Part Three: The Pelagian Crisis (411–430)
Edited By Frederick Van Fleteren
Article 299: Quaestiones Heptateuchi; Locutiones Heptateuchi
Quaestiones Heptateuchi; Locutiones Heptateuchi
Not much time passed between Augustine’s writing De nuptiis et concupiscentia I and II. The second book was written concurrently with Contra duas epistulas Pelagianorum ad Bonifatium.1 However, in Retractationes Augustine places a large number of works between the two. The first of these works is the seven books of Locutiones Heptateuchi (the Pentateuch, Joshua, and Judges).2 The second of these works comprises seven books of Quaestiones Heptateuchi dealing with the same books.3 He worked on them concurrently. Augustine places Locutiones first in Retractationes; however if one is written before the other, Locutiones should come later since in it Quaestiones is cited three times.4
Augustine writes Quaestiones by reading and comparing various examplars of the Septuagint.5 He joins the texts of Aquila and Theodotius, and at times doubtless Jerome’s Hebrew text.6 The Latins have no other work carrying this title. The Latin scripture text cited is the Vulgate. Augustine writes on difficulties encountered in reading Scripture. He is content merely to indicate some problems while examining others in passing. He resolves only those difficulties which are capable of short explanation.7 Augustine did not claim to treat those matters in depth. Rather he wished to write a memoire to ascertain either the difficulties to be examined or his solutions already given. For this reason the work is entitled Quaestiones.8
The majority of difficulties has been treated with sufficient clarity and resolution. Those which he notes without...