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With Reverence for the WordMedieval Scriptural Exegesis in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam$
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Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Barry D. Walfish, and Joseph W. Goering

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195137279

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195137279.001.0001

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An Introduction to Medieval Christian Biblical Interpretation

An Introduction to Medieval Christian Biblical Interpretation

(p.197) 12 An Introduction to Medieval Christian Biblical Interpretation
With Reverence for the Word

Joseph W. Goering

Oxford University Press

The Christian Bible is made up of two parts, the Old Testament and the New Testament, both of which were understood throughout the Middle Ages as the divinely revealed word of God. The New Testament adds the four Gospel accounts of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, a history of the early Christian community (the Acts of the Apostles), twenty-one pastoral letters ascribed to the Apostles Paul, Peter, John, James, and Jude, and the Apocalypse of Saint John. One of the unusual characteristics of the early Christian communities is their insistence on the importance of unity. Also, medieval biblical interpretation continually returned to, and built upon, the work of earlier generations. Indeed, in the coherence of the old and the new it found a strong proof of its authenticity, and in incoherence, a prima facie intimation of error. Because of this medieval insistence on the unity and continuity of Christian exegesis across time and space, it will be well to sketch very briefly the broad outlines of its history.

Keywords:   Christian Bible, Old Testament, New Testament, Middle Ages, biblical interpretation, unity, continuity, Christian exegesis

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