Bonfrère, Jacques

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Biblical scholar; b. Dinant, now in Belgium, April 12, 1573; d. Tournai, now in Belgium, May 9, 1642. In 1592 he became a Jesuit, and he taught for many years at Scots College,douai, now in France. He wrote commentaries on the Pentateuch (Antwerp 1625) and on Joshua, Judges, and Ruth (Paris 1631). In the latter volume as an appendix he added his edition of Jerome's translation of Eusebius's Onomasticon urbium et locorum S. Scripturae, which was republished by R. J. de Tournemine in his edition of Menochius's commentary (Paris 1719). The Praeloquia (introduction) to his commentary on the Pentateuch, treating the Bible as a whole, was selected by J. P. migne as the most suitable introduction for his Scripturae S. Cursus [(Paris 1839) 1:5242]. Although scientific methodology was unknown to him and the selection of his topics was largely governed by then current controversies, his erudition was extensive and included a good grasp of Hebrew and biblical geography. He did not, however, distinguish clearly between inspiration and revelation, and certain of his ideas, e.g., on the possibility of inspiration subsequent to composition, did not find favor with other theologians.

Bibliography: c. sommervogel et al., Bibliothèque de la Compagnie de Jésus, 11 v. (Brussels-Paris 18901932) 1:171315. h. hurter, Nomenclator literarius theologiae catholicae, 5 v. in 6 (3d ed. Innsbruck 190313) 3:103335. a. poncelet, Histoire de la Compagnie de Jésus dans les anciens Pays-Bas (Brussels 1928).

[l. f. hartman]