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No. 38 Roman Theological Forum | Article Index | Study Program November 1991

by Thomas P. Kuffel


        St. Thomas develops the two principal senses of Sacred Scripture in the Summa Theologiae, in Quodlibet Seven, Question Six, and in his Commentary on Galatians. In the Summa Theologiae, the Common Doctor succinctly summarizes his treatment of the question in the article entitled, "Whether Sacred Scripture May Have Several Senses within One Wording."1  St. Thomas states: "The author of Sacred Scripture is God, in Whose power it is to accommodate not only words for expressing things (which even man is able to do) but also the things themselves."2  St. Thomas, therefore, distinguishes the literal from the spiritual sense by separating the meaning of the written words as understood naturally in the immediate context from the meaning that God gives to these words as perceived from the vision of the Holy Spirit. That is to say that God, as the primary Author of Scripture, gives another meaning to events and actions described by the words. Thus, he explains in Quodlibet Seven:

But the manifestation which is through words produces the historical, or literal, sense. Wherefore, all of that pertains to the literal sense which is understood correctly from the very meaning of the words. But the spiritual sense, as has been said, is taken from, or consists in this, that certain things are expressed through the figure of other things, because visible things are accustomed to be figures of invisible things, as Dionysius says.3

        In reality then, a given passage may contain both a literal and a spiritual sense, because quaedam res (certain things) pertain to the spiritual sense, which consists in this "that certain things are expressed through the figure of other things, because visible things are accustomed to be figures of invisible things." Hence, that which is signified by the words "belongs to the literal sense, whereas the signification by which things signified by words have themselves also a signification belongs to the spiritual sense."4  For example, the words of a text concerning Job ground the literal or historical sense, which deals with the person and actions of Job himself. The person and actions of Job, however, signify the future reality of Christ. The literal sense, therefore, is the immediate sense of the words and the spiritual sense is a mediate sense.5


        St. Thomas defines his meaning of the literal sense in the Summa Theologiae, Question One, Article Nine, and in his Commentary on Galatians. In the Summa, St. Thomas asks, "Whether Holy Scripture Should Use Metaphors."6  As stated in Quodlibet Seven, Question Six, the literal sense of Sacred Scripture is that which the words signify; however, the meaning of the words can be conveyed in different ways. The historical sense uses prose, metaphors, parables, poetry, and other forms of written expression in conveying this signification. St. Thomas treats these literary genres in his Commentary on Galatians.

Through the literal sense something can be signified in two ways: according to proper locution, as when I say, "a man laughs"; second, according to a similarity or metaphor, just as when I say, "a field laughs." Thus, in Sacred Scripture we use both manners: as when we say, referring to the first manner, that Jesus ascended; and when we say, referring to the second manner, that He sits at the right hand of God. And, therefore, under the literal sense there is included the parabolic, or metaphorical, sense.7

        The reason for the use of different literary genres rests on man's spiritual and corporeal nature. St. Thomas states that it is fitting for Sacred Scripture to use comparisons with material objects while expressing divine truths, because "it is natural for man that he come to intelligible things through sensible things, since all our knowledge has its beginning from the senses."8

        St. Thomas relates that different styles of writing which use representations to express the truth are naturally pleasing to the reader, but sacred doctrine uses metaphors out of necessity and of utility.9  And the very hiding effect of figures is useful "for the exercise of thoughtful minds and as a defense against the ridicule of the impious, according to the words: 'Do not give what is holy to dogs'"(Mt 7:6).10  In responding to the objection which holds that the expression of sublime truths should use higher creatures rather than lower because of their greater proximity to the divine likeness, St. Thomas offers three other reasons for the use of metaphors: "Firstly, because through this the human heart is more freed from error.... Secondly, because this manner is more befitting the knowledge that we have about God in this life.... Thirdly, because in this way divine things are more hidden from the unworthy."11  Man learns through simple images and symbols which refer to abstract or difficult concepts not readily grasped by the intellect. With the different expressions used in the literal sense, the reader is drawn to study the Scriptures more and to delve deeper into the mysteries conveyed therein.

