Abstract

The interpretation of the "Old Testament" posed a theological problem for early Christians. They would not reject it (with Marcion) or interpret it only figuratively (with Barnabas). Irenaeus' theory of recapitulation solved the problem in theory, and Origen's exegetical writing provided the first Christian interpretation for most of the Bible. The Pentateuch could be a stubborn text, and in many cases the Fathers had to work to find any Christian application at all for some passages. Their methods of interpretation depended heavily upon the techniques of literary study they had learned. Passages in the Pentateuch provided opportunities for creative interpretation, which range from the profound to the playful. A series of examples offers illustrations of the many ways the Fathers tried to find some Christian application for passages in the Pentateuch.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3184
Print ISSN
1067-6341
Pages
pp. 373-388
Launched on MUSE
2002-09-01
Open Access
No
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