The Glossa Ordinaria, the preferred Study Bible of St. Thomas Aquinas


I am about a week or two away of publishing an English translation of the Glossa Ordinaria on 1-3 Epistles of St. John (critical edition). The Glossa Ordinaria was the standard Bible commentary/Study Bible of the middle ages. It is full of glosses (footnotes) that accompanied the Scriptures that explains the meaning of the passages. These footnotes were most often quotes from the Church Fathers. Imagine an authoritative Catholic commentary that St. Thomas Aquinas used and depended upon in most of his own Bible studies! If you are familiar with the Ancient Christian Commentary on Sacred Scripture by IVP, the Glossa Ordinaria is the Medieval Catholic version that preceded it by 900 years.

But I am not so much trying to promote the new translation of 1-3 John, but I am promoting the Glossa Ordinaria itself, and the project that I am building to get people involved in learning about it, and hopefully to get people interested in a project to help me, whatever your skills may be. God has been providing me with some wonderful help, translators, proofreaders, etc. I want to see the whole Glossa Ordinaria translated into English in my lifetime! Contact me ( ) for additional information and check out the website that is in the process of development.


Could you post a pdf of the original Latin? I’m learning the language, so that would be nice to have.


Good for you. I have a copy of this, which I photocopied from Migne. Just wondering too who the publisher is.


Here is a temporary link to a PDF of a preview of the introductory material and chapter 1 of the modern layout and the traditional Gloss layout, and the variant readings. This is still in need of proofreading, in which is in that phase now, so there may be some needed edits.

I originally planned to publish it independently, but I did have a lot of talks with Team Commentary Series, who are the ones who have published the only other translations of the Gloss (Romans, Ruth, and Songs). I went ahead and decided to go independently because it allows me to have full control of everything (pricing, layout, cover, my own timeline, etc.), and my intentions are to focus on the general Bible studiers who want the Gloss for Bible study, whereas Teams is aimed towards classroom use. And the Gloss is a Catholic commentary, and I have made sure that nothing is “Protestantized” to make it less Catholic the way some translations of Church Fathers and Scripture translations that takes Catholic writings and inserts Protestant lingo.


As for the Latin, this is a critical edition, meaning that the oldest and best manuscripts have been used, and the oldest and best readings have been adopted in the text, and all the variant readings have been translated and placed in the appendix. Migne is considered by most scholars to be quite inferior, since it is incomplete (has no interlinear glosses and missing many marginal glosses). But all of the variant readings from Migne are in the appendix. Here is a link to the images of the manuscripts and versions used



How do you go about publishing your works?

What kind of interest has the Church shown for your work?


When I publish independently I go through Amazon.

As for the Church, a translation of a Medieval commentary, that is not really something that they would necessarily take an interest in, though the Glossa was the standard Bible commentary of the Church in the Middle Ages.


If you are interested in simply practicing on the Gloss, then if you want to attempt a section such as a chapter or small book like Jude, then i can provide you a text and i would be happy to put your practice translation on the website. That way others can either read it for a reference or build upon it. I can also provide you a link to a Latin forum to get help from others. My Glossa Ordinaria website is a place where people can access professional and beginner translations.


Join the team of the Glossa Ordinaria Project



I have not read most of your work.

What I have read, even though I am not a scholar, is great!

Through networking, you must know directly and indirectly, bishops and cardinals. In one sense the Church is small.

Just an idea…


I want to buy one. Then when someone promotes the standard anti-Catholic line of how the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages kept the Bible from the people, I will break open my copy of your book. :smiley:



Thanks! It should be under $10. God really blessed this project providing me with the best translator i could have ever asked for! She is amazing!


Networking is something I need more of, which is why I am trying to build up a team of people with different skills, not just translators, but others who can help network and spread the word about the Glossa Ordinaria. I found translators just by networking, I want to increase Catholic awareness of the Glossa.


I believe you to be a saintly, talented person.

With as much talent as you have, I assume that you must know many, many people–former professors, students that you have taught, member of the clergy in your diocese or archdiocese.

As St. Thomas and many other people have said, assumption is the mother of error.

However, I assume you are old enough to know scores of people, hundreds.

Your work is great–as far as I can discern. You need help to get it out to the good word out.




I hope that I did not saying anything to offend.


Jim Baur


No not at all. Maybe slightly ammused because im probably a lot younger than you mightbthink. 40.




Please don’t laugh, I will pray for the success of your work.




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