Origin and Development of the Terms (§ 1).
Glosses in the Greek World (§ 2).
Transference to the West (§ 3).
Influence on Encyclopedic Works (§ 4).
Modern Use in Biblical Criticism (§ 5).

A gloss is a marginal note employed for explana

tion or illustration. The term is derived from the

Greek gl6ssa, "tongue, speech, dialect." The use of marginal notes can be traced to classical times when they were employed .to explain for Greek

students the meaning of obsolete,

I. Origin provincial or foreign words, especially

and Devel- such as occurred in the Homeric poems. opment of Indexes of the glosses were made to the Terms. gether with their equivalents in the common speech, and thus began the work of lexicography. (On the question whether

the New Testament phrase lalein glossais, etc.,

"to speak with tongues," has any connection


with this usage cf. Bleek in TSK, ii. 1. 1829; see Speaking with Tongues.) Glossa came to mean any word not in common use at any particular time or one used in a limited sense and so requiring elucidation. A synonym, glossema, came into use later when, especially in Alexandrian times, annotation of manuscripts was required because of the spread of the Greek language. Naturally this annotation developed from mere explanation of words to discussion of grammatical forms and then of subject-matter. The use of glosses passed to the Romans, by whom the term glossarium was coined.

The ready-made term glossa was applied to the marginal notes found in the Biblical manuscripts, such as the kere of the Old Testament (see Keri and Kethibh) and the explanations of Hebrew terms used in the New Testament. The term Glossce sacrce was used of the collections of difficult passages which occurred in the Bibles a. Glosses in in various languages with the accom-

the Greek panying elucidations, and soon came World. to be applied to the explanations alone.

How the glosses multiplied is understood when it is remembered that the earliest Christian teaching and preaching consisted in large part of rendering the Bible into the tongues used by the hearers. Naturally the difficult passages were annotated on the margin. The scope of the annotations was gradually enlarged, and came to embody the substance of oral and then of written tradition concerning the matter treated, especially matters which concerned the rendering of Hebrew terms. Such discussion and elucidation was particularly needed in the Greek world in connection with the Septuagint, where unusual Greek constructions were employed in the attempt to reproduce the Hebrew original, and with the renderings of Symmachus and Aquila. In cases of differences of text the marginal notes came to embody the different readings or at any rate to indicate them. From such collections as these, concerned in great part with the explanation of individual words, containing mainly excerpts from the most popular commentaries, developed the so-called Glossce sacrce, of which a good example is the lexicon of Hesychius, either in its original or developed form. Others of this kind are the Lexebn synagog of Photius, the lexicon of Suidas, the so-called Cyril-Glossarium, the lexicon of Zonaras, the Etymologicum magnum, and the work of the sixteenth century compiled by the Benedictine Varinus Phavorinus (on these cf. J. C. G. Ernesti, Glosscv sanctorum Hesychii, Suidce et Phavarini, Leipsic, 1785-86; F. G. Sturz, Zonarte gloss&, ib. 1818).

An activity, the exact analogue of that just described as applied to the Greek Bible, was exerted in the West upon the Latin, in which the necessities were of the same character. . But as the marginal notes consisted not only of explanations of individual words, but of longer remarks (cf. Tertullian, Adv. Valentinum, chap. vi. ), the term glossa came to mean the "assigned meaning of the passage," as for example in the Etymologice (i. 30) of Isidore of Seville and in a passage from Alcuin (MPL, ci. 858), though this did not exclude the older meaning of an elucidation of single words. But in

the case of Latin equivalents used to explain words in the text, it often occurred that they were written between the lines. From this the cus3. Trans- tom developed to reserve the margin ference to for the longer annotations which grew the West. into connected comment, to which in particular the term glossa in the singular was applied. Thus the word came to be equivalent often to "commentary," though it could still be used in its original sense of "explanation of obscure words." In the Middle Ages the word received a double connotation: it meant either explanation of single words or comment upon an entire work, such as the Bible. Some authorities used the term to designate the kere of the Hebrew Bible, others included part at least of the Masoretic apparatus. Then it meant any collection of exegetical explanatory remarks, whether written between the lines or on the margin or interjected paragraphically into the text. As an example of the kind of work to which this name was applied the work of Walafrid Strabo may be mentioned, a compilation from the writings of Alcuin, Ambrose, Augustine, Bede, Cassiodorus, Chrysostom, Gregory the Great, Haimo, Hesychius, Jerome, Isidore of Seville, Origen, Rabanus, and others, which for six centuries was the vale-mecum of exegesis (see Catenae, 8). The character of this work was, however, rather theological than philological. Mention should also be made in this place of the " Interlinear Gloss " of Anselm of Laon (d. 1117). From the fourteenth century on, many manuscripts of the Vulgate were enriched by the addition of these two works or of parts of them, together with the Postillce of Nicholas of Lyra and the Additiones of Paul of Burgos, written at the bottom and even so prirted. But with these there were also interlinear glossc,s which dealt with matters philological, some of which originated in the schools of the monasteries. Of course this same kind of work was done on other books, like the writings of Homer, patristic works, canons, hymns, legends, monastic rules, and the like. And these interlinear glosses natura#y developed into interlinear versions in the various tongues of the peoples to whom Christianity was conveyed.

