By David Tracy, Robert McQueen Grant
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Extra info for A Short History of the Interpretation of the Bible
Adam was not really Adam, paradise was not really paradise, the serpent was not a real serpent. In that case, Theodore asks, since there are no real events, since Adam was not really disobedient, how did death enter the world, and what meaning does our salvation have? The apostle must have believed in the reality of the events he describes, for in Romans 5: 18f. 3 The twelfth chapter of Isho’dad’s Introduction to the Psalms comes from the ninth century but it is largely based on the exegetical theory of Theodore, and clearly sets forth his objections to the theory of Origen: People ask what the difference is between allegorical exegesis and historical exegesis.
Our list is preserved at Rome and in Asia Minor, complete with every link intact. It is obvious that such a principle of interpretation possesses great advantages. For those who stand within the church it is natural to seek the church’s mind in interpreting her books, the scriptures. And in a relatively early period of ecclesiastical history, when on the one hand the church’s faith had not greatly developed from that of apostolic times, and on the other there was fairly general agreement as to the meaning of scripture, the principle of interpretation according to the rule of faith had an attractive simplicity.
Such people invariably understand poetry as prose. They believe, for example, in the literal reality of the heavenly Jerusalem described in the Apocalypse of John. Origen’s interpretations are in part polemic against them. They would not be able to understand a literary analysis of figurative language, and Origen is compelled to insist on figures hidden behind every verse, 60 A SHORT HISTORY OF THE INTERPRETATION OF THE BIBLE indeed every word and syllable, of scripture. We can see that his method is not altogether satisfactory; it could lead to dangerous excesses; but for its time it was invaluable.
A Short History of the Interpretation of the Bible by David Tracy, Robert McQueen Grant