Qualifying Negative Appraisals of Antiochene Exegesis

Bertrand de Margerie, S.J., asks whether it is fair, when evaluating the Antiochene school of biblical exegesis, to reduce it to the oft-suspiciously viewed work of Theodore of Mopsuestia and Diodore of Tarsus.:”(An Introduction to the History of Exegesis Vol. 1: The Greek Fathers [Petersham, MA: Saint Bede's Publications, 1993], pg. 165.)”: One needs to take care not to oversimplify. Judging Antiochene exegesis to be Nestorian (because of it’s “rationalistic” tendency and suspicion of alleged deeper mysteries) would be premature, since no less an orthodox exegete than John Chrysostom was nurtured in the Antiochene school. Nestorius may have been Theodore’s disciple, but Chrysostom was Diodore’s. Clearly Antioch per se is not heretical.

Furthermore, whatever their final limitations key Antiochene principles do supply valuable correctives to excessive spiritualizing. They can yet facilitate many valuable insights into both the literal meaning of Scripture and ongoing research into the sensus plenior of Scripture.:”(Ibid., 184-186.)”:


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