Reading Moses in the School of St. Paul

Michael Cameron

in Christ Meets Me Everywhere

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199751297
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199950584 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Historical Theology

Reading Moses in the School of St. Paul

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Augustine's surprise ordination as priest by wily old Bishop Valerius of Hippo thrust him into a whole new world. Wrenched from his contemplative life, he was suddenly responsible for preaching salvation to crowds of unsophisticated Christians. So Augustine ransacked the Scriptures for help, studying Genesis (again), the Sermon on the Mount, and the Psalms. But above all it was St. Paul, who was already Augustine's ideal ascetic and religious philosopher, who offered Augustine an integral model for reading and preaching the Scriptures. Paul tutored Augustine in the deeply historical character of salvation that culminated in the coming of the incarnate Mediator. Christ's uniquely human will-to-death “took up” the curse of sin and punishment; that act not only brought redemption but also revealed the grace at work in ancient Israel. This insight refuted the Manichees, reformatted Augustine's reading of the Old Testament, and nourished his hearers in Hippo.

Keywords: Valerius; ministry; “Four Ages” schema; curse of Moses; death of Christ; redemption; to take up; suscipere; mediator; figurative realism

Chapter.  13958 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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