Category Archives: Patristic Exegesis

Chrysostom’s Principles of Interpretation

I’m increasingly interested in how John Chrysostom utilized Scripture, both in his biblical commentaries and otherwise. Like most other early Christian figures, Chrysostom does not spend much time explicitly setting forth his method of interpretation (notable exceptions include Origen’s On First Principles … Continue reading

Posted in Patristic Exegesis | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Augustine on Literal and Figurative Interpretation (2)

As we saw previously, Augustine’s general rule of interpretation centers on the notion of charity: if the literal level seems to lead away from the love of God and love of neighbor, an allegorical meaning must be sought. In practice, however, … Continue reading

Posted in Patristic Exegesis | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Augustine on Literal and Figurative Interpretation (1)

In light of my previous post (here), one very reasonable question might have come to mind: how did the Fathers determine what in Scripture was to be taken literally, versus what is to be understood figuratively? This is hardly an … Continue reading

Posted in Patristic Exegesis | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Mimesis, Typology, and Allegory

What do scholars mean by the words typology and allegory? Incredibly, though these two terms describing non-literal interpretation are crucial for understanding how scripture was read in early Christianity, there is very little consensus on what exactly they mean, or even if there … Continue reading

Posted in Patristic Exegesis | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Sanctified Vision (4): Origen and the Pedagogy of Scripture

Completing our study of O’Keefe and Reno’s Sanctified Vision, we turn to the idea, widespread throughout patristic interpretation, that a life of spiritual discipline is the prerequisite for correctly interpreting Scripture. The authors contend that even this is not a totally foreign … Continue reading

Posted in Patristic Exegesis | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Sanctified Vision (3): Typology, Allegory, and the Brady Bunch

“Allegory” might as well be a curse word for many literal-minded Christians. Dismissed, laughed at, scorned–allegorical interpretation of the Bible has fallen on tough times. But it was not always this way! Again, O’Keefe and Reno (Sanctified Vision, ch. 4-5) … Continue reading

Posted in Patristic Exegesis | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Sanctified Vision (2): Intensive Reading

Previously, I discussed how patristic authors believed Jesus of Nazareth to be the interpretive key for understanding all of Scripture. Now, turning to chapter 3 of O’Keefe & Reno’s Sanctified Vision, we consider the first of three major methods of reading … Continue reading

Posted in Patristic Exegesis | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Sanctified Vision (1): Christ is the End of Scripture

This week in class, I was told in no uncertain terms that when teaching and preaching from the OT, it is invalid to read in NT theology. Though this is not necessarily an uncommon thing to hear in these parts, I … Continue reading

Posted in Patristic Exegesis | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

In Layman’s Terms: Christological Exegesis

Previously on this page, I referenced a famous passage from early Christian literature in which Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, describes a debate he had with some members of a Judaizing party who refused to accept Ignatius’ teaching regarding Jesus because … Continue reading

Posted in Patristic Exegesis | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment