Recovering the Riches of Premodern Exegesis

Monday, 16 Jul 2007

Rather than engaging in an endless search for the "real" meaning of the text which once existed in the mind of the author, premodern exegetes read the Scriptures as a text rich with divinely-intended meaning.
In his preface to the 1545 Wittenberg edition of his Latin writings, Martin Luther provided an autobiographical account of his discovery of the meaning of the Gospel. There the old doctor recounted the story of that all-important time when, as a young theologian troubled by his sin and by the threat of God's justice, he had hammered away at Paul until he discovered the evangelical meaning hidden in the enigmatic words of Romans 1:17: "For in it [i.e., in the Gospel], the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, 'But ...

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