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Heidegger's Bible Handbook: Old Testament in General: Patristic Interpreters


HOLY FATHERS: Athanasius,[1] Augustine, Chrysostom, Cyril,[2] Eucherius,[3] Jerome, Origen,[4] Procopius,[5] Rabanus Maurus,[6] Anselm of Laon.[7]


[1] Athanasius (c. 298-373) was bishop of Alexandria, and a great defender of Nicean orthodoxy.

[2] Cyril of Alexandria (c. 378-444) was a participant in the third ecumenical council, held at Ephesus. He repudiated the heretical Nestorian Christology but tended himself to the monophysitism.

[3] Eucherius (c. 380-c. 449) served as Bishop of Lyon. He is remembered for his life of self-denial, and for the defense of the allegorical and anagogical senses of Scripture.

[4] Origen (c. 185-c. 254) succeeded Clement of Alexandria as the head of the catechetical school in Alexandria. He was perhaps the greatest scholar of his age.

[5] Procopius of Gaza (c. 465-528) was a Christian rhetorician, teacher, and writer. He produced commentaries on much of the Old Testament in a catenic form (consisting of a series of extracts from the Fathers).

[6] Rabanus Maurus (c. 780-856) was a Benedictine monk and Archbishop of Mainz in Germany. He wrote theological treatises, an encyclopedia, a martyrology, and commentaries on most of the Old Testament, Matthew, and the Pauline Epistles, which were based chiefly on the exegetical writings of the Church Fathers and Bede.

[7] Anselm of Laon (died 1117) became the dean and chancellor of the cathedral school at Laon. The great contribution of Anselm and his school is the Glossa Ordinaria, a collection of Biblical glosses from the Church Fathers. This collection was begun by Anselm and completed by his students, and was eventually printed in the margins of the Vulgate. The Glossa Ordinaria became the standard commentary on the Scriptures in Western Europe. Anselm is also remembered for expelling Peter Abelard from his school (1113).

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