Read From its Sources

  • Andrew Leong University of Leuven


The Marian prayer in the Lukan Infancy Narrative, the Magnificat, remains always a source of exegetical investigation, theological reflection, as well as spiritual meditation. Its strong Old Testament background has long been recognized by scholars. For nearly every sentence of the prayer, parallels from various parts of OT can be identified. However, it is exactly this diversity of possible references that prevents a consensus among scholars as to the major source that may serve as the hermeneutical key to the Magnificat. In an attempt to deal with the issue, this paper reviews and re-evaluates the textual relationships between the OT passages that have been suggested as parallels and the Marian prayer. These are the Song of Hannah (1 Sam 2:1-10), sentences from the Psalms, the prophetic corpus, the Pentateuch, the Sapiential Literature, and 1 Chronicles 16. The study suggests that all the texts reviewed may well have contributed to the formation of the Magnificat. Especially the notion of ταπείνωσις and the theme of the “change of fortune,” central to the Marian prayer, are present in these passages. This study shows that the different traditions that form OT contribute to the formulation of the Magnificat in their own way, and thus are indispensable for its interpretation

Jan 8, 2019
How to Cite
Leong, .... (2019). Magnificat. Orientis Aura: Macau Perspectives In Religious Studies, 0(2). Retrieved from
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