The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Biblical Interpretation

ISBN : 9780198718390

Paul M. Blowers; Peter W Martens
800 ページ
171 x 246 mm
Oxford Handbooks
  • A comprehensive collection exploring a wide array of themes related to the reception, canonization, interpretation, uses, and legacies of the Bible in early Christianity
  • Each section contains cutting-edge scholarship that expands readers understanding of early Christian biblical interpretation
  • Considers principal issues of hermeneutical theory and exegetical method, while also introducing readers to features beyond early Christian exegetical practice itself
  • An authoritative and unparalleled reference for students and scholars

The Bible was the essence of virtually every aspect of the life of the early churches. The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Biblical Interpretation explores a wide array of themes related to the reception, canonization, interpretation, uses, and legacies of the Bible in early Christianity. Each section contains overviews and cutting-edge scholarship that expands understanding of the field. Part One examines the material text transmitted, translated, and invested with authority, and the very conceptualization of sacred Scripture as God's word for the church. Part Two looks at the culture and disciplines or science of interpretation in representative exegetical traditions. Part Three addresses the diverse literary and non-literary modes of interpretation, while Part Four canvasses the communal background and foreground of early Christian interpretation, where the Bible was paramount in shaping normative Christian identity. Part Five assesses the determinative role of the Bible in major developments and theological controversies in the life of the churches. Part Six returns to interpretation proper and samples how certain abiding motifs from within scriptural revelation were treated by major Christian expositors. The overall history of biblical interpretation has itself now become the subject of a growing scholarship and the final part skilfully examines how early Christian exegesis was retrieved and critically evaluated in later periods of church history. Taken together, the chapters provide nuanced paths of introduction for students and scholars from a wide spectrum of academic fields, including classics, biblical studies, the general history of interpretation, the social and cultural history of late ancient and early medieval Christianity, historical theology, and systematic and contextual theology. Readers will be oriented to the major resources for, and issues in, the critical study of early Christian biblical interpretation.


List of abbreviations
List of figures
List of contributors
Introduction, Paul M. Blowers and Peter W. Martens

Part I: Scripture
1: Scripture as Artefact, Lincoln H. Blumell
2: The Septuagint and Other Translations, Reinhart Ceulemans
3: Canons and Rules of Faith, Joseph Lienhard, SJ
4: Divine Discourse: Scripture in the Economy of Revelation, Frances Young

Part II: Interpreters and Interpretation
5: Greco-Roman Literary Criticism, Peter Struck
6: Early Christian Handbooks on Interpretation, Tarmo Toom
7: From Letter to Spirit: The Multiple Senses of Scripture, John C. Cavadini
8: The Ideal Interpreter, Peter W. Martens

Part III: Settings and Genres of Scriptural Interpretation
I Exegetical Genres
9: Commentaries, Josef Lössl
10: Scholia, Eric Scherbenske
11: Questions and Responses, Lorenzo Perrone
12: Paraphrase and Metaphrase, Andrew Faulkner
13: Catanae, Richard A. Layton
14: Sentences, Luke Dysinger, OSB

II Liturgical Interpretation
15: Catecheses and Homilies, Wendy Mayer
16: Poetry and Hymnody, Jeffrey Wickes
17: Liturgy as Performative Interpretation, L. Edward Phillips

III Narrative and Visual Interpretation
18: Christian Apocrypha, Stephen J. Shoemaker
19: Novels, F. Stanley Jones
20: Hagiography, Bronwen Neil
21: Visual Art, Robin M. Jensen

Part IV: Communities and Criteria
22: Christianity and Judaism, James Carleton Paget
23: Christians and Pagans, John Granger Cook
24: Marcion and His Critics, H. Clifton Ward
25: Gnostics and Their Critics, David Brakke
26: Manichaean Biblical Interpretation, Jason BeDuhn

Part V: Scripture in the Life of the Church
27: Scripture and Martyrdom, Johan Leemans and Anthony Dupont
28: Scripture in the Trinitarian Controversy, Lewis Ayres
29: Scripture in the Christological Controversies, Andrew Hofer, OP
30: Scripture and a Christian Empire, Michael Hollerich
31: Scripture and Asceticism, Elizabeth A. Clark

VI: Scriptural Figures and Motifs
32: Creation, Paul M. Blowers
33: Adam and Eve, Peter C. Bouteneff
34: Covenants, Everett Ferguson
35: Exodus, Michael Graves
36: Law, B. Lee Blackburn, Jr.
37: Psalms, Michael Cameron
38: Semon on the Mount, Mark W. Elliot
39: The Gospel of John, C. E. Hill
40: Paul the Apostle, Judith L. Kovacs
41: Cross, John Behr
42: Heaven and Hell, Jeffrey A. Trumbower

VII: Retrievals and Criticisms
43: Medieval Latin Reception, Franklin T. Harkins
44: Byzantine Reception, Mary B. Cunningham
45: Reception in the Renaissance and Reformation, Esther Chung-Kim
46: Modern Biblical Criticism and the Legacy of Pre-Modern Interpretation, Michael C. Legaspi
47: Retrievals in Contemporary Christian Theology, Matthew Levering


Edited by Paul M. Blowers, Dean E. Walker Professor of Church History, Emmanuel Christian Seminary at Milligan College, and Peter W Martens, Associate Professor of Early Christianity and Chair, Department of Theological Studies, Saint Louis University
Paul M. Blowers is Dean E. Walker Professor of Church History at Emmanuel Christian Seminary at Milligan College. He was formerly President of the North American Patristics Society from 2008-09. His publications include Maximus the Confessor: Jesus Christ and the Transfiguration of the World (2016) and Drama of the Divine Economy: Creator and Creation in Early Christian Theology and Piety (2012).
Peter W. Martens is Associate Professor of Early Christianity and Chair of the Department of Theological Studies at Saint Louis University. He is the author of Origen and Scripture: The Contours of the Exegetical Life (2012) and the critical edition Adrian's Introduction to the Divine Scriptures (2017).
Lewis Ayres, Jason BeDuhn, John Behr, B. Lee Blackburn, Jr., Paul M. Blowers, Lincoln H. Blumell, Peter C. Bouteneff, David Brakke, Michael Cameron, James Carleton Paget, John C. Cavadini, Reinhart Ceulemans, Esther Chung-Kim, Elizabeth A. Clark, John Cook, Mary B. Cunningham, Anthony Dupont, Fr. Luke Dysinger, OSB, Mark W. Elliott, Andrew Faulkner, Everett Ferguson, Michael Graves, Franklin T. Harkins, Charles E. Hill, Andrew Hofer, OP, Michael Hollerich, Robin M. Jensen, Stanley Jones, Judith L. Kovacs, Richard A. Layton, Johan Leemans, Michael C. Legaspi, Matthew Levering, Joseph T. Lienhard, SJ, Joseph Lössl, Peter W. Martens, Wendy Mayer, Bronwen Neil, Lorenzo Perrone, L. Edward Phillips, Eric Scherbenske, Stephen J. Shoemaker, Peter T. Struck, Tarmo Toom, Jeffrey A. Trumbower, H. Clifton Ward, Jeffrey Wickes, Frances Young