Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Medieval Exegesis

Saint Thomas Aquinas

Scholars of the Middle Ages saw Scripture in a four layered interpretation. The four senses of scripture it is sometimes called. Saint Thomas developed this way of interpretation to a high art. Of late I find that I am going back to the Church Fathers to learn how they handled scripture. Why? Because I find the two extremes in the Church at present to be unsatisfying and frankly barren. Jonah is a good example. A good literalist would bog down in a discussion as to the type of whale that could have swallowed Jonah (the text clearly has it as a great fish) with speculation of how one could live in the innards of a sea creature and so forth. On the other end the historical critical method would simply say that the entire book had no historical basis and could safely be dismissed as irrelevant. A pox on both their schools.

Check the link above for an excellent short presentation on another way of looking at, learning from and taking nourishment thereof the Holy Scripture. JWS

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