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The Theology of Jonathan Edwards$
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Michael J. McClymond and Gerald R. McDermott

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199791606

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199791606.001.0001

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Biblical Exegesis

Biblical Exegesis

(p.167) 11 Biblical Exegesis
The Theology of Jonathan Edwards

Michael J. McClymond

Gerald R. McDermott

Oxford University Press

Edwards's exclusively exegetical works fill nearly five volumes in the Yale edition. As an eighteenth-century exegete, his approach may be distinguished from the Enlightenment thinkers, Roman Catholics, and radical evangelicals. Central to Edwards's approach to Biblical interpretation was the “sense of the heart.” The same divine illumination that caused the saint to perceive the beauty of God amid the wonders of the natural world also caused the saint to see both the surface level and the deeper meanings contained in holy writ. Without abandoning the foundational role of the literal sense, he showed a tilt toward the spiritual sense. Identifying the spiritual sense of scripture ultimately allows the interpreter to place all the pieces of the Old and New Testaments into a coherent whole.

Keywords:   exegesis, types, typology, allegory, sense of the heart, four senses, spiritual sense, illumination

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