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The Biblical-Moral Moses

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Chapter Summary

This chapter argues that Moses enjoyed the esteem of medieval Christian commentators in proportion to their estimation of the Torah's role in God's plan for human salvation. It considers early Christian views of Moses and the law, and surveys a range of medieval opinion as it developed from the ninth to twelfth centuries. The chapter presents an analysis of Peter Comestor's portrayal of Moses in his Historia Scholastica. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus is depicted as the new Moses, whose teaching fulfills and extends but does not supersede that of the Torah. Comestor's portrait of Moses in the Historia Scholastica is indebted to Josephus's account in the Jewish Antiquities. His portrait of Moses, as a leader and mediator of God's covenant with ancient Israel, is vigorous and sympathetic. Comestor's Historia Scholastica bestowed the type, not a stereotype, to future audiences.

Keywords: ancient Israel; God's covenant; Gospel of Matthew; Historia Scholastica; Jesus; Jewish Antiquities; Moses; Peter Comestor; Torah



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