        Apart from the metaphorical, or parabolic, sense, St. Thomas includes under the literal sense three other senses as well: the historical, the etiological, and the analogical: "Those three, history, etiology, and analogy, pertain to the one literal sense."12  The historical sense pertains to that which is simply proposed; etiology, to the cause or origin of the statement; and analogy, to compatibility of one statement of Scripture with another.

        The occasion of this teaching is an objection which quotes St. Augustine as saying: "The writing which is called the Old Testament lends itself to a four-fold division; namely, according to history, according to etiology, according to analogy, and according to allegory."13  St. Augustine, in his book De Utilitate Credendi, differentiates four senses of Scripture which differ from the four ascribed to him by St. Thomas in the just quoted first objection of Article Ten. St. Augustine's second set includes the literal, the allegorical, the tropological, and the anagogical senses. The reason for which St. Thomas treats the first set is that he wants to clarify the confusion caused by the varying terminology used by theologians when speaking of the various genres and senses found in Sacred Scripture. The objection fails because the first three senses of St. Augustine's first set (the historical, the etiological, and the analogical) are contained within the literal sense, while the allegorical is contained within the spiritual sense.

        St. Thomas' understanding of the literal sense allows for a possible multiplicity of meanings. This was a controversial topic in his day, and so also today is a disputed question among many theologians, especially because multiple meanings of the literal sense could cause confusion.14  Scholars such as Cardinal Cajetan, Melchior Cano, Bañez, Sylvius, John of St. Thomas, and Billuart have asserted that St. Thomas admitted multiple meanings of the literal sense.15

        Vincentius Zapletal and Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange also favor this viewpoint. Zapletal writes: "St. Thomas often speaks in favor of a multiplicity of the literal sense."16  Garrigou-Lagrange shows that literary analysis, in fact, frequently has different meanings.17  An example which demonstrates that a word may have two or more meanings is the use of homonyms. Words such as these have the same spelling, but also have different meanings. The different meanings give rise to puns which are a play on words contrasting one meaning with another: one word is used in a sentence, but since it has two meanings, another meaning is derived from the same sentence.

        The theory of a multiplicity of meanings for the literal sense is based on such principles of St. Thomas as "the doctor of Holy Scripture accepts the testimony of truth wherever he finds it," and "every truth which, without violating the wording, is able to be fitted to divine Scripture is its sense."18  These two statements allow for a multiplicity of literal meanings.

        St. Thomas makes the latter statement while responding to the question, "Whether the creation of formless matter preceded in time the creation of things."19  St. Thomas accords his answer with St. Augustine, XII Confessionum, and states that regarding the inspired words with which Moses recorded the creation of the world two errors are to be avoided. The first is "about the very truth of the things; the other is about the meaning of the words."20  Within the second error, St. Thomas notes two things to be avoided. "The first of these is that anyone say that what is obviously false is to be understood as the meaning of the words of Scripture which teach the creation of things. ... The other is that anyone should so wish to force Scripture into one sense that other senses which in themselves contain truth and can without violating the wording be fitted to Scripture be entirely excluded."21  It is regarding the second difficulty that the Common Doctor asserts: "Divine Scripture contains many senses under one letter and thus is suited to different intellectual capabilities of men, so that each one may marvel that he is able to find in Sacred Scripture the truth which he has mentally conceived."22

        St. Thomas goes on to affirm:

It is not unbelievable that it was divinely granted to Moses and other authors of Sacred Scripture that they should know various truths which men could understand, and that they should put them down under one series of words to this effect, that any one of these truths is a meaning intended by the writer.23

        Commenting on this passage, Garrigou-Lagrange states: "He would have more to say if it were a question only of the spiritual sense, because this latter is quite evident. Hence, he is speaking of the two-fold literal sense."24  Therefore, "we must conclude that the possibility of a word having two literal senses appears to be a certainty, but that there are actually two senses is but a probability."25

        In the Summa Theologiae St. Thomas contends:

But since the literal sense is that sense which the author intends, and the author of Sacred Scripture is God, Who comprehends all things at once in his understanding, it is not unbefitting, as Augustine says in his Confessions, Chapter Twelve, that even according to the literal sense there be more than one literal sense in a literary expression.26

        This reasoning is based on the two authors of Scripture: the Divine Author, namely, the Holy Spirit, Who has inspired the instrumental author, the person who wrote the book. Now, the instrumental, or human, author may or may not have understood all of what he was writing. There is no doubt, however, that the Primary Author, the Holy Spirit, did understand. St. Thomas, then, concludes that every truth which keeps the wording intact and is able to be in harmony with Scripture is its sense.

