by Frank Muller
The Book (s) I am suggesting, and the podcast and video lecture all concern themselves with Scriptural Interpretation (and my man Origen). From the earliest days of the Church, we find that the Church through the Apostles taught that the OT prefigures and shows Christ himself. At its’ most basic level, if we read the Word of the OT in the Person of Jesus Christ and seek to understand that all things referenced there are referencing Himself as the Word and Will of God then Scripture becomes unified and illuminating.
Once this step is taken, then all of Jesus’s parables and teachings and even His emotions become remarkably clear; that He in fact is the Word of the OT just as much as the NT. No matter the allegory, the parable, the symbolism, the type of writing style used or the specific writers involved all somehow and incredibly speak to our Savior and His relationship with us. His real presence is reinforced at so many astonishing levels.
As the disciples are walking from Jerusalem after His crucifixion our Lord accompanies them and begins to show these devout Jews how the entirety of the OT Scripture should be read and interpreted in the light of Christ and their hearts began to burst in joy at the Revelation. His real presence became known to them through the interpretation of OT Scripture AND by the breaking of the bread (His Body). In some way, he never actually left the room, he simply became wholly present in the Eucharist and he accompanied them back to Jerusalem (and us all). Christ was present in the OT, he was present there on the road, and HE is present today through the Body of His Church and His body is also present today in the Blessed Sacrament.
When we go back to the beginning and understand that from the earliest moments of the Church this sacramental understanding of our Lord (and the nature of the OT worship of the same Lord that He commanded and instituted) we begin to see that our Lord did not come to get rid of the OT, he came to fulfill it perfectly so that His Will and His worship would be done here on Earth as it is in heaven.
Having said all that, the lens by which we interpret Scripture not only can unify but also divide. One cannot have a real dialogue about any point if two parties disagree on the interpretation methodology. Thus, we have tens of thousands (or more) of personal views. This topic therefore should be of primal importance to us all and it is in my view vital that we carefully understand the methodology behind what we are taught BEFORE we accept what is being taught. Much is at stake before even the first page is turned.
So, may the Holy Spirit be with us all as we watch, listen and read about Patristic exegesis and ponder with the Spirit what it may be saying to us.
Peace be with you all,