Saturday, 11 April 2015

J.H. Kreijkes: The Impact of Theology on Chrysostomic Exegesis: The Importance of an Interdisciplinary Approach

Until the 1950s, patristics scholars used the Antioch-Alexandria model to distinguish between literal and allegorical patristic exegesis (Cf. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Fuller). Recently, this model has appeared to be inadequate, because this distinction is now considered to be based on theological differences rather than on a preference for literal or allegorical interpretation (Greer; Young; O'Keefe). However, as Fairbairn argues, there is a "severe inconsistency between what contemporary patristics scholars say about that exegesis and what contemporary church historians (...) write about the same subject".
The way in which church historians have dealt with John Calvin (1509-1564) is illustrative of this phenomenon. Because of his estimation of John Chrysostom as his favourite exegete, Calvin is considered to represent "the Antiochene tradition of exegesis, which is largely adopted by the Reformation" (Hazlett). Although Calvin never seemed to have been aware of the Antioch-Alexandria distinction, the Nachleben of his reception of Chrysostom's exegesis has played an important role in the development of the twenty-first century historical-grammatical exegesis.
Conversely, this paper addresses the importance of an alternative, interdisciplinary approach in light of the early modern reception of the patristic exegesis. It attempts to bridge the gap between Patristics and Reformation Studies by examining both Chrysostom as an exegete who read the Bible in the context of his own theology - rather than as a historical authority of later protestant exegesis -, and Calvin as a recipient of Chrysostom's interpretations that fit well with his theology.

No comments:

Post a Comment