        The reason that such scholars as Alexander of Hales, St. Bonaventure, and St. Albert the Great denied any double meaning of the literal sense of Sacred Scripture is that it would bring confusion and equivocation.27  St. Albert said that "theology refers one word to one meaning."28  He stated this principle with the understanding that, since the Scriptures were written with human words and destined for human beings, a multiplicity of literal senses would cause confusion.29  Furthermore, "... it does not redound to the dignity and superiority of Sacred Scripture to possess several senses, as some have maintained, for again this would beget uncertainty among men."30

        The authority of St. Thomas, as a proponent of a multiplicity of meanings for the literal sense, is called into question by opponents of a multiplicity of literal senses on the ground that the references are vague.31  Opponents also pose that "in his exegesis he generally avoids long lists of alternative explanations, such as his predecessors were accustomed to give; and this suggests that he preferred only one literal meaning."32  Commentators on St. Thomas' works, however, are not vague. John of St. Thomas refutes these arguments on the grounds of order and truth.

Nevertheless, equivocation or confusion does not follow from this plurality of senses, both because these senses often have among themselves a certain similarity and order, while where there is order there is no equivocation, and because a multiplicity of senses make an equivocation only when there is an occasion of deception, when there is falsity in a second meaning.33

        A multiplicity of understanding in the literal sense would not cause equivocation and confusion, because these senses have order and similarity among themselves, and order excludes equivocation: "Moreover, when each sense is true, as by the very fact that it has been spoken by God, there is no occasion of deception or of equivocation."34  Likewise, true similarity does not lead to confusion, "but rather it pertains to the mystery and to the dignity of the speaker that he is able to include and signify different meanings with one expression."35  Furthermore, a multiplicity of meanings of the literal sense is more flexible in that it can better accommodate the wide diversity of Patristic interpretations concerning passages where there is little hope of reaching agreement on just what the author had meant.36


        St. Thomas develops his teaching on the spiritual sense of Scripture around the observation that "the spiritual sense is divided into three."37  The three spiritual senses are the allegorical, the tropological, and the anagogical. These three senses are derived from St. Paul, who states, "for the Law brought nothing to perfection, and on the other hand a bringing in of a better hope through which we draw near to God" (Heb 7:19).38  St. Thomas quotes this passage as the foundation for the three spiritual senses, because he holds a three-fold division for God's salvific plan. Commenting on the three-fold plan of salvation, St. Thomas remarks:

Hence, the New Law is called a law of love and consequently is called an image, because it has an express likeness to future goods. But the Old Law represents that image by certain carnal things and very remotely. Therefore, it is called a shadow (as in) Colossians 2:17: "These are but a shadow of the things to come." This, therefore, is the condition of the Old Testament, that it has the shadow of future things and not their image.39

        He refers to this explanation in the Summa Theologiae: "For, as the Apostle says in Hebrews 7:19, the Old Law is a figure of the New Law; the New Law itself, as Dionysius says in his Ecclesiastica Hierarchia, is a figure of future glory. Also, in the New Law, those things which have been done by the Head are signs of things which we ought to do."40  The first stage, then, is the Old Law, which is a shadow of the New Law; the second stage is the New Law, the image of the future life of glory. The third stage of salvation history is the sight of God in the Beatific Vision.

        St. Thomas goes on to explain the three subdivisions of the spiritual sense. The first is the allegorical sense, which is defined as "... the things which are of the Old Law signify those which are of the New Law."41  The tropological sense implies that "... those things which were done in Christ or in those things which signify Christ are signs of those things which we ought to do...."42  The anagogical sense regards "... those things which are in eternal glory."43

        These three senses are developed more extensively in Quodlibet Seven, Question Six, Article Two. The question states, "Whether four senses of Sacred Scripture ought to be distinguished."44  Here, the Common Doctor bases his teaching regarding the four senses of Scripture on the thought of the Venerable Bede, who stated:

