The Invocation of Christ in Eastern Monastic Psalmody c. 350-450
Chapter Nine: The Invocation of Christ as Partner
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The Invocation of Christ as Partner
In his paper, ‘Inspiration of the Scriptures’, Andrew Louth writes:
Take, for example, the psalms: how are we to read them? As works by inspired, largely unknown poets, living at various moments in the history of Israel? As a collection of songs, composed (largely) by King David? As a hymn book of the Second Temple? As a psalter of the Christian Church? A doctrine of inspiration forces one to decide, generally to decide on the earliest moment of composition. But I would rather say: all of these, in this way making our use of the psalms something through which we join our prayer with Christ, or use these as ways of praying to Christ (the two predominant Christian ways of understanding the psalms), but also doing this in solidarity with the whole chosen people of God down the ages, all of whom have, in the Spirit, taken these hymns or poems on their lips.1
The purpose of this chapter is to examine how the Greek Fathers of the fourth and fifth centuries approached the first of these ‘two predominant Christian ways of understanding the psalms’. Through a careful study of the relevant psalm-commentaries we will consider the exegeses which reveal both the extent to which and the manner in which the Fathers understood certain psalm-verses to be the vox Christi and therefore, in effect, to be invitations to the Christian individuals and...
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