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By Frances M. Young

This booklet demanding situations traditional bills of early Christian exegesis of the Bible by means of putting its interpretation within the context of the Greco-Roman international. Professor younger describes how the Jewish scriptures have been taken over, extra to and reinterpreted as a part of the method of forming the id of the recent Christian "race" with its exact tradition. younger emphasizes the significance of ways schooling used to be in line with literature within the Roman Empire, and demonstrates how the equipment and assumptions then taken without any consideration formed Christian exegesis of scripture.

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The next tactic is to consider the syntax. ' Neither speaks of an absolute becoming or creation, but of one relative to 'us' or to 'his works'. Here Athanasius notes that whereas ektisen in V. 22 is modified by an expression of purpose, 'for his works', the use of genna(i) * in V. 31 So here, as elsewhere in scripture (a point illustrated lavishly), the 'begetting' is stated absolutely, whereas the word 'created' is relative; it is relative to the 'Economy' – that is, the incarnation as an expression of God's providential and saving plan.

In the case of a text believed to enshrine the truth, indeed the divine accommodation to the limitations of human discourse, the notion of anachronistic reading was the more inconceivable, for the archaic features of the text were merely part of the verbal dress. The discernment of the reality behind the inadequate verbal clothing was the only proper response, and the misconception of it was nothing less than blasphemy. So this was not for Athanasius an internal exegetical debate, but a war with the clever deceit of the devil.

40 Heath, Unity. 41 The insistence of Theodore of Mopsuestia on a single skopos for individual whole texts such as a Psalm would appear exceptional also, if this view were to be sustained. But clearly the discussion is standard in the fourth and fifth centuries: cf. Alexander Kerrigan, St Cyril of Alexandria. htm (1 of 2) [4/15/2007 10:54:03 AM] Document Page 26 edged a unity of intent but saw it as underlying the variety of scripture, the One Word of God under the many words. The point is perhaps not exactly that of the Neoplatonists.

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