There are four senses of Sacred Scripture: history, which speaks of things done; allegory, in which one thing is understood from another; tropology, that is, moral discussion, in which is treated the ordering of habits; and anagogy, through which, in order to treat of the highest and heavenly things, we are led upward.45

        In this article St. Thomas explains the difference between the literal and spiritual sense, and he then expounds upon the differences between the three subdivisions of the spiritual sense. Regarding the difference between the literal and the spiritual sense, he says:

All that pertains to the literal sense which is rightly taken from the very meaning of the words. But the spiritual sense, as has been stated, is taken from or consists in this that certain things are expressed through the figure of other things, because visible things are accustomed to be figures of invisible things, as Dionysius says. Whence it is that the sense which is taken from the figures is called the spiritual sense.46

        Then he distinguishes the tropological from the allegorical and anagogical sense: "If (it regards) acting rightly, it is the moral sense, which is also called the tropological sense. If, on the other hand, it regards believing correctly, it is behooving to distinguish according to the order of believable things."47  The allegorical and anagogical are the two senses that pertain to belief:

The spiritual sense, therefore, ordered to believing correctly, can be based on that manner of figuration by which the Old Testament figures the New; and this is the allegorical, or typical, sense according as those things which happened in the Old Testament are explained as of Christ and the Church. Or the spiritual sense can be based on that manner of figuration by which the New and the Old Testament together signify the Church triumphant, and this is the anagogical sense.48

        In Objection Two of the same Quodlibet, St. Thomas states that the allegorical sense is distinguished from the moral sense against the objection that the allegorical sense pertains only to Christ as Head of the Church. Then he explains that the allegorical sense pertains to Christ "... not only as the Head, but also in His members; just as by the twelve rocks selected from the Jordan River (Joshua 12) are signified the Twelve Apostles."49  The moral sense, however, pertains to members of Christ "... in reference to their own acts and not according as they are considered members."50

        The Angelic Doctor continues to develop the moral sense in the third objection of the same article, which maintains that the moral sense is not distinct from the literal sense. As seen in many passages of Scripture, the literal sense expressly states a moral teaching, such as the Commandment, "Thou shall not kill." In these cases where the moral teaching is not a reference to the ethical order, but rather is an explicit literal statement of what is to be done, St. Thomas distinguishes that "not every sense through which morals are taught is called the moral sense, but (the sense) through which the formation of good habits is taken from a likeness to some things having been done."51  The moral teaching is seen in the literal sense; however, the tropological sense depends not on the words, but on the actions to which the words refer. The tropology, the spiritual moral teaching, is expressed through the conduct or event. This distinction appears clearly in St. Thomas' exegesis of the passages concerning circumcision.

        In the fourth objection of the same article, the Common Doctor differentiates between the allegorical and the anagogical sense. The argument against the separation of the two is based on Christ's headship of both the Church militant and the Church triumphant. Since the two are under one Head, there ought not to be a distinction between them. St. Thomas, however, responds that the allegorical sense regards Christ as Head, justifying and conferring grace upon the Church militant, while the anagogical sense pertains to Christ as Head, glorifying the Church triumphant.

        The use of these four senses is not random, but responds to reason. The objection holding that a multiplicity of senses will lead to error is refuted with the explanation: "There is nothing which is treated obscurely in some place in Sacred Scripture which is not manifestly set forth elsewhere. A spiritual exposition, therefore, always must have its support in some literal exposition of Sacred Scripture."52  St. Thomas, in refuting another objection against the four senses of Scripture, goes so far as to say that "nothing necessary to faith is contained under the spiritual sense which as not elsewhere put forward by the Scripture in its literal sense."53  Theological argumentation, therefore, is grounded on the literal and not on the spiritual sense, because the spiritual sense is founded on similarities which need somewhere else to be expressed literally.

