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The St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology The St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology
October 4, 2008 - 8:16 AM EDT
"Did not our hearts burn within he opened up to us the Scriptures?"
—Luke 24:32
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Church Fathers - Studies

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Catholic - Advanced The Books of Moses in the Early Church
An excellent study by Father Joseph T. Lienhard. A quote: "Even in the second century, the Church set the parameters for the authentic interpretation of Scripture. The Church did not adopt the principles of the Epistle of Barnabas and thereby affirmed that the Old Testament did have a literal sense. God had shown his face to the Patriarchs, spoken to the Prophets, and made an everlasting covenant with his chosen people.  But the Church also rejected Marcion and said thereby that the Old Testament could not be interpreted only literally, for the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob was also the Father of Jesus Christ, and Christ was the key to the right interpretation of the Old Testament."

Catholic - Advanced Origen and the Crisis of the Old Testament in the Early Church
An excellent study of the interpretation of the Old Testament by Father Joseph T. Lienhard. A quote: "The primary locus or home of Scripture in Christianity is the liturgy. Theologians write books about the Bible because it is proclaimed in the liturgy; the Bible is not proclaimed in the liturgy because theologians write books about it. Further, for Christians, the fullness of God's self-revelation is a person, not a book. Hence the book is read in the light of the person, Jesus the Christ. It is believers who celebrate the liturgy, and theology is faith seeking understanding. If this is the case, then in some way - and I would be the last to say that it is easy - the Church must maintain the double interpretation of the Old Testament, literal and spiritual."

We also recommend these articles by Father Lienhart:
- The Authority of the Bible
- The Influence of Education on St. Augustine's Exegesis  (.pdf file, requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Catholic - Intermediate Newman and the Study of the Church Fathers
An interesting piece that looks especially at the Fathers' importance for understanding the Scriptures. By Father Thomas McGovern.

Catholic - Advanced William of St. Thierry's Reception of Origen's Exegesis of Romans 
An excellent study by Center fellow Dr. Thomas Scheck (.pdf file, requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader). See also by Dr. Scheck:
- Review of "Origen: Homilies on Joshua," trans. by Barbara J. Bruce (.pdf file, requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Catholic - Advanced Trinitarian Reality as Christian Truth
A good consideration of the Greek Patristic discussion by a Lutheran, Dr. William Weinrich. (pdf files, requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader.)

Catholic - Advanced The Need for and the Use of Doxological Language in Theology
Interesting study of the Cappadocian Fathers.

Catholic - Advanced A Meaning Worthy of God: Origen and Biblical Integrity
An overview of Origen's approach to Scripture.

Christian (non-Catholic) - Advanced *A Comparative Study of the Commentaries on the Song of Songs by Origen, Gregory of Nyssa, and Bernard of Clairvaux.  By David Solomon, editor of the excellent *Gregory of Nyssa homepage. See also Solomon's:
- *Secular and Ecclesiastical References in Gregory of Nyssa's Commentary on the Song of Songs
- *A List of Important Words in Gregory of Nyssa's Commentary on the Song of Songs



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