It’s been a while since I posted some quotes from the book I recently finished. The reasons are I’m busy and the book is long or technical too read. But anyways, here’s s some great quotes I got from a book I recently finished, How The Church Fathers Read the Bible by Gerald Bray published by Lexham Press. You can get your copy, both physical and digital by following this link.
“The fathers of the church could not know that we would still be reading their works today, nor could they have had any idea of how the gospel would spread across the world and take root in places of which they had never heard. Their faith has been vindicated in ways that they could not have known or suspected. We are called to learn from their example and to take heart in the fact that God has not changed, that his promises remain fi rm, and that in his good time he will reveal the fruits of our faith in the life of his people.”
“…we must always be cautious when reading the fathers and relying on their interpretations. They may be right in theological and doctrinal terms but mistaken in purely exegetical ones. They cannot be blamed for this, but neither should their opinions be given more weight than they deserve.”
“The essence of allegory is that it superimposes theological truths onto texts that appear to have lit t le or nothing to do with them. In this respect, allegory is similar to astrology, which purports to discern human destiny in the movement of the stars, when in reality the two are unconnected.”
“Let us admit that the fathers were sometimes carried away by their rhetoric, and that as preachers they often produced applications that went beyond what the text can reasonably justify.
But that human love at its best is still only a pale reflection of God.”
“It is now generally understood that the fathers had to speak the language of their time, because if they had not done so, they would not have been understood. But to claim that they capitulated to a Hellenistic worldview is going too far. They moved in a culture permeated by Platonism (or more precisely by its descendant, Neoplatonism) and worked with similar concepts, but patristic Christianity was far from being Neoplatonic in content or in inspiration.”
“Patristic biblical interpretation is therefore not just a form of literary archaeology of interest only to specialists. It is a battleground of ideas, in which the credibility of the Christian tradition is at stake.”
“The witnesses of past ages are now free to speak to us on their own terms, and we are willing to hear them out, even if any modern appropriation of their legacy is bound to be complex and possibly controversial.”
“For when all is said and done, the fathers moved the world of antiquity away from its inherited paganism to Christianity, a shift that was to be fundamental in the construction of our own civilization. They are voices from the past to be sure, but they have not been drowned out by modernity, and for those who have ears to hear, they can still convey to us what the Holy Spirit is saying to the church.”
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