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Sixtus of Siena

Sixtus of Siena

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Sixtus of Siena (1520–1569), a converted Jew, followed a Franciscan
Most Franciscans are members of Roman Catholic religious orders founded by Saint Francis of Assisi. Besides Roman Catholic communities, there are also Old Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, ecumenical and Non-denominational Franciscan communities....

 course of study and became a Roman Catholic theologian. Though he was convicted of heresy
Heresy is a controversial or novel change to a system of beliefs, especially a religion, that conflicts with established dogma. It is distinct from apostasy, which is the formal denunciation of one's religion, principles or cause, and blasphemy, which is irreverence toward religion...

 he was saved by a Dominican inquisitor, the future Pope Pius V
Pope Pius V
Pope Saint Pius V , born Antonio Ghislieri , was Pope from 1566 to 1572 and is a saint of the Catholic Church. He is chiefly notable for his role in the Council of Trent, the Counter-Reformation, and the standardization of the Roman liturgy within the Latin Church...

, who repealed the condemnation when Sixtus recanted and pledged to transfer to the Dominican Order
Dominican Order
The Order of Preachers , after the 15th century more commonly known as the Dominican Order or Dominicans, is a Catholic religious order founded by Saint Dominic and approved by Pope Honorius III on 22 December 1216 in France...

 instead. He is considered one of the two outstanding Dominican scholars of his generation. He had as a master Lancelotto Politi
Lancelotto Politi
Lancelotto Politi was an Italian Dominican canon lawyer.Historians and theologians generally have regarded Catharinus as a brilliant eccentric...

, some of whose writings he later publicly criticised.

Sixtus coined the term deuterocanonical to describe certain books of the Old Testament
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

 that had not been accepted as canonical
Biblical canon
A biblical canon, or canon of scripture, is a list of books considered to be authoritative as scripture by a particular religious community. The term itself was first coined by Christians, but the idea is found in Jewish sources. The internal wording of the text can also be specified, for example...

 but which appeared in the Septuagint, and the definer for the Roman Catholics of the terms protocanonical and the ancient term apocrypha
The term apocrypha is used with various meanings, including "hidden", "esoteric", "spurious", "of questionable authenticity", ancient Chinese "revealed texts and objects" and "Christian texts that are not canonical"....


His work Bibliotheca sancta ex præcipuis Catholicæ Ecclesiæ auctoribus collecta (Venice 1566) treats the sacred writers and their works, the best manner of translating and explaining Holy Writ, and gives a copious list of Biblical interpreters, in eight books. It was the first of the genre of encyclopedic
An encyclopedia is a type of reference work, a compendium holding a summary of information from either all branches of knowledge or a particular branch of knowledge....

 teaching repertories of dogma
Dogma is the established belief or doctrine held by a religion, or a particular group or organization. It is authoritative and not to be disputed, doubted, or diverged from, by the practitioners or believers...

 and Church tradition issued in the wake of the Council of Trent
Council of Trent
The Council of Trent was the 16th-century Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church. It is considered to be one of the Church's most important councils. It convened in Trent between December 13, 1545, and December 4, 1563 in twenty-five sessions for three periods...


Further reading

  • John Warwick Montgomery, 1963. "Sixtus of Siena and Roman Catholic Biblical Scholarship", Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte 54 p 214ff.
  • Fernando Dominguez, "Sixtus von Siena", in: Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche 3 IX, 647.

External links

  • http://www.ofmconvmalta.org/interconv/culture/schol.htm "Franciscan scholars": Sixtus of Siena]