'I have spent all my life in this monastery', wrote Bede from his isolated Northumbrian cell, 'applying myself entirely to the study of the Scriptures...I have made it my business, for my own benefit and that of my brothers, to make brief extracts from the works of the venerable fathers on the holy Scripture, or to add notes of my own to clarify their sense and interpretation.'
From the eighth to the fifteenth centuries, Bede's authority as a scriptural exegete was second only to that of the Doctors of the Latin Church. His influence was enormous. Yet modern readers associate this remarkable scholar-monk only with his History of the English Church and Nation and ignore the works he saw as his chief accomplishment.
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