        In addition to the use of these four senses, St. Thomas teaches that sometimes all four senses come into play in the study of the Scriptures and at other times it may only be three, two, or just one sense: "These four senses are not applicable to Sacred Scripture, so that a passage, in any part, needs to be expounded according to these four senses; but sometimes these four, sometimes three, sometimes two and sometimes only one."54  The city of Jerusalem, for example, admits of an interpretation according to all four senses. Literally, Jerusalem refers to a city in Palestine; allegorically, to the Church militant; tropologically, to just souls; and anagogically, to the Church triumphant.55

        This response concerning the use of the four senses answers an objection which quotes St. Augustine as saying, "In certain things, the literal sense alone is to be sought."56  St. Augustine's statement is true; every text has a literal sense and it must be sought, especially for theological argumentation.57  The reason for this stands on the ground that the literal sense can speak directly about the Church, morals, or the future glory, such as when Christ speaks about eternal life: "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, even if he die, shall live; and everyone who lives and believes in me will not die unto eternity" (John ll:25-26).58  St. Augustine, however, states that an exegete may not wholly exclude truths contained in other senses (de Pot. q. 4, a. 1). The literal sense, then is sought for theological argumentation, not to the exclusion of the other senses, which can be sought either for supporting theological arguments or for revealing God and His glory. "Christian interpretation," therefore, "must not remain on the level of literature and history; these are symbols whose transcendent finality must be unfolded."59

        Continuing the response to the quoted objection of St. Augustine, the Common Doctor outlines the principles for using the four senses. "For in Sacred Scripture, posterior statements are especially signified by prior ones; and therefore, at times in Sacred Scripture some thing is said according to the literal sense concerning a prior thing that can be explained spiritually regarding later things, but this cannot be reversed."60  The events of the Old Testament can have all four senses: "and thus those things which according to the literal sense regard events of the Old Testament, are able to be expounded in the four senses,"61  because the events portrayed in the Old Testament are prior to those of the New Testament. Hence, they have a literal meaning expressed by the words themselves, and, since these events are prior, they can also have a spiritual meaning interpreted according to the spiritual sense of the events and actions.

        Events in the New Testament which in the literal sense are said about Christ Himself as Head come before the things which refer to the members of Christ. Furthermore, those things which refer to Christ as Head are able to be expressed allegorically, referring to His Mystical Body; and morally, referring to our acts which are needing to be reformed according to Him; and anagogically, inasmuch as the path of glory is shown to us in Christ. However, "when according to the literal sense something is said about the Church, it is not able to be explained allegorically; unless by chance those things that are said about the primitive Church be expounded according to the future state of the Church. Yet they are able to be explained morally and anagogically."62  "But the things that are said morally according to the literal sense are usually expounded only allegorically."63  Finally, "those things which according to the literal sense pertain to the state of glory have not been accustomed to be explained in any other sense, on account of this that they are not a figure of other things but are figured by all other things."64

        The principles given in this objection outline the use of the four senses of biblical exegesis. They limit the use of the senses, in that there must always be a similarity between the literal and spiritual sense, but they also allow for an extensive application according to the four senses.


        In light of this analysis, we see that St. Thomas' method of biblical exegesis offers the contemporary exegete and also the pious faithful who study the Scriptures a sound and concrete method of reading and interpreting the Bible. Some contemporary exegetes think this method is antiquated; however, the Second Vatican Council, in keeping with the teaching of St. Thomas, declares:

But, since Sacred Scripture needs to be read and interpreted in the same Spirit in which it was written, to correctly derive the meaning of the sacred texts, no less serious attention must be given to the content and unity of the whole of Scripture, taking into account the living Tradition of the whole Church and the analogy of faith. It is, therefore, the task of the exegetes to work according to these rules towards a thorough understanding and exposition of the meaning of Sacred Scripture, so that from this advance study the judgment of the Church may mature.65

        Pope Leo XIII taught that professors of exegesis should have a thorough knowledge of theology and also of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, of whom St. Thomas is outstanding.66  St. Thomas synthesized the methods used by the Fathers of the Church into a fitting framework which limits its application so as to avoid confusion and grounds the spiritual sense on the literal sense.

        Another scholar explains that biblical hermeneutics is a "... science or study which determines the rules for finding and explaining the true sense of Sacred Scripture. Its object is three-fold: first, to determine how many senses are to be found in the Bible; secondly, to show how the genuine sense is to be discovered; and thirdly, to explain correctly the sense once it has been discovered."67  As seen in this work, St. Thomas incorporates all three of these aspects. He opened the Scholastic mind to draw out a closer analysis of the text and of biblical history, while attentive to possible hidden meanings.68  St. Thomas' principle of basing all interpretation on the literal sense is a proof of his great attention to the literal meaning, so much emphasized today.

