Christian Antioch: A Study of Early Christian Thought in the by D. S. Wallace-Hadrill

By D. S. Wallace-Hadrill

This publication is a accomplished survey of the background and, extra really, of the concept of Antioch from the second one to the 8th centuries of the Christian period. Dr Wallace-Hadrill lines the non secular heritage of Antiochene Christianity and examines intimately points of its highbrow existence: the exegesis of scripture, the translation of historical past, philosophy, and the doctrine of the character of God as utilized to an figuring out of Christ and man's salvation. The neighborhood at Antioch under pressure historical past and literalism, in self-conscious competition to the tendency to allegorise that prevailed at Alexandria. whereas insisting at the divinity of Christ, they have been both adamant that no different doctrine may be allowed to compromise their vital trust that Jesus was once rather human.

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10 All this is only a step from what we find in most gnostic systems, but it is a step. 112 But the oriental Christians linked Bardaisan with Marcion and Mani and, in his astrological beliefs particularly, saw a threat to their faith which had to be withstood. The emphasis upon the reality of Christ's humanity, which is the hallmark of Antiochene theology, starts from this point, in its deeply-rooted hostility to the docetism of the gnostics. ' What is noteworthy about this comment is that Iso'dad, in tracing the course of a piece of biblical interpretation which he regards as mistaken, should find its source in Origen, six centuries before his own date.

7 At the outset of the Genesis Commentary Ephrem warns his readers, 'Let nobody think that there is an allegorical interpretation of the six days',79 and indeed he progresses many chapters beyond the creation narrative before he admits any figurative interpretation of the text, and even then it is typology that he employs rather than allegory. Among Ephrem's rare moments of allegorizing we may note the words, 'Behold, the man has become as one of us', at Gen. 81 Afrahat links the 'rock with seven eyes' at Zech.

9 with Is. 8, who loses one of her ten pieces of silver, represents the house of Israel, which has lost the first of the ten commandments on which the remaining nine depend, and so has in effect lost all. 22 to represent the Jewish people, of whom Isaiah said 'the heart of this people is hard, their ears stopped, their eyes blind'. The healing of the man represents those who came to believe in Christ and received healing of their spiritual blindness.

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