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From John of Apamea to Mark’s Gospel

Two Dialogues with Thomasios: A Hermeneutical Reading of Horáō, Blépō, and Theōréō


Dempsey Rosales Acosta

From John of Apamea to Mark’s Gospel: Two Dialogues with Thomasios: A Hermeneutical Reading of Horáō, Blépō, and Theōréō combines two theological fields of investigation. The first is related to the Patristic theology of Eastern Syrian Christianity and the second resides in the field of Biblical theology. The research articulates the two fields, which complement each other through a logic exposition in that the theological conceptions of John of Apamea serve as the hermeneutical reading of the verbs of visual perception in the Markan Gospel.
The first part expounds the problem related to the quest of the historical John of Apamea, an overview of the problem of his identity based upon the most important critical works attributed to him, proposing a plausible solution. The notion of the spiritual perception of the soul is intrinsically connected with the notion of «spiritual exegesis» and «spiritual senses», essential thoughts in the theology of the dialogues with Thomasios. Applying this methodological approach to the Scripture, the second part expounds the topic of the spiritual seeing in Mark’s Gospel. The section follows four expositive stages. The first consists of the semantic analysis of the Markan terminology and its psychological implications; the second analyzes the narrative portrait of the seeing of Jesus; the third examines briefly the seeing of the demons; the last stage considers the contemplative attitude of the women in the context of Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection. From John of Apamea to Mark’s Gospel is essential reading for scholars in Eastern Patristic theology, Biblical theology, and spiritual theology.
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Chapter II: John of Apamea’s Significant Theological Notions

← 48 | 49 → Chapter II


Evidence of a permanent exegetical and meditative interpretation of Scripture that a reader can perceive when reading the works of the Syrian monk is found in the spiritual affirmations, eschatological notions of the world to come, and hope in Christ, all of which are drawn from Scripture. The sacred text became the basic platform upon which John built his theological and spiritual architecture. The word of God became the humus of a spirituality where, with its roots set in the event of Christ, the kingdom of God is the ultimate goal. In this journey of the salutary economy, every person must walk through a path of purification in order to perceive the mysteries of God.

Biblical vocabulary and allusions to literary images of the Old and New Testament are embedded in the Hellenistic and anthropological philosophies of the author’s milieu. He uses these words and references as intellectual instruments to present his Christian view of the total destiny of humanity that, as the history of the world continues to develop, will be fulfilled through the event of Christ, who provides proof for the final destiny of humanity, total communion with God according to his divine plan. The divine economy has been delineated through the experience of faith of the chosen people and the Christian community portrayed in Scripture, and therefore the sacred text provides for every age a non-exhaustive source of wisdom that illumines the path of everyone who assiduously reads it. For this reason, John calls it...

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