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The Latin word catena, “chain,” designates a form of Bible commentary that lists extracts from older commentaries for each verse. The catena first developed in the sixth century and became very common in Byzantium. Its purpose was to give a handy summary of biblical tradition. Much of the Greek exposition of the early church has come down to us only in catenas. The catena is related to the florilegium, which assembled quotations from the Fathers on dogmatic topics. In the Middle Ages the Latin church in the West developed the biblical gloss as a c…

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Mühlenberg, Ekkehard, “Catena”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 13 October 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_C233>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512

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