The Great Medieval Commentary: A Translation and Annotation of the glossa ordinaria on the Gospel of Matthew

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Translated and edited by Jacob Wood

Available Spring 2020

The glossa ordinaria is one of the most important monuments of the Western intellectual tradition. Welling up from the monastic tradition of reading through, meditating on, praying over, and living out the Scriptures, it emerged in the cathedral schools not just as a text but as a living tradition of study and prayer in the Christian life. While the composition and dissemination of the gloss remain largely a matter of scholarly debate, what is clear is that the scholastic intellectuals of the later Middle Ages, by approaching the Scriptures always through this tradition, retained an orientation toward the mystical ascent to God that modern scholars of the Middle Ages often overlook. In this way, the gloss serves as a hinge connecting the monastic and the scholastic, the focal point of a single tradition that saw the Scriptures as the center of theology, and theology as a path to contemplative union with God. The Great Medieval Commentary series helps to recover this mystical-theological vision for the present, so that Christians from all walks of life can participate in the gloss's program of prayerful study, and scholars of the Middle Ages can benefit from ready access to this long-neglected tradition.