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By David Tracy, Robert McQueen Grant

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The necessity of allegorization he finds demonstrated by scripture itself: We must mm to allegory, the method dear to men with their eyes opened. Indeed the sacred oracles most evidently afford us the clues for the use of this method. For they say that in the garden (of Eden) there are trees in no way resembling those with which we are familiar, but trees of Life, of Immortality, of Knowledge, of Apprehension, of Understanding, of the conception of good and evil [Plant. 361. Certain principles guide us in its application.

How can you, Valentinus, undertake to change the course of my springs? ” By inheritance from the apostles I possess the scriptures, and I alone (Pr. 35-40). 76 A SHORT HISTORY OF THE INTERPRETATION OF THE BIBLE The differentiation among the three types of prescription is more apparent than real. It makes the argument look more impressive; but actually the argument of Tertullian is based on one fact, the actuality of possession. The form in which it is set is based on Roman law, according to which a defendant could request of a magistrate a “prescription,” to be placed at the beginning of a bill.

It is an answer to Celsus’s charge that Christians do not wish to give or to receive a reason for their belief, that they keep repeating “Do not examine, but believe” (Origen, Con. Cels. 9). Origen, like other Christians of his time, 62 A SHORT HISTORY OF THE INTERPRETATION OF THE BIBLE distinguishes between the wisdom of the world and true wisdom; he also claims that the Christian is not to be a fool but to be a fool towards the wisdom of the world. 13). The allegorical method, at a critical moment in Christian history, made it possible to uphold the rationality of Christian faith.

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