French Franciscan and theologian. Born c. 1270 in Lyre (present-day La-Neuve-Lyre, usually latinised as Lyra) near Evreux i Normandy. Died 1349 in Paris.
Nicolaus of Lyra was professor of theology at the University of Paris. He was an accomplished Hebrew scholar and was considered one of the most famous Biblical exegetes of the middle ages.
His magnum opus, the Postilla litteralis super totam Bibliam ("Commentary to the whole Bible", published 1322-1331), was the most widespread Biblical commentary in Western Christendom until well into the 16th century, and more than 100 different print editions are known.
In 1429-1431, the Bishop of Burgos (in Spain), Pablo de Santa Maria, composed a total of 1100 critical commentaries (Additiones ad postillam Nicolai de Lyra super Biblia) on Nicolaus' great work, triggering a furious theological debate at the time of their publication. Other mediaeval and early modern theologians published commentaries on and replies to Nicolaus, including the German Franciscan Matthias Döring (Replica, 1471/1472).
Selected reference works:
- H. Labrosse, Sources de la biographie de Nicolas de Lyre, in: Éfranc 16 (1906), 383-404
- Ch. V. Langlois,Nicolas de Lyre, frère mineur, in: HistlittFrance 36 (Paris 1924), 355-400
- I. Osanna, Doctrina apologetica magistri Nicolai de Lyra O.F.M. (Diss. Gregoriana, Rome 1953)
- F. Stegmüller, Repertorium biblicum medii aevi IV and IX (Madrid 1954 and 1977)
- L. Wadding, Scriptores ordinis minorum I (3rd ed. Rome 1906, reprinted 1978)