By F. Stanley Jones, JONES

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Extra info for An Ancient Jewish Christian Source on the History of Christianity: Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions 1.27 71

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Despite this philosophical shift, however, allegorical exegesis was so fi rmly part of the Church’s tradition of biblical interpretation that the rise of Aristotelianism did not result in the immediate decline of allegorical exegesis. Nevertheless, the impact of Aristotelianism increasingly prompted scholars to focus more on what the Bible itself actually said rather than seeing it as a collection of symbols of deeper realities beyond the text. A good example of this shift in focus is provided by Albertus Magnus (1200–1280), who emphasized the literal sense of the text and the importance of authorial intention.

Now I’ve let them go, and this is my last and best art, to translate the Scriptures in their plain sense. The literal sense does it – in its there’s life, comfort, power, instruction, and skill. ’67 For Luther, allegorical interpretation is permitted only where Scripture clearly intends a metaphorical or figurative meaning. It should not be employed as a universal method of interpretation. Luther also challenged the right of the Church to determine the understanding of Scripture. His doctrine of sola scriptura affirmed Scripture as the sole authority for the Christian, an authority to which the Church and its dogmas are also subject.

This partly explains the medieval Church’s resistance to vernacular translations of the Scriptures. It was felt that to make the Scriptures freely available to the common people would result in a misunderstanding or misuse of the Scriptures. This view was confirmed for many in the Church hierarchy by the fact that scholars who attempted to provide vernacular translations, such as Wycliffe, frequently held views which the Church considered to be heretical. The availability of the Bible in the language of the people also encouraged individualism in interpretation.

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An Ancient Jewish Christian Source on the History of by F. Stanley Jones, JONES
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