Lapide, Cornelius A.

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The Latin form of his Dutch name, Cornelis Cornelissen van den Steen, voluminous exegete; b. Bocholt, Province of Limburg, Belgium, Dec. 18, 1567; d. Rome, March 12 (or 11), 1637. After studying theology at Douai and Louvain, Lapide entered the Society of Jesus in 1592 and was ordained three years later. He taught Sacred Scripture for 40 years, first at Louvain (15961616) and then at the Roman College (161636). His lively lectures, rich in topical allusions and pleasant irrelevancies, delighted students. His prodigious commentaries, covering the entire Bible with the exception of Job and Psalms, appeared steadily from 1614 to 1645. Supported abundantly by quotations from Church Fathers and later interpreters, his exegesis frequently included not only the literal sense of a passage but the allegorical, tropological, and anagogical meanings as well. His knowledge of Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, of theology, Church history, and the classical philosophers and natural historians (especially Aristotle and Pliny), and his intense industry, fervor, and awareness of problems of the day, all combined to produce commentaries highly esteemed by his contemporaries and posterity. He saw his greatest work, Commentaria in omnes Divi Pauli Epistolas (Antwerp 1614), go through 11 of its eventual 80 editions. The entire listing of his works and their editions fills 15 columns in the Bibliothèque de la Compagnie de Jésus. Two notable editions of his complete works, with commentaries on Job (by J. de pineda) and Psalms (by St. Robert bellarmine) added, are the Malta edition (184346) in 10 volumes and the Paris edition (185963) in 22 volumes. A large part of his exegesis was included by J. P. Migne in his Cursus S. Scripturae (Paris 183745) v. 520.

Bibliography: c. sommervogel, Bibliothèque de la Compagnie de Jésus, (Brussels-Paris 189032) 4:151126. h. hurter, Nomenclator literarius theologiae catholicae (Innsbruck 190313) 3:787789. r. galdos, "De scripturisticis meritis P. Cornelii a Lapide," Verbum Domini 17 (1937) 3944, 8896; "De canonibus exegeticis apud P. C. a L.," ibid. 146152; "Nel Terzo Centenario della morte di C. a L.," La civilta cattolica 88.3 (1937) 204218. j. schmid, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner (Freiburg 195765) 3:58. g. heinrici, Realencyklopädie für protestantische Theologie 4:289291.

[t. t. taheny]