Monday, 4 July 2011

Charles Hill - 'The Scripture which Says ...' The Status of The Shepherd of Hermas in the Writings of Irenaeus


The importance of the contribution of Irenaeus of Lyons to the developing Christian doctrine of Scripture, including what we now call the canon of Scripture, is well recognized.  Yet attempts to clarify the contents of Irenaeus’ Scriptural corpus still face many ambiguities.  In Adv. Haer. 4.20.2 Irenaeus cites lines from the Shepherd of Hermas with the introduction ‘Rightly, then, the scripture (or writing) which says …  ’, raising the question whether Irenaeus considered The Shepherd to be a Scriptural book or whether his use of h( grafh in this instance signifies a more mundane reference to The Shepherd simply as a written text?  This communication will interact with recent, conflicting treatments of this question and will offer new considerations pursuant to an answer. 

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