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Hermeneutic Applications from the Patristic Exegetes

James D. Johansen

Vol. 2, No. 2

Fall 2020

Pages: 112-141

DOI: 10.33929/sherm.2020.vol2.no2.07


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Ministry Research

James D. Johansen, Hermeneutics, Patristics, Historiography, Spiritual Formation, Genre

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This paper examines modern hermeneutic approaches and how patristic exegetes can complement interpretative methods. Modern hermeneutics apply different procedures depending on the genre. Kannengiesser’s Handbook of Patristic Exegesis is used to summarize patristic views by specific book and genre, while Russell’s Playing with Fire, Klein, Blomberg and Hubbard’s Introduction to Biblical Interpretation, and Kaiser and Silva’s, Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics frame the range of modern hermeneutic approaches. Perspectives on spiritual formation are addressed per genre since it is important for biblical interrelation and application and was valued by patristic exegetes like Augustine. The paper shows how patristic exegetes focused on the spiritual and seeking the Bible’s deeper meaning. It demonstrates how Russell’s spiritual formation emphasis aligns with Augustine’s spiritual burning that transformed his life and how this emphasis aligns with the patristic exegetes’ desire to seek deeper spiritual meaning in scripture.


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