Thursday, February 18, 2010

St. Augustine and the Goal of Hermeneutics

St. Augustine has this to say about the end of Bible interpretation:

Accordingly, in regard to figurative expressions, a rule such as the following will be observed, to carefully turn over in our minds and meditate upon what we read till an interpretation be found that tends to establish the reign of love. Now, if when taken literally it at once gives a meaning of this kind, the expression is not to be considered figurative. [On Christian Doctrine, III.xv.23]

Mere theology doesn’t even enter the picture; rather, he says that we should read the Bible in order to be able to fulfill the two greatest commandments.

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