By David Tracy, Robert McQueen Grant
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Additional info for A Short History of the Interpretation of the Bible
The last group consists of the apocryphal books rejected by all; the second group consists of the books which Theodore rejected and which “many people add”; only the first group, unquestioned by Theodare , is completely satisfactory. 24 72 A SHORT HISTORY OF THE INTERPRETATION OF THE BIBLE The canon of Theodore and Junilius was not destined for permanent survival, although Martin Luther was to endeavor to exclude certain books from the list of scripture. But the literal-historical exegetical method of the Antiochenes was strongly influential upon the thought of later Christianity.
And when he tries to find this teaching expressed in the words of scripture he begins to develop a theory of the symbolism of the Bible. He believes that all scripture speaks in a mysterious language of symbols (Str. 6), just as all those, barbarians and Greeks, who have discussed theology have veiled the ultimate reasons of things; they have transmitted the truth only through enigmas and symbols, allegories, metaphors, and analogous figures (Str. 4). Moses, Plato, and the Egyptians who used hieroglyphics spoke in the same way.
Gnostic readers, on the contrary, denied the unity of God, and held that these names referred to various deities subordinate to the true, unknown Father. Similarly they regarded the Father of Jesus as quite different from the malevolent Creator God whose emotions and actions are portrayed in the Old Testament. Denying the unity of God, they also denied the unity of the church and regarded themselves as superior to the ordinary Christians who were animated by soul but not by divine spirit. Such arguments adversely affected more orthodox Christians because the Gnostics were the first, it would appear, to provide relatively systematic exegesis of the New Testament.
A Short History of the Interpretation of the Bible by David Tracy, Robert McQueen Grant