        Post-Vatican II scholars also promote the study of St. Thomas' scriptural works. James A. Weisheipl, O.P., in his work, Friar Thomas D'Aquino: His Life, Thought and Works, referring to Pope Pius XII, states: "In an address to the students of the Angelicum in Rome, Pius XII said that no man can truly consider himself a Thomist who is not familiar with the scriptural commentaries of Thomas; this is particularly applicable to the lectura on John and the Pauline epistles."69  By quoting this famous statement of Pope Pius XII, Weisheipl affirms with Papal authority the importance of St. Thomas as an exegete. Even Pope Paul VI, who many think to be the great innovator, states in his address on the seven hundredth anniversary of the death of St. Thomas: "He, indeed, was not only concerned to know the new ideas, new questions, and new reasons of the proposals and oppositions linked to the faith, but also to investigate zealously Sacred Scripture before all else, which he had explained from the very first years of teaching at Paris."70

        Today, when many exegetes like to concentrate on the literal sense, especially on those sciences which develop the sociological, literary, and philological aspects, one can lose sight of St. Thomas' exegetical presuppositions, which rightly conserve the synthesis of the literal with the spiritual sense and maintain the distinction between the instrumental and the Primary Author. An excessive concentration on the literal sense can become a fixation which impedes the discovery of the typical sense. A balanced position, however, is necessary, and the factor which balances the literal with the typical sense is that Thomistic principle of basing the spiritual sense on the literal. The importance of St. Thomas today, therefore, is that he offers us a framework by which modern Scripture scholars would be able to harmonize their approaches to exegesis with the methods used by the Fathers. This opportunity to balance contemporary thought with the Fathers allows also for the neo-Patristic approach, which seeks a full rendering of the text and delves into the mysteries contained therein by a nuanced and penetrating exegesis.


1. S. Th., I, q. 1, a. 10.

2. Ibid.

3. Quodlb. 7, q. 6, a. 2 (15). See also Lect. Sup. Ep. Gal., c. 4, lib. 7, no. 254.

4. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P., The One God, trans. Bede Rose, O.S.B., S.T.D. (Herder Book Co., St. Louis, Mo., 1959), p. 88

5. Quodlb. 7, q. 6, a. 3 (16).

6. I, q. 1, a. 9.

7. Lect. Sup. Ep. Gal., c. 4, lib. 7, no. 254. A commentator explains: "Since words, whether spoken or written, refer to things only by means of the mental conceptions of the one uttering or writing them, the exegete must interpret the literal meaning of the metaphorical text in accordance with what the author meant it to convey and not at its face value." S. Thomae Aquinatis, Commentary on Saint Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians, trans. Matthew L. Lamb, O.C.S.O. (Albany, New York: Magi Books, Inc., 1966), p. 15.

8. I, q. 1, a. 9.

9. I, q. 1, a. 9, ad l.

10. I, q. 1, a. 9, ad 2.

ll. I, q. 1, a. 9, ad 3.

12. "... illa tria, historia, aetiologia, analogia, ad unum litteralem sensum pertinent" (I, q. 1, a. 10, ad 2).

13. I, q. 1, a. 10, ad 2.

14. Henri de Lubac, Esegesi Medievale (Roma: Edizioni Paoline, 1972), p. 1465-1474.

15. Vincentius Zapletal, O.P., Hermeneutica Biblica, (Friburgi Helv.: Biblioplae Univ. [Gswhend], 1908), p. 26-36; Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, op. cit., p. 89-92.

16. Zapletal, op. cit., p. 29.

17. "If men can utter words that have a two-fold literal sense and that are most intelligible to an intelligent hearer, much more so can God do this, who is the Author of Holy Scripture" (Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, op. cit., p. 91).

18. "Doctor sacrae Scripturae accipit testimonium veritatis ubicumque invenerit" (Lect. Sup. Ep. 1 Tim., lib. 3, no. 32), and "unde omnis veritas quae, salva litterae circumstantia, potest divinae Scripturae aptari, est ejus sensus" (de Pot., q. 4, a. 1).

19. "Utrum creatio materiae informis praecesserit duratione creationem rerum" (de Pot., q. 4, a. 1).

20. "... de ipsa rerum veritate; alia de sensu litterae..." (Ibid.).

