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Syriac and Antiochian Exegesis and Biblical Theology for the 3rd Millennium


Edited by Robert D. Miller
The observation that scholarly work on the Bible is of little use to theologians is the starting premise for this volume. As a possible solution to this impasse, the contributors explore the potential insights provided by a distinct tradition of biblical interpretation that has its roots in both the patristic School of Antioch and in the Syriac Fathers, such as Ephrem and Jacob of Sarug, and which has survived and developed in the Churches of the Antiochene Patrimony, such as the Maronite and Syriac.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-59333-487-1
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Dec 16,2008
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 296
ISBN: 978-1-59333-487-1
$156.00

The observation that scholarly work on the Bible is of little use to theologians is the starting premise for this volume. As a possible solution to this impasse, the contributors explore the potential insights provided by a distinct tradition of biblical interpretation that has its roots in both the patristic School of Antioch and in the Syriac Fathers, such as Ephrem and Jacob of Sarug, and which has survived and developed in the Churches of the Antiochene Patrimony, such as the Maronite and Syriac. Some of the essays have a patristic focus, examining Aphrahat (Craig Morrison), Ephrem (Sidney Griffith), the 4th-century Book of Steps (Robert Kitchen), John Chrysostom (Paul Tarazi), and other Syriac fathers (Edward Mathews). Others engage with modern historical-critical method more directly (Angela Harkins, Stephen Ryan, Anthony Salim). Another still challenges the very assumption assumed by other contributors of an Antiochene “School” (John O’Keefe). The volume concludes with a series of responses from Paul Russell, Robert Miller, and Ronald Beshara, respectively, that consider the various essays from different angles. Here one of the key questions asked is whether biblical interpretation done “with Antioch” is relevant to the church today.

The observation that scholarly work on the Bible is of little use to theologians is the starting premise for this volume. As a possible solution to this impasse, the contributors explore the potential insights provided by a distinct tradition of biblical interpretation that has its roots in both the patristic School of Antioch and in the Syriac Fathers, such as Ephrem and Jacob of Sarug, and which has survived and developed in the Churches of the Antiochene Patrimony, such as the Maronite and Syriac. Some of the essays have a patristic focus, examining Aphrahat (Craig Morrison), Ephrem (Sidney Griffith), the 4th-century Book of Steps (Robert Kitchen), John Chrysostom (Paul Tarazi), and other Syriac fathers (Edward Mathews). Others engage with modern historical-critical method more directly (Angela Harkins, Stephen Ryan, Anthony Salim). Another still challenges the very assumption assumed by other contributors of an Antiochene “School” (John O’Keefe). The volume concludes with a series of responses from Paul Russell, Robert Miller, and Ronald Beshara, respectively, that consider the various essays from different angles. Here one of the key questions asked is whether biblical interpretation done “with Antioch” is relevant to the church today.

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Contributor Biography

Robert Miller

Robert Miller holds a PhD in Hebrew Bible from the University of Michigan, and is currently Associate Professor of Old Testament at the Catholic University of America. His is the author of Chieftains of the Highland Clans (2005), Syriac and Antiochian Exegesis and Biblical Theology for the 3rd Millennium (2008), and Oral Tradition in Ancient Israel (2011).

