Chapter

Interpretation and the Construction of Jerome's Authority

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226899022.003.0004
Interpretation and the Construction of Jerome's Authority

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Jerome believed that the task of the commentator was to convey what others have said, not to advance his own interpretations. However, an examination of his commentaries on the Prophets shows that their contents are arranged so as to construct a powerful, but tacit, position of authority for their compiler. By juxtaposing Jewish and Greek Christian interpretations as he does, Jerome places himself in the position of arbiter over both exegetical traditions. But because he does not explicitly assert his own authority, he can maintain a stance of humility appropriate for a monk. Here, Jerome may have been a more authentic representative of the tradition of Origen than was his rival, for all that he was willing to abjure Origen's theology.

Keywords: Christian commentary; Saint Jerome; Prophets; exegesis; Origen; humility; Jewish; Greek Christian

Chapter.  15855 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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