Patristic Interpretation (Part 2)

Questions to think about during this lesson…

  • What are some specific scriptural examples of how the Lord used the Old Testament to refer to Himself?
  • What are some specific scriptural examples of how the Evangelists used the Old Testament in their Gospels?
  • When the Apostles went out to preach, they relied heavily on the Jewish Scriptures to prove that Jesus is the Messiah. Why is this?
  • If you want to know which Scriptures early Christians used to prove that Christ is the Messiah, look at the speeches of the Apostles in the Acts. What are some examples of Scripture that the Apostles pointed to over and over again?
  • St. Paul also uses many references to the Jewish Scriptures to make his points. He followed along the same lines as what Christ had done with the Scriptures, using typology and giving a spiritual interpretation of what had otherwise been a kind of Jewish legalism. (Activity: For examples of how St. Paul uses typology, look up 1 Corinthians 15:45, Galatians 4:21-31 and 1 Corinthians 10:1-4)
  • Look up St. Paul’s references to Deuteronomy 25:4 in 1 Timothy 5:17-18 and 1 Corinthians 9:7-18. What does Dr. Jeannie mean when she says that St. Paul’s interpretation of the Law was spiritual?
  • Why weren’t Christians content with restricting the meaning of a biblical passage to the bare historical event?

** If you need a refresher, now is a good time to go back and review what made someone a “Father” in the Orthodox Church and why the Fathers believed studying the Scriptures is so important. See:¬†The Church Fathers (Part 1), The Church Fathers (Part 2) and The Church Fathers (Part 3)¬†**

  • What does exegesis mean?
  • What is eisegesis?
  • What are some of the techniques the Fathers used to interpret Scripture?
  • One of the most common techniques used by the Fathers is that “Scripture interprets Scripture.” What does this mean and what’s an example of how this technique can be used effectively? What’s an example of how this technique can be abused?
  • In relation to biblical interpretation, what is word association? ¬†(Hint: Think about how the Jews came to the conclusion that “Wisdom” played a role in creation… and how it leads to the beautiful hymn about the Logos in John 1:1)
  • In relation to biblical interpretation, what is historia?
  • In relation to biblical interpretation, what is typology?
  • In relation to biblical interpretation, what is allegory?
  • In relation to biblical interpretation, what is number symbolism?
  • In relation to biblical interpretation, what is etymology or philology?

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