Patristic Exegesis:

The Myth of the Alexandrian-Antiochene Schools of Interpretation


Darren M. Slade

Slade is the Co-Founder and Research Director for the FaithX Project, as well as a staff member at the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design. Having earned his PhD from the Rawlings School of Divinity (Virginia), Dr. Slade is now a theological historian, systematician, and critical rationalist philosopher who specializes in historic-speculative theology, theoretical metaphysics, and the socio-political development of religious belief systems. His academic publications include topics ranging from the philosophy of religion, ancient Near Eastern and Second-Temple hermeneutical practices, church and Islamic history, and the psychology of religion. Several of his publications are available for free at darrenmslade.academia.edu.


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Article Information:

Author: Darren M. Slade

Title: "Patristic Exegesis: The Myth of the Alexandrian-Antiochene Schools of Interpretation"

Journal: Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry

Journal Issue: Volume 1, Number 2

Date: Fall 2019

Pages: 155-176

DOI: https://doi.org/10.33929/sherm.2019.vol1.no2.03

Abstract

The notion that there existed a distinction between so-called “Alexandrian” and “Antiochene” exegesis in the ancient church has become a common assumption among theologians. The typical belief is that Alexandria promoted an allegorical reading of Scripture, whereas Antioch endorsed a literal approach. However, church historians have long since recognized that this distinction is neither wholly accurate nor helpful to understanding ancient Christian hermeneutics. Indeed, neither school of interpretation sanctioned the practice of just one exegetical method. Rather, both Alexandrian and Antiochene theologians were expedient hermeneuts, meaning they utilized whichever exegetical practice (allegory, typology, literal, historical) that would supply them with their desired theology or interpretive conclusion. The difference between Alexandria and Antioch was not exegetical; it was theological. In other words, it was their respective theological paradigms that dictated their exegetical practices, allowing them to utilize whichever hermeneutical method was most expedient for their theological purposes. Ultimately, neither Alexandrian nor Antiochene exegetes possessed a greater respect for the biblical text over the other, nor did they adhere to modern-day historical-grammatical hermeneutics as theologians would like to believe.


 

Keywords: Hermeneutics, Alexandria, Antioch, Exegesis, Allegory, Literal, Typology,

Schools of Interpretation

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Citation Examples:

Turabian/Chicago:

(footnote) Darren M. Slade, “Patristic Exegesis: The Myth of the Alexandrian-Antiochene Schools of Interpretation,” Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry 1, no. 2 (Fall 2019): 155-76, https://doi.org/10.33929/sherm.2019.vol1.no2.03.

(bibliography) Slade, Darren M. “Patristic Exegesis: The Myth of the Alexandrian-Antiochene Schools of Interpretation,” Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry 1, no. 2 (Fall 2019): 155-76. https://doi.org/10.33929/sherm.2019.vol1.no2.03.

MLA:

Slade, Darren M. “Patristic Exegesis: The Myth of the Alexandrian-Antiochene Schools of Interpretation.” Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry, vol. 1, no. 2, Fall 2019, doi.org/10.33929/sherm.2019.vol1.no2.03, pp. 155-76.

APA:

Slade, D. M. (2019). Patristic Exegesis: The Myth of the Alexandrian-Antiochene Schools of Interpretation. Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry, 1(2), 155-176. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.33929/sherm.2019.vol1.no2.03.


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