3603330964_f4b2b78f11_z

Pre-Modern Readings of Genesis 1

Biologos posted a three part reflection on Pre-Modern readings of Genesis 1 that are worth a closer look. And no matter what your particular way of reading this portion of Scripture, let’s pay attention to what edifies the Church and whether our reading contributes to that.

From Part I of the series:

Key theologians of the early church (such as Origen and Augustine, as we’ve discussed) read Scripture with multiple senses and meanings—with a literal sense and multiple spiritual senses. However, not all fully agreed with this methodology. Though most all would certainly hold to multiple senses of Scripture, some readers insisted upon a more profound attention to the literal sense, and the use of the literal sense to help restrain or hold in check the possible spiritual readings. Such 3rd- and 4th-century Church fathers, as St. Basil the Great, John Chrysostom, St. Ambrose, and Theodore of Mopsuestia insisted upon a much more restrained literal reading of Genesis 1.6

Yet even those who insist upon a more literal—or more historical—interpretation of Genesis 1 still contended that the primary purpose of any reading was to edify the Church, which entails setting forth the key theological teachings of Genesis 1, rather than focus on the material specifics. Again, such teachings include that the world is created, that God create the world out of nothing, and that the creation account demonstrates the great order and harmony of creation as a testimony of the God’s glory, beauty, and goodness.7

Image by P K. Sourced via Flickr

Category:
Tags: , , ,

Related Reading

The One True Image of God: God’s Self-Portrait, Part 4

This point is emphasized throughout the New Testament because, if we don’t get this, we are left to our own imaginations about God, and we’ll draw from a multitude of different sources to construct a mental picture of God that will, to one degree or another, fall short of the beauty of the true God…

Revelation 13:8 refers to “everyone whose names have not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life.” How does that square with open theism?

Three possibilities exist in terms of reconciling Revelation 13:8 with open theism. 1) First, the “from the foundation of the world” clause can attach to either “everyone whose names have not been written” or to “the lamb that was slain.” For example, the TNIV translates this passage “All inhabitants of the earth will worship the…

The Bible is Infallible NOT Inerrant

While the cruciform understanding (explained here) of the “God-breathed” nature of Scripture is in tension with the way most talk about inerrancy (See previous post on inerrancy), I do not believe it is at all incompatible with what the Church has always sought to express by affirming the “infallibility” the Scripture. The core conviction is that Scripture will…

The Key to Understanding the Bible

In yesterday’s post we discussed how Jesus is the starting point for interpreting Scripture. If this is the case and Jesus is the subject matter of all Scripture, then the ultimate challenge is to disclose how each aspect of Scripture bears witness to his subject. To state it otherwise, if the intended function of all Scripture is to mediate…

The Beautifully Bizarre Entangled You

Reality is not always what it seems. We get lulled into treating our miraculous lives as something ordinary if we’re not paying close attention. Last weekend Greg preached on some of the more bizarre findings of quantum physics and what this this reveals about how beautifully entangled we are with God and with one another.…

One Word

While I’ve lately been pretty distracted finishing up Benefit of the Doubt (Baker, 2013), my goal is to sprinkle in posts that comment on the distinctive commitments of ReKnew a couple of times a week. I’m presently sharing some thoughts on the second conviction of ReKnew, which is that Jesus Christ is the full and…