21. Ibid.

22. Ibid.

23. "Unde non est incredibile, Moysi et aliis sacrae Scripturae auctoribus hoc divinitus esse concessum, ut diversa vera, quae homines possent intelligere, ipsi cognoscerent, et ea sub una serie litterae designarent, ut sic quilibet eorum sit sensus auctoris" (de Pot., q. 4, a. 1).

24. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, op. cit., p. 90.

25. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, op. cit., p. 92.

26. "Quia vero sensus litteralis est, quem auctor intendit: auctor autem sacrae Scripturae Deus est, qui omnia simul suo intellectu comprehendit: non est inconveniens, ut dicit Augustinus XII Confessionum, si etiam secundum litteralem sensum in una littera Scripturae plures sint sensus" (I, q. 1, a. 10).

27. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, op. cit., p. 91.

28. "Theologia unam vocem refert ad unum significatum" (S. Albertus Magnus, Summa theol., I, tr. I, q. 5, membr. 2, ad 5um, quoted in Zapletal, op. cit., p. 29).

29. Charles H. Pickar, O.S.A., "The Bible," in Summa Theologiae, vol. 3, trans. Fathers of the English Dominican Province (New York: Benziger Brothers, Inc., 1947), p. 3122.

30. Ibid.

31. Ibid.

32. Beryl Smalley, The Study of the Bible in the Middle Ages, 2nd revised edition (New York: Philosophical Library, 1952), p. 301.

33. "Nec tamen sequitur aequivocatio aut confusio ex ista pluralitate sensuum tum quia saepe isti sensus habent inter se aliquam similitudinem seu ordinem; ubi autem est ordo, non est aequivocatio; tum quia multiplicitas sensuum tunc facit aequivocationem, quando est occasio deceptionis, quando in altero potest esse falsitas" (Joannis a Thoma. Cursus theol., q. 1, Primae partis, Disp. 2, a. 12).

34. Ibid.

35. Ibid.

36. Matthew Lamb, op. cit., p. 17.

37. I, q. 1, a. 10).

38. St. Thomas also quotes Hebrews 10:1 in I-II, q. 101, a. 2, as the foundation for the New Law as the prefigurement of the future glory.

39. Lect. Sup. Ep. Heb., c. X, lib. 1, no. 480.

40. I, q. 1, a. 10.

41. Ibid.

42. Ibid.

43. Ibid.

44. Quodlb. 7, q. 6, a. 2 (15).

45. "Quatuor sunt sensus sacrae Scripturae: historia, quae res gestas loquitur; allegoria, in qua aliud ex alia intelligitur; tropologia, idest moralis locutio, in qua de moribus ordinandis tractatur; anagogia, per quam de summis et caelestibus tractaturi ad superiora reducimur" (Quodlb. 7, q. 6, a. 2 [15] sed contra).

46. Ibid.

47. Quodlb. 7, q. 6, a. 2 (15).

48. Ibid.

49. Quodlb. 7, q. 6, a. 2 (15), ad 2.

50. Ibid.

51. Quodlb. 7, q. 6, a. 2, (15), ad 3.

52. Quodlb. 7, q. 6, a. 1 (14), ad 3.

53. I, q. 1, a. 10, ad l.

54. Quodlb. 7, q. 6, a. l (15), ad 5.

55. Zapletal, op. cit., p. 17.

56. Quodlb. 7, q. 6, a. 2 (15), ad 5.

57. Matthew Lamb, op. cit., p. 15.

58. "Et omnis, qui vivit, et credit in me, non morietur in aeternum."

59. Matthew Lamb, op. cit., p. 15.

60. Quodlb. 7, q. 6, a. 2 (15), ad 5.

61. Ibid.

62. Ibid.

63. Ibid.

64. Ibid.

65. Dei Verbum, no. 12.

66. Providentissimus Deus, no. 114.

67. Charles H. Pickar, op. cit., p. 3121

68. Matthew Lamb, op. cit., p. 15.

69. James A. Weisheipl, Friar Thomas D'Aquino: His Life, Thought, and Works (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 1983), p. 246.

70. Lumen Ecclesiae, Enchiridion Vaticanum, Edizioni Dehoniane (Bologna, 1979), vol. 5, no. 708.

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