Language For God in Patristic Tradition
:Criticism of myth in the Bible is not a modern problem. Its roots go back to the earliest Christian theologians, and before them, to ancient Greek and Jewish thinkers. The dilemma posed by texts that ascribe human characteristics and emotions...
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:Criticism of myth in the Bible is not a modern problem. Its roots go back to the earliest Christian theologians, and before them, to ancient Greek and Jewish thinkers. The dilemma posed by texts that ascribe human characteristics and emotions to the divine is a perennial problem, and we have much to learn from the ancient attempts to address it.Mark Sheridan provides a theological and historical analysis of the patristic interpretation of Scripture's anthropomorphic and anthropopathic language for God. Rather than reject the Bible as mere stories, ancient Jewish and Christian theologians read these texts allegorically or theologically in order to discover the truth contained within them. They recognized that an edifying and appropriate interpretation of these stories required that one start from the understanding that "God is not a human being" (Num 23:19). Sheridan brings the patristic tradition into conversation with modern interpreters to show the abiding significance of its theological interpretation for today.Language for God in Patristic Tradition is a landmark resource for students of ancient Christian theology. Wide-ranging in scope and accessible in its analysis, it demonstrates that those engaged in theological interpretation of Scripture have much to gain from studying their forebears in the faith.
- :abbreviationsintroduction1. God Is Not Like Humans2. The Philosophers’ Critique3. The Hellenistic Jewish Interpretation4. The New Testament5. Early Christian Writers6. Three Specific Cases7. The Special Case Of The Psalms8. A Comparison Of Ancient And Modern Interpretationsappendix: Ancient Christian Hermeneutics: The Presuppositions, The Criteria And The Rules Employedauthor Indexsubject Indexscripture Index