Eusebius as Exegete: Interpretive Method in the Commentary on Isaiah


in Eusebius of Caesarea’s Commentary on Isaiah

Published in print March 1999 | ISBN: 9780198263685
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191682636 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Early Christian Studies

Eusebius as Exegete: Interpretive Method in the Commentary on Isaiah

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This chapter examines Eusebius' intentions and his performance as a biblical interpreter in the Commentary on Isaiah. It shows that for Eusebius, the difference between ‘literal’ and ‘spiritual’ interpretation was similar to the difference between fact and interpretation. The first section of this chapter analyzes Eusebius' prefatory statement of purpose and his interpretive vocabulary. The second section describes Eusebius at work as a practitioner of the various tasks ancient grammar prescribed for understanding the literal meaning of a text. The third section explains his distinction between literal and spiritual interpretation. The last section situates Eusebius in the broader exegetical development of the third to fifth centuries.

Keywords: biblical interpretation; literal meaning; spiritual interpretation; preface

Chapter.  15961 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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