Richard Baxter, Richard Allestree, John Owen, Simon Patrick, William Bates, Thomas Manton, Gisbertus Voetius. :book2:
 

polemic_turtle

Puritan Board Freshman
Do you think your pastor will live long enough to complete the translation? Or has he anyone to help him, besides you? How long has he worked and how far as he gotten?
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Originally posted by VirginiaHuguenot
I will be providing editiorial assistance on the Poole Synopsis publication project. :book2:

Sounds good, Andrew. Who is doing this?
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Originally posted by polemic_turtle
Do you think your pastor will live long enough to complete the translation? Or has he anyone to help him, besides you? How long has he worked and how far as he gotten?

Originally posted by armourbearer
Originally posted by VirginiaHuguenot
I will be providing editiorial assistance on the Poole Synopsis publication project. :book2:

Sounds good, Andrew. Who is doing this?

It's definitely a long term project. I hope to provide more details and a status update in the next few months, d.v.

My pastor is doing the translation work while I am editing and annotating it.
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Matthew Henry's Preface to the Commentary on the Whole Bible:

Mr. Pool's English Annotations (which, having had so many impressions, we may suppose, have got into most hands) are of admirable use, especially for the explaining of scripture-phrases, opening the sense, referring to parallel scriptures, and the clearing of difficulties that occur. I have therefore all along been brief upon that which is there most largely discussed, and have industriously declined, as much as I could, what is to be found there; for I would not actum agere--do what is done; nor (if I may be allowed to borrow the apostle's words) boast of things made ready to our hand, 2 Cor. x. 16. These and other annotations which are referred to the particular words and clauses they are designed to explain are most easy to be consulted upon occasion; but the exposition which (like this) is put into a continued discourse, digested under proper heads, is much more easy and ready to be read through for one's own or others' instruction. And, I think, the observing of the connection of each chapter (if there be occasion) with that which goes before, and the general scope of it, with the thread of the history or discourse, and the collecting of the several parts of it, to be seen at one view, will contribute very much to the understanding of it, and will give the mind abundant satisfaction in the general intention, though there may be here and there a difficult word or expression which the best critics cannot easily account for. This, therefore, I have here attempted. But we are concerned not only to understand what we read, but to improve it to some good purpose, and, in order thereunto, to be affected with it, and to receive the impressions of it. The word of God is designed to be not only a light to our eyes, the entertaining subject of our contemplation, but a light to our feet and a lamp to our paths (Ps. cxix. 105), to direct us in the way of our duty, and to prevent our turning aside into any by-way: we must therefore, in searching the scriptures, enquire, not only What is this? but, What is this to us? What use may we make of it? How may we accommodate it to some of the purposes of that divine and heavenly life which, by the grace of God, we are resolved to live? Enquiries of this kind I have here aimed to answer. When the stone is rolled from the well's mouth by a critical explication of the text, still there are those who would both drink themselves and water their flocks? but they complain that the well is deep, and they have nothing to draw with; how then shall they come by this living water? Some such may, perhaps, find a bucket here, or water drawn to their hands; and pleased enough shall I be with this office of the Gibeonites, to draw water for the congregation of the Lord out of these wells of salvation.

That which I aim at in the exposition is to give what I thought the genuine sense, and to make it as plain as I could to ordinary capacities, not troubling my readers with the different sentiments of expositors, which would have been to transcribe Mr. Pool's Latin Synopsis, where this is done abundantly to our satisfaction and advantage.

Archibald Alexander's 1828 Preface to Matthew Henry's Commentary:

One fact is certain from internal evidence, that Mr. Henry wrote his Commentary on the Old and New Testaments, with the learned compilation of Poole, called Criticorum Synopsis, open before him; as, in all difficult passages, he has judiciously selected that opinion from the many presented in this work, which, upon the whole, seems to be most probable.
 

Peter

Puritan Board Junior
Is there anything like a contemporary Critici Sacri or Synopsis around? There should be something to represent the views & scholarship of recent times.
 
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