NICHOLAS, EDWARD°, author of a famous 17th-century plea in favor of the resettlement of the Jews in England. Entitled An Apology for the Honourable Nation of the Jews, and all the Sons of Israel, and published in London in 1648, it was translated into Spanish, perhaps by manasseh ben israel , and made a profound impression. However, since the author is otherwise unknown, there is reason to believe that the publication was inspired or even written by a Jew. Its theme was that England should make amends for her former maltreatment of the Jews by readmitting them to the country. Some scholars believe that its actual author was Rev. Henry Jessey (1601–1663), a philo-semitic Nonconformist minister. Little is known about Edward Nicholas himself beyond the fact that he was apparently a young man reading for the bar in 1648. He is sometimes confused with Sir Edward Nicholas (1593–1669), a government official who was in exile with Charles II in 1648, but this man was 55 when An Apology appeared. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Roth, England, 153, 286; Roth, in: V.D. Lipman (ed.), The Centuries of Anglo-Jewish History (1961), 3. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: E. Samuel, "Oliver Cromwell and the Re-admission of the Jews to England in 1656," in: idem., At the Ends of the Earth: Essays on the History of the Jews in England and Portugal (2004), 180. (Vivian David Lipman / William D. Rubinstein (2nd ed.) NICHOLAS DE LYRE° NICHOLAS DE LYRE° (incorrectly Lyra; c. 1270–(not before)1349), Bible commentator and theologian. A 15th-century allegation of his Jewish extraction lacks all basis. Born in Lyre, near Evreux, Normandy, Nicholas joined the Franciscan Order at Verneuil (c. 1291) and subsequently studied in Paris. He held the position of professor of theology at the Sorbonne until he was appointed Franciscan provincial of Burgundy in 1325. He wrote controversial studies against Judaism (e.g., De Messia … ad Judaei argumenta, De diversis contra Judaeos …) and produced a commentary on Peter Lombard's Sentences, which, together with the Bible, constituted the basis of Western theological studies. His importance, however, lies in Postillae Perpetuae, which he composed from 1322 to 1330 (published in Rome, 1471–72). These works form a continuous commentary on the entire Bible, with priority accorded to the literal meaning, while other senses ("moralitates") are relegated to 35 substantial appendixes. The Postillae constitute the first Christian Bible commentary to be printed. The literalist approach led Nicholas to rashi , whom he often cites by name (Salomo). In this he had been anticipated by the Victorine scholars, especially by andrew of saint victor whom he quotes (G. Calandra, De… Andreae Victorini… in Ecclesiasten (1948), 83–85). However, Nicholas, who records his perusal of a controversial tract hebraice scriptus ("written in Hebrew"; see hailperin in bibl., p. 140), used Rashi directly as well. In addition he read some rabbinic material in raymond martini 's Pugio Fidei. Soon after his death, Nicholas' Postillae were available in virtually every library in western Christendom. Nicholas had abiding influence (Hailperin, p. 282f.). Wycliffe acknowledged his indebtedness to Nicholas in his (later) English version of the Bible (c. 1388). luther was particularly dependent on him, especially on Genesis. In his commentary to Daniel, Abrabanel controverts Nicholas' christological exegesis. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: L. Wadding, Scriptores Ordinis Minorum (1967), 178–9; R. Bellarmin, De Scriptoribus Ecclesiasticis (1613), 213 (list of works); Catholic Encylopedia, 11 (1913), 63 (incl. bibl.); JE, 8 (1904), 231; EJ, 10 (1934), 1263; B. Smalley, The Study of the Bible in the Middle Ages (19522), 185, 355; G.W.H. Lampe (ed.), The History of the Bible in the West, 2 (1969), 219; H. Hailperin, Rashi and the Christian Scholars (1963), passim. (Raphael Loewe)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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