Biblical Theology and the Church in Syria
Edited By Vahan S. Hovhanessian
The essays in this volume on The Bible in the Orthodox Tradition reflect the principles and perspectives of the “school” of Antioch (4th-5th centuries). A brief summary of contemporary scholarship on Antiochian1heremeneutics will provide the context for the collection of essays that appear in this volume.
Since the early 1990s, there has been a rising interest in Antiochene exegesis among biblical and patristic scholars. Brevard Childs observed the motivations and issues that have driven scholars to revise their understanding of Antiochian exegesis:
Particularly misleading in reference to the Antiochenes has been the contrast between the spiritual concerns of the Alexandrians and the historical concerns of the Antiochenes. Recent scholarship, summarized by Bradley Nassif in 1993 (“The Spiritual Exegesis of Scripture”), has therefore focused on the ‘spiritual’ exegesis of Scripture in the school of the Antiochenes. The crucial term around which the debate has revolved is the term θεωρíα, the spiritual hermeneutic at whose center lies the dual concern for both the historical and a Christological reading of the Bible.”2
The 1993 article to which Childs refers was subsequently updated in my essay “’Spiritual Exegesis’ in the School of Antioch” in New Perspectives on Historical Theology: Essays in Memory of John Meyendorff.3 That essay summarizes the contributions of only nine scholars (up to 1996) who had written on this subject over the past century, and critiques the secondary literature in which the Antiochian θεωρíα (theoria) appears. I concluded it by identifying six areas for...
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