  • Table of Contents (page 5)
  • Introduction (page 7)
  • The Bible in the Hands of Aphrahat the Persian Sage (page 9)
    • Introduction (page 9)
    • The Term ta?witha, “Demonstration” (page 11)
    • Aphrahat’s Biblical Citations (page 19)
    • How Aphrahat cites the Bible (page 21)
    • Aphrahat cites Jer 18:7–10 (page 22)
    • Aphrahat cites Dan 2:44 (page 25)
    • Aphrahat cites Gen 1:29–30 and 9:3–4 (page 26)
      • Gen 1:29–30 (page 27)
      • Gen 9:2–4 (page 27)
      • Deut 12:16 (=Deut 15:23) (page 28)
      • Deut 12:23 (page 28)
      • Deut 12:27 (page 28)
    • Aphrahat cites 2 Kings 2:11 (page 29)
    • Conclusion: Aphrahat’s biblical citations (page 31)
    • Aphrahat’s reflections on biblical exegesis (page 31)
    • St. Ephrem the Exegete (page 36)
    • The Collection of the ‘Teaching Songs’ De Paradiso and their Setting in the Life of the Church (page 46)
    • The Setting of the Teaching Songs De Paradiso (page 49)
    • The Teaching of the ‘Teaching Songs’ De Paradiso (page 54)
      • A. Reading the Bible’s Images and Types of Paradise (page 54)
      • B. The Spiritual Geography of Paradise and Paradise Restored (page 57)
  • Slouching Towards Antioch:Biblical Exposition in the Syriac Book of Steps (page 61)
    • Parable of the Wedding Feast (Matthew 22:2–13; Luke 14:15–24) (page 65)
    • Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1–10) (page 67)
    • Hardening of Pharaoh’s Heart (Exodus 5–11) (page 70)
    • On the Real Meaning of Kill and Eat (page 72)
    • Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11–32) (page 74)
    • Lazarus and the Rich Man (Luke 16:19–31) (page 77)
    • Paul and Ananais (Acts 9:11–15) (page 80)
    • The Unforgiving Debtor (Matthew 18:23–25) (page 81)
    • Where Does Exegesis Begin? (page 84)
    • Slouching Towards Antioch (page 85)
  • Chrysostom on Isaiah: A Paradigm for Hearing Scripture (page 89)
    • Introduction (page 89)
    • Alexandria and Antioch (page 92)
    • Thesis and purpose of this essay (page 94)
    • Divine Condescension—s???at?ßas?? (page 96)
    • The function of Scripture (page 102)
    • The authority of Scripture (page 105)
    • Scripture is to be “heard” (page 112)
    • Love for the Neighbor (page 117)
    • John of the Golden Mouth (page 119)
  • “What Manner of Man?”: Early Syriac Reflections on Adam (page 123)
    • Ephrem (page 127)
    • Narsai (page 135)
    • Isaac of Antioch (page 140)
    • Jacob of Sarug (page 144)
    • Jacob of Edessa (page 150)
    • Conclusion (page 154)
  • What do Syriac/Antiochene Exegesis and Textual Criticism have to do with Theology? (page 159)
    • Introductory Comments on the Modern Study of the Bible (page 161)
    • Using Secular Interpretive Strategies (page 170)
    • How Can a Textual Criticism Assist in Arriving at a Pre-Modern Understanding of Scripture? (page 179)
    • Textual Criticism: Before and After the Scrolls (page 180)
    • So What? (page 189)
    • Concluding Statements (page 194)
  • Psalm 22 in Syriac Tradition (page 197)
    • Introduction (page 197)
    • Psalm 22 in Syriac Translation and Tradition (page 200)
      • Psalm 22 in Syriac Translation (page 200)
      • Psalm 22 in Syriac Liturgies (page 203)
    • Ps 22 in Syriac Biblical Commentaries (page 204)
      • Athanasiana Syriaca (page 204)
      • Daniel of Salah (6th cent) and Daniel of Tella (page 204)
      • Ishodad (9th cent) (page 206)
      • Denha (9th cent) (page 207)
      • Dionysius Bar Salibi (12th cent) (page 208)
    • Conclusion (page 211)
      • Syriac Old Testament Commentary and Vall’s Method C Approach (page 211)
      • Brian Daley on Early Christian Interpretation of the Psalms (page 215)
  • Catechetical, Liturgical, and Biblical Implications of the ?usoyo in Contemporary Maronite Tradition (page 231)
    • Background (page 231)
    • The ?usoyo in Current Maronite Liturgical Practice (page 233)
    • Functions of the ?usoyo (page 234)
    • Catechesis (page 235)
    • A Catechetical Illustration (page 236)
    • Biblical Interpretation (page 241)
    • An Illustration of Typology (page 242)
    • Not Joseph’s Dilemma, but Ours (page 246)
    • The ?usoyo as Prayer (page 247)
    • Conclusion (page 248)
    • Appendix: A Select Bibliography (page 248)
  • Rejecting one’s Masters:Theodoret of Cyrus, Antiochene exegesis, and the Patristic mainstream (page 251)
  • Response from Patristic Theology (page 273)
  • An Historical Critic’s Response (page 281)
  • A Pastoral Theologian’s Response (page 289)
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