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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Maldonatus, Joannes

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(1), a celebrated Spanish Jesuit, was born at Las Casas-de-la-Reina, in Estremadura, in 1534; studied at the University of Salamanca, and afterwards taught Greek, philosophy, and theology with great success; the lecture-rooms of the college were often too small to accommodate his numerous pupils. He subsequently removed to Poitiers. France, from whence the cardinal of Lorraine brought him to the University of Pont-a- Mousson. Later he came to Paris, and there created an unprecedented enthusiasm. His exegetical lectures were attended not only by Romanists, but even by Protestants, and the renown of his teaching reminds one of the history of Abelard. His brilliant course was checkered by accusations against him of having induced the president, Montbrun, to will away all his fortune to the Order of the Jesuits, and of teaching false doctrines touching the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.

He was acquitted, however, on both charges, but left Paris, and retired to Bourges, where he devoted himself to exegetical studies, and prepared several of the works (see list below) which have made his name celebrated. He was called to Rome by pope Gregory XIII, to take a part in the publication of the Greek Septuagint. He (died in that city in 1583. His principal works are Commentarii in praecipuos Sacrae Scripturet libros Veteris Testamenti (Paris, 1643, fol.): Commentarii in quatuor Evanzgelistas, etc. (Lugd. 1615; Mayence, 1841-45, 5 vols. 8vo). " Though condemned by some, and procuring for its author the title of virulentissimus et maledicentissimus,' this work has received from Catholic and Protestant writers a just meed of praise (see Bayle, Richard Simon, Schlichtingius, M. Poole, and Jackson). In this work Maldonatus collates the opinions of the fathers with great ability, and does not hesitate to differ even from Augustine, when sound exegesis demands it. He shows acquaintance with the Vatican MS. of the N.T., and with the Sept. version of the O.T., and with the original Hebrew." The critical Simon (Hist. crit. des princip. conmmentateurs du N.T. p. 618 sq.) says he succeeded better than any one else in explaining the literal sense of the sacred writers. He also wrote Traite des Sacrements (Lyon. 1614, 4to): Traite de la grace, etc. (Paris, 1677, fol.): Traite des anyes et des demons (Paris, 1617): Tractatus de cceremoniis (Bibliotheca ritualis, Rome, 1781, 4to). Summula casuum conscientice has been, we believe, unjustly accredited to Maldonatus. It is a work of doubtful morality, and very unlike the productions of Maldonatus. See Herzog, Real-Encyklop. 8, s.v.; Wetzer u. Welte, Kirchen-Lex. vi, s.v.; Kitto, Cyclop. Bibl. Lit. s.v.; Prat, Maldonat et l'Universite de Paris (1857); Theol. Quarterly, 1860 (4), p. 682.


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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Maldonatus, Joannes'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/tce/m/maldonatus-joannes.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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