Commentary on the Sentences

The Commentary on the Sentences dates from St. Thomas’s first teaching years in Paris, where he began teaching around the year 1252. As a new teacher, St. Thomas was expected to prepare lectures based on the Sentences of Peter Lombard, thus demonstrating his knowledge of and insight into both theology and philosophy. In the Sentences, St. Thomas was presented with a general theology text which draws upon the writings of the Church Fathers. This was a significant opportunity for St. Thomas to delve into the beauty of theology.

Although this text is a commentary on the Sentences, it also contains much original theological thought of St. Thomas himself as he departs at times from the text that he is commenting on to explore other facets of the teaching set forth by Peter Lombard. As this work comes from the earlier years of St. Thomas’s career, it is evident that it represents St. Thomas’s seminal theological thought that is later developed and sharpened in the Summa Theologiae and the Summa Contra Gentiles.

Vol. 1: Commentary on the Sentences Book I, Distinctions 1-21
STATUS:    Translating
TRANSLATOR:    Fr. Jason Mitchell
SOURCE TEXTS:    Mandonnet 1929 edition
In this volume, St. Thomas begins to explore the Trinity, following the order in the Sentences. He treats of the unity of God, the generation of the Son, the proceeding of the Holy Spirit, as well as considering the equality of the persons in the Trinity.
Vol. 2: Commentary on the Sentences Book I, Distinctions 22-48
STATUS:    Translating
TRANSLATOR:    Fr. Jason Mitchell
SOURCE TEXTS:    Mandonnet 1929 edition
Continuing in the same manner as the first volume, St. Thomas continues his examination of the Trinity, and then moves on to discuss the ways that God can be known. He also unfolds an understanding of predestination and the Divine Will.
Vol. 3: Commentary on the Sentences Book II, Distinctions 1-20
STATUS:    Translating
TRANSLATOR:    Fr. Dylan Schrader
SOURCE TEXTS:    Mandonnet 1929 edition
Moving from exploring the Trinity, St. Thomas now begins to examine creation and God as creator. In this volume, St. Thomas discusses the creation of the angels and the creation of the world. He also begins his treatment of the creation of man.
Vol. 4: Commentary on the Sentences Book II Distinctions 21-44
STATUS:    Translating
TRANSLATOR:    Fr. Dylan Schrader
SOURCE TEXTS:    Mandonnet 1929 edition
Continuing his discussion of the creation of man, St. Thomas explores the fall of man. He then examines grace and original sin. From this he moves to a consideration of evil, sin and its consequences.
Vol. 5: Commentary on the Sentences Book III, Distinctions 1-22
STATUS:    Translating
TRANSLATOR:    Fr. Dylan Schrader
SOURCE TEXTS:    Moos 1956 edition
This volume begins the consideration of the Incarnation. He treats of how it is possible for the Son to assume human nature and why the Incarnation is necessary for the redemption of man.
Vol. 6: Commentary on the Sentences Book III, Distinctions 23-40
STATUS:    Translating
TRANSLATOR:    Fr. Dylan Schrader
SOURCE TEXTS:    Moos 1956 edition
Considering the redemption of man, directed St. Thomas’s attention toward a study of the theological virtues that make it possible for man to live a good life. This leads to a discussion of virtues in general along with a consideration of the active and contemplative life.
Vol. 7: Commentary on the Sentences Book IV, Distinctions 1-13
STATUS:    Editing
TRANSLATOR:    Dr. Beth Mortensen
SOURCE TEXTS:    Moos 1956 edition
This volume begins St. Thomas’s most thorough examination of the sacraments. He begins by defining what a sacrament is, then he moves to a study of each individual sacrament. In this volume, he considers the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and the Holy Eucharist.

The translation of the Commentary on the Sentences, Book IV has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor

Vol. 8: Commentary on the Sentences Book IV, Distinctions 14-25
STATUS:    Editing
TRANSLATOR:    Dr. Beth Mortensen
SOURCE TEXTS:    Moos 1956 edition
St. Thomas continues his treatise on the Holy Eucharist after the conclusion of which he begins the treatise on Penance. This naturally turns his consideration to the sacrament of Holy Orders.

The translation of the Commentary on the Sentences, Book IV has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor

Vol. 9: Commentary on the Sentences Book IV, Distinctions 26-42
STATUS:    Editing
TRANSLATOR:    Dr. Beth Mortensen
SOURCE TEXTS:    Parma 1858 edition
This volume contains St. Thomas’s treatise of the sacrament of Matrimony, which he explores in great detail. He explains that Matrimony is unique among the sacraments because it builds upon a natural union.

The translation of the Commentary on the Sentences, Book IV has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor

Vol. 10: Commentary on the Sentences Book IV, Distinctions 43-50
STATUS:    Editing
TRANSLATOR:    Dr. Beth Mortensen
EDITOR:    Dr. Peter Kwasniewksi
SOURCE TEXTS:    Parma 1858 edition
The last volume of the Commentary on the Sentences continues the treatise on Marriage. Finally St. Thomas discusses man’s last end, the resurrection of the body, God’s justice, the final judgment and what constitutes blessedness.

The translation of the Commentary on the Sentences, Book IV has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor

National Endowment for the Humanities

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in these volumes do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.