Postil (Latin postilla) originally designated in the ecclesiastical language of mediaevalism explanatory remarks accompanying the text of the Bible, mostly in the form of sermons or homilies. The name sprung from the fact that these were usually delivered immediately after the reading of the Gospel, and were explanatory of it. Its etymology is to be found in the words "post illa verba textus" or "sacrae scripturae," the first two words being combined in one, which is used as noun and verb (postilla, postilla- re). Charlemagne ordered a homiliarium to be composed for the clergy of his empire, in which the pericopes or texts of the Sundays and holydays are followed by a homily from one of the celebrated ancient preachers. This collection was long in use in the German empire, and was often called Postilla. But the meaning of the word became more comprehensive in the latter part of the Middle Ages, when a running commentary of Scripture was called Postilla, because the text was first exhibited, and post illa (after the words of the text) the comments of the writer. Thus we find "Postillavit evangelia, epistolas Pauli," etc. The most remarkable of these postillae is that of the celebrated exegete Nicolas de Lyra (q.v.), under the title "Postillae perpetuae in Biblia," or "Postills in universa Biblia." Luther, by his well-known "Postilla," introduced the word among the Protestant communions. It is still, but less frequently, employed, and only in the Church of Rome or of England, for collections of sermons connected with the pericopes of Sundays and holydays. See Siegel, Christliche Alterthibner (see Index in vol. 4); Wheatly, On the Book of Common Prayer, p. 272.

Bible concordance for POST.

Definition of post

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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