School of Antioch (Part 1)

Questions to think about during this lesson…

  • What does it mean to say that the interpretive theories that were proposed at the School of Antioch were generally created in opposition to the excesses of the Alexandrian method of biblical interpretation or exegesis?
  • How many books were in the Antiochian New Testament canon?
  • Which books didn’t the Antiochians recognize as Scripture?
  • How did we determine the New Testament canon of Scripture that St. John Chrysostom recognized?
  • What are some things that both the Antiochian and Alexandrian Schools agreed on in relation to methods of biblical interpretation?
  • In the School of Antioch, what does “theoria” mean?
  • Why would it be wrong to exactly equate the Antiochian methodology with what is done in many circles in biblical studies today, which is strictly restricted to a historical explanation?
  • Who was St. John Chrysostom’s teacher, what did he teach, and how did his teaching compare to that of Origen?
  • Origen believed that the Holy Spirit literally dictated every single word of the Bible. How does this view of inspiration differ to that of the Antiochian view?
  • Who was Theodore of Mopsuestia?
  • What do we know about the life of St. John Chrysostom?
  • Who was Lebonius?
  • What do we know about St. John Chrysostom’s education?
  • In the time of St. John Chrysostom, why did parents typically put off baptizing their children?
  • What were St. John Chrysostom and St. Augustine’s views of infant baptism?
  • What do we know about St. John Chrysostom’s knowledge of the Bible?
  • What was St. John Chrysostom’s spiritual discipline like?
  • Why did St. John Chrysostom have to leave the desert and return to Antioch after only six years?
  • How did St. John Chrysostom become famous as a public preacher?
  • How did St. John Chrysostom become the Bishop of Constantinople in 398AD?
  • Why did the Empress turn against St. John Chrysostom?
  • How did St. John Chrysostom offend many wealthy and influential people?
  • What were St. John Chrysostom’s sermons typically like?
  • What was the Synod of the Oak, why was it an illegal proceeding, and what were some of the charges brought up against St. John Chrysostom?
  • Why do Orthodox Christians eat bread (and sometimes drink wine) after Communion, and where did this custom come from?
  • Although St. John Chrysostom was condemned by the Synod of the Oak, why shouldn’t these kinds of things scandalize, bother or surprise us? (Hint: Has there ever been a perfect Church?)

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