Although hardly known in the modern era, the Glossa Ordinaria was the most popular and influential biblical commentary of the Middle Ages, surviving in thousands of manuscripts and referenced constantly by Thomas Aquinas, Bonaventure, and other medieval schoolmen. Comprised chiefly of excerpts from the patristic exegesis of Augustine, Jerome, Gregory the Great, and many others, the Glossa stands as a unique witness and aid to reading Scripture within the Church’s Tradition.

Based on the Latin text of the edition printed by Adoph Rusch, this first English translation of the Glossa on Genesis presents a wealth of patristic and medieval insight on the first book of the Old Testament, elucidating how the saving work of Christ was prefigured from “the beginning” in the events of Genesis.

Whether in manuscript or print form, one of the most distinctive elements of the Glossa Ordinaria is its layout, which features a central column of biblical text surrounded by marginal “glosses” or exegetical notes and interwoven with short interlinear glosses. This format has been retained in this new English translation of the Biblia cum Glossa Ordinaria, bringing the reader one step closer to encountering the Bible as its medieval readers did. 


Samuel J. Klumpenhouwer holds a PhD in Medieval Studies from the University of Toronto. He specializes in the ecclesiastical and institutional history of medieval Europe, particularly the development of theology and canon law. His second, forthcoming, book is an introduction, critical edition, and translation of John of Kent’s Summa de penitencia, a thirteenth-century manual for confessors that taught them the laws and theology of the Church, and trained them to exercise proper judgment (arbitrium) when administering the sacrament of confession. Dr. Klumpenhouwer teaches the liberal arts at Saint Teresa Catholic School in Sugar Land, Texas, where he lives with his wife and daughter, Mary Snow.   


“In this masterful translation by Samuel Klumpenhouwer, the Gloss on Genesis finally has appeared in English. This will transform the way that theologians and biblical scholars read Genesis. ”  
Matthew Levering, University of Saint Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary

“A significant milestone. Klumpenhouwer’s translation of the Gloss on Genesis enables us to witness firsthand how medieval scholars labored to read Scripture and Tradition in harmony. This should inspire today’s readers of Scripture faithfully to continue the spiritual hermeneutic that has animated Christian theology and spirituality through the centuries.” 
Hans Boersma, Nashotah House Theological Seminary 

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1 review for Biblia cum Glossa Ordinaria – Genesis, The Great Medieval Commentary on Sacred Scripture

  1. James Dietz

    This incredible work of scholarship is not only a boon for Scripture scholars but also for Thomistic scholars. For the first time since its last publication in Latin in the 19th century, Thomists will be able to reference Thomas Aquinas’s many, many appeals to authority in “the gloss”.

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Biblia cum Glossa Ordinaria – Genesis, The Great Medieval Commentary on Sacred Scripture