St. Augustine and St. Jerome

Questions to think about during this lesson…

  • What are two famous lines from St. Augustine’s Confessions?
  • What was St. Augustine’s conversion experience like? (Hint: Romans 13:13)
  • What does it mean to say that St. Augustine had left the Christian faith because of the Bible… and that he came back to the Christian faith because of the Bible?
  • In what year did St. Augustine die?
  • How is it that St. Augustine exerted much more influence in the West than any single writer did for the East?
  • How did St. Augustine’s dominant influence end up becoming a problem in the West?
  • How does St. Augustine end up with theological conclusions that are a departure from that which had been a Tradition of the Church?
  • In the East, we don’t read St. Augustine for theology. Why not?
  • What are some theological mistakes that St. Augustine made?
  • What Bible did St. Augustine use?
  • What was St. Augustine’s view of the Apocrypha?
  • What does it mean to say that St. Augustine believed in the “unity” of the Scriptures?
  • The Manicheans and Gnostics ridiculed the Bible by interpreting the way God was described in it very crudely and very literally because its anthropomorphisms. How did St. Augustine respond to these criticisms?
  • St. Augustine said “Believe, that you might understand.” What did he mean by this?
  • St. Augustine believed the obscurity of the Bible served many purposes. What are some examples?
  • St. Augustine talked about “the rule of faith” and “the rule of love.” What did he mean by these?
  • Toward the end of his life, St. Augustine wrote a book called Corrections (or Retractions). What was this about?
  • How did St. Augustine’s interpretation of Romans 5:12 greatly influence the Western views on “The Fall” of mankind and the nature of man?
  • The doctrine of “Original Sin” as it is understood in the Catholic Church (which has its roots in St. Augustine) is very different than the Orthodox understanding of sin, which the Fathers referred to as “Ancestral Sin.” How did Augustine’s response to Pelagius help lead to this development and St. Augustine’s theological error on this subject?
  • You really don’t see the Latins involved in the great theological discussions of the 4th century and early 5th century. Why is this?
  • Why did St. Jerome want to learn Greek very well?
  • What experience did St. Jerome have that led him to vow to devote himself to the study of the Scriptures with great zeal?
  • What is the Vulgate and how is it that St. Jerome was tasked to create it?
  • What method of biblical interpretation did St. Jerome favor? (Hint: This changed over the period of his life)
  • What helped lead the Western Church to discount very strongly the value of the Septuagint?
  • Why is St. Jerome considered the great exegete of the Latin West?

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