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Scripture and Its Interpretation ch 14: Orthodox Interpretation of Scripture
Terms in this set (43)
An early Christian school of biblical interpretation that arose at Alexandria in Egypt and tended to emphasize allegorical interpretation, seen most strikingly in the work of Origen.
A method of interpreting texts in which words, numbers, characters (e.g., Melchizedek), objects (e.g., the burning bush), and events (e.g., the conquest of Canaan) are assigned a symbolic significance as representing spiritual realities in addition to, or in place of, their literal meaning.
A text deemed to have symbolic meaning expressed in its words, numbers, characters, objects, and events.
Antiochene (or Antiochian) school
An early Christian school of biblical interpretation that originated in Syrian Antioch and tended to emphasize both historical and typological exegesis over against allegory. Antiochene scholars include John Chrysostom.
Greek for "revelation"; (1) a genre of Jewish and Christian literature filled with symbolism and visions intended to unveil unseen realities (e.g., heaven and its inhabitants) as well as historical realities (past, present, and future) in order to offer a critique of contemporary political arrangements in light of the coming kingdom of God; (2) a name for the last NT book (Revelation).
(1) A rule, norm, or guide for faith and practice; (2) especially a list, collection, or catalog of Scriptures (sacred writings) that the Jewish and/or Christian communities consider inspired and authoritative for their faith and practice.
The theological study of and discussion about the person (identity) and work of Jesus.
church fathers (or Fathers)
Christian theological writers from the end of the first or early second century CE until about the middle of the eighth century CE who contributed to the development of orthodox Christian scriptural interpretation, doctrine, and practice.
Council of Trent
A key Roman Catholic counter-Reformational ecumenical council held between 1545 and 1563, whose decisions included adopting the Vulgate and the longer OT canon.
A formal, authoritative summary of basic Christian beliefs.
From the Greek word for assembly, gathering, or community, ekklēsia; of or related to the church and its confessions, interpretive traditions, and liturgical (worship) life.
(1) The general councils (Nicaea, 325; Constantinople, 381; Ephesus, 431; Chalcedon, 451; Constantinople II, 553; Constantinople III, 680-681; Nicaea II, 787) attended by representatives of the entire undivided church; (2) also, for Roman Catholics, additional councils up to and including the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965).
Epistle (or Letter) of Barnabas
A second-century document included in the Apostolic Fathers, attributed to Barnabas, the companion of the apostle Paul, which uses typology to interpret the OT.
The principle, followed by rabbis and church fathers, whereby one part of Scripture is used to clarify another, regardless of the chronological sequence of the texts.
A term referring to diverse religious movements of the second and third centuries that were generally dualist, stressed gaining special knowledge as the means to salvation, and often reread the Scriptures as esoteric documents.
hermeneutic(s) of suspicion
A sort of "guilty-until-proven-innocent" approach to the biblical text because of its alleged patriarchal, oppressive, or otherwise problematic nature or influence; in contrast to a hermeneutic of trust.
Monks, championed by St. Gregory Palamas (d. 1359), who meditated in quietude and claimed to see God with their physical eyes.
In Orthodox Christianity, the body of tradition that guides the church, including both Scripture as its core and the subsequent teachings and practices of the church.
Sacred images of Jesus, biblical figures and events, and saints that are especially significant in Orthodox liturgy and spirituality as "windows into heaven."
A third-century CE dualistic, gnostic religious movement that believed matter is evil.
Second-century Christian presbyter in Rome who rejected the Scriptures of Israel (the OT) as the work of a lesser god and who also rejected most of the emerging NT canonical texts as a result of his convictions.
A town in Upper Egypt near which scrolls written by various gnostic authors were discovered in 1945.
A phrase used by some Orthodox Christians to indicate a creative but faithful gathering of the insights of the church fathers to address contemporary issues.
Also called the Church of the East, Christians in Persia who used Syriac liturgical rites and, in the seventh century, sent missionaries to China; their Christology affirming the independence of Jesus' humanity and his divinity was deemed heresy.
A Christian creed formulated at the First Ecumenical Council at Nicaea (325 CE; the Nicene Creed) and the Second Ecumenical Council at Constantinople (381 CE) to combat various christological and other heresies
orthodox, orthodoxy, Orthodoxy
(1) Beliefs that conform to the tradition and accepted as authoritative, as opposed to heresy or heterodoxy; (2) when capitalized, a branch of Christendom.
From Latin pater, "father"; of or related to the writings of the church fathers, theological writers from the end of the first or early second century CE until about the middle of the eighth century CE.
A term sometimes used to refer to exegetical practices used prior to the formation of the historical-critical methods during and after the Enlightenment.
An understanding of the role of Scripture that puts it first, but not alone, as an authority for the church; in contrast to sola Scriptura, "Scripture alone."
primus inter pares
Literally, "first among equals," referring to the special honor given to a preeminent church leader, such as Orthodoxy's Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, who does not possess jurisdictional rule over other leaders
A scriptural text used to attempt to justify a belief, usually without consideration of the text's context and in isolation from other texts.
Readable Books (Anaginōskomena)
In early Christianity and in Orthodoxy, noncanonical books considered orthodox and thus normally suitable for reading by the faithful.
rule of faith
A summary account of basic Christian teachings eventually represented in the Apostles' Creed (and similar texts) that serves as a standard of orthodoxy and a theological framework for scriptural interpretation.
senses of Scripture
The levels or aspects of meaning in a biblical text first posited by early Christian writers and incorporated into an interpretive approach called fourfold exegesis: (1) the historical (or literal) sense; (2) the tropological (or moral) sense; (3) the spiritual or allegorical (doctrinal) sense; and (4) the anagogical sense (referring to mysteries seen by theōria [spiritual vision], or to the afterlife).
The Protestant Reformation principle of "Scripture alone" as the authority for Christian faith and practice.
theandric (or theanthropic)
A patristic term used for Jesus, who is both divine (theos) and man/human (anēr/anthrōpos), and by extension for the Scriptures as both divine and human.
Spiritual "sight" by which divine mysteries, and God the Son, may be seen, sometimes in this present life, but certainly by those who are glorified.
theosis (or theōsis)
A term, especially common in Orthodoxy, signifying the destiny of humankind—to share in such divine traits as holiness and immortality and thus become "gods" (i.e., godlike) by grace; sometimes referred to as divinization or deification.
Title for Mary, mother of Jesus, meaning "God-bearer" and used especially in Orthodoxy.
A symbolic precursor within a text.
An interpretive approach that views the text as a narrative in which ancient events and figures (the "type") are understood to foreshadow later or contemporary events and figures (the "antitype").
Referring to the teaching (or the person) of a late second-century gnostic teacher from Egypt and to his adherents
A general interpretive philosophy, theory, approach, or strategy.
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