The Venerable Bede's In Ezram et Neemiam* is the first and only complete commentary written on these biblical books in either the patristic or later medieval era. As the Introduction argues, this work of Bede's is an excellent example of the allegorical method of biblical interpretation which Bede inherited from the Fathers of the Church and for which he himself is justly famed. At the same time, Bede's decision to take up these particular biblical texts on the reconstruction of the Temple in Jerusalem after the return from exile in Babylon is itself fraught with a deeper significance in the context of contemporary ecclesiastical events. By making this text available in English for the first time, DeGregorio's translation seeks not only to make this work accessible to readers unable to confront the text in its original Latin, but also to alter the conception of Bede as a commentator from that of a slavish imitator to a daring innovator. *Ezra and Nehemiah are two books of the Old Testament of the Bible, originally one work in the Hebrew canon. Written
Scott DeGregorio is Assistant Professor of English Language and Literature in the Department of Humanities at University of Michigan - Dearborn. He has previously been published in a number of journals including Early Medieval Europe, Speculum and Traditio. He is also editor of the forthcoming title Tradition and Innovation in the Writings of the Venerable Bede, ( Medieval European Series 7, West Virginia University Press) due for publication in 2006.