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

By D. S. Wallace-Hadrill

This booklet is a entire survey of the heritage and, extra fairly, of the idea of Antioch from the second one to the 8th centuries of the Christian period. Dr Wallace-Hadrill strains the spiritual history of Antiochene Christianity and examines intimately features of its highbrow existence: the exegesis of scripture, the translation of heritage, philosophy, and the doctrine of the character of God as utilized to an realizing of Christ and man's salvation. The group at Antioch under pressure heritage 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 could be allowed to compromise their primary trust that Jesus was once particularly human.

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Without doubt the fuel of docetic teaching continued to stoke the fires of Antiochene doctrine throughout the second century. Marcion of Pontus, who died about 160, is associated with Rome rather than the east, but his teaching, which was little concerned with the cosmological fantasies of mainstream gnosticism and was more concerned with the contrast between the supreme being of pure benevolence and the legalistic creator-deity, was of immense influence throughout the east. In Marcion we find strong denigration of the material universe, of the Jewish dispensation as narrated in the Old Testament, of the Jewish creator-God and of his moral law, and of the evil of bodily life in flesh and blood.

I was wishing to say this to them, that by distorting historical fact they no longer have any historical fact left to them. But having committed themselves to this kind of scriptural exegesis they have to say what is the basis of their answers to the questions: Who was the first created human being? or how did disobedience come to exist? or how did the sentence of mortality come to be imposed upon the human race? ' Theodore goes on to define the meaning of Paul's term 'Allegory': a comparison of actions performed long ago with those which take place at the present time.

The Jewish institution of sacrifice could be allowed to prefigure the greater sacrifice of Christ. Events involving water could on occasion point forward to Christian baptism. g. water, sacrifice and so on. This was not allegorizing. It was the practice of theoria, insight, which enabled the Christian to see what could not be seen by people living in the old dispensation. 49 Lacking Theodore's five books Against the Allegorists, of which Facundus writes, we lack what we may assume to have been Theodore's developed statement of his exegetical position.

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