In another direction these glosses developed into a kind of literature which anticipated the work of encyclopedia (see Encyclopedia, Theological), 4. Influence of which Isidore's on Encyclo- Etymologiarum libri vigindi is a apeci-

pedic men (on this literature cf. S. Berger, Works. De glossarhs et compendiis exegeticis,

Paris, 1879, pp. 7 sqq.) and represents a large class of works. Other works of this character are the 0lossce of Solomon III., bishop of Constance (d. 919), printed 1483; the Papicr elementarium doctrince erudimentum, compiled e. 1050 and often reprinted since the fifteenth century; the Panormia of Osbern of Gloucester (c. 1150, in Mai, Classicorum auctorum . . . tomi, Rome, 1836); the Dictionarilts sive de dictionibus obscuris of John of Garlandia, often printed; the Repertomu~r'~. vocabulorum and vocabulareum biblicum of Alexander Neckam (d. 1215); and the Breviloquus vocabularius, recast and edited by Reuchlin. That bilingual glossaries should develop is a matter of course.


5. Modern Use in Biblical Criticism.

The latest use of the word applies to those insertions which, in the course of the transmission of the text, have crept into the body of a work. They arise from the inclusion by a copyist of material which he found written between the lines or on the margin. This often occurs with set design though without evil purpose on Use in the part of the copyist and also through his mistake. The result, however, often is that it is impossible to discover whether a corruption of the text occurs through an intended improvement or through importation of a marginal note. Corrections of this sort are found in the text of the original languages of the Bible, since the more a book is used and copied, the more likely are such corrections. This is the case with the Hebrew text. A means of detection is often the comparison of two or more translations (cf. Wellhausen's edition of Bleek's Einleitung in das Alten Testament, Berlin, 1893, 269; F. Buhl, Kanon und Text des lten Testaments, Leipsic, 1891, p. 257, Eng. transl., London, 1892; and for the New Testament cf. E. Reuss, Geschichte der heiligen Schriften des Neuen Testaments, Brunswick, 1874, 359, Eng. transl., 2 vols., Boston, 1874). In similar fashion the old versions were corrupted by the incorporation of glosses. This is the case with the manuscript of the Septuagint in spite of the criticism of such men as Origen, Lucian, and Hesychius, and of the Vulgate (cf. Z. Frankel, Vorstudien zu der Septuaginta, Leipsic, 1841, 11 sqq.; F. Kaulen, Geschichte der Vulgata, Mainz, 1868, pp. 212 sqq., 266). For the marginal notes and references of English Bibles, which are of the nature of glosses, see Bibles, Annotated, and Bible Summaries, II.

Bibliography: Fabricius-Harles, Bibliotheca Graeca, vol. vi. passim, Hamburg, 1798; J. G. Rosenmuller, Histories interpretationis sacrorum librorum, iv. 356 sqq., Leipsic, 1795; C. G. Wilke, Hermeneutik des Neuen Testaments, ii. 192 sqq., Leipsic, 1844; K. Gdeke, Geschichte der deutschen Dichtung, i.. 13, Dresden, 1862; J. A. U. Scheler, Lexicographie latine, Leipsic, 1867; E. Steinmeyer and E. Sievers, Althochdeutsche Glossen, i.-iv., Berlin, 1879-98; P. Piper, Literaturgeschichte und Grammatik der Althochdeutschen, pp. 35 sqq., Paderborn, 1880; T. Birt, Antike Buchwesen, Berlin, 1882; H. P. Junker, Grundriss der franzsischen Litteratur, pp. 15 sqq., Mnster, 1889; F. Blass, Hermeneutik and Kritik, Munich, 1892; U. Wattenbach, Schriftwesen im Miltelalter, Leipsic, 1896; Krumbacher, Geschichte, 154, 216, 232 sqq.; KL, v. 708-716; and the works on introduction to the Old and the New Testament.


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