Experiments in Exegesis

in The Monk and the Book

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780226899008
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226899022 | DOI:
Experiments in Exegesis

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Jerome became more willing to distance himself from his Greek sources and to emphasize his independent access to Jewish materials as his scholarly method matured. In order to represent his use of Hebrew and Jewish exegesis as a radical innovation, Jerome played down the central role of Jewish learning in Origen's own biblical scholarship—although he could not erase the connection completely, for Origen's example provided crucial legitimation for Jerome's engagement with a tradition regarded by most Christians with suspicion, if not hostility. At the same time, Jerome's mature commentaries continue to acknowledge, even to advertise, their indebtedness to Greek Christian allegorical exegesis. Jerome moved, over perhaps five to seven years, from an almost abject deference to Origen as ultimate authority, to a far more ambivalent relation to him both as a valued, but problematic source and a necessary but insufficient model.

Keywords: Saint Jerome; Greek sources; Origen; Greek Christian allegorical exegesis; Hebrew; exegesis; biblical scholarship

Chapter.  15732 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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