The imagined threat of ‘Judaizing’ among Christians – and the perceived ‘Jewishness’ on which it was founded – was, as I have demonstrated elsewhere (IMC 2004; Speculum 2007), a major concern of 12th-century intellectuals. Such concern is frequently reflected in discussions of Matthew 5:17 (‘Do not think that I have come to destroy the Law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish them, but to fulfill them.’), a passage with the power to generate and perpetuate disputes within Christianity about the meaning, for Christians, of correct observance of the Law. The author of the Summa contra haereticos (c. 1200), for example, imagines his ‘judaizing’ opponents asking, ‘Why shouldn’t we observe the Law,’ when they defend their observance of certain ritual elements of the Law on the basis of Matthew 5:17. The multiple, sometimes conflicting uses of Matthew 5:17 across the 12th century reveal the inherent difficulties, for 12th-century intellectuals, in defining Christianity in relation to Judaism and the Law of Moses during a period of rapid cultural transformation.
There has been a recent surge of interest in the Glossa Ordinaria, with a special focus on the particular issues and problems related to its editing. This paper will present early findings of a long-term project to produce a critical edition of the Glossa Ordinaria on Ecclesiastes, situating issues specific to the edition within the larger context of biblical exegesis edited critically. In addition to a discussion of the decisions that the editor of glossed manuscripts must make, the paper shall examine what the content of the glosses can tell us about the medieval perception of Ecclesiastes.