By Henning Graf Reventlow, Leo G. Perdue
From the very starting, Holy Scripture has constantly been interpreted Scripture, and its interpretation made up our minds the advance and the heritage of either early Judaism and the 1st centuries of the Christian church. during this quantity, the 1st of 4 at the background of Biblical Interpretation, readers will notice how the earliest interpreters of the Bible made the Scriptures come alive for his or her times—within the contexts and lower than the impacts of Hellenism, Stoicism, and Platonism, in addition to the interpretive equipment built in Alexandria. specific recognition is paid to innerbiblical interpretation (within the Hebrew Bible itself and within the New Testament’s studying of the Hebrew Bible), in addition to to the interpretive practices mirrored within the translation of the Septuagint and the writings of Qumran, Philo, the early rabbis, the apostolic fathers Barnabas and Clement, and early Christian leaders akin to Justin Martyr, Marcion, Irenaeus, and Origen.
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Additional resources for History of Biblical Interpretation, Vol. 1: From the Old Testament to Origen
The nymphs (water goddesses) are the souls, which come into the world and receive a body, because they seek moisture. The nymphs, with their purple materials on their stone weaving looms, are therefore the souls, because they weave around their bodies’ flesh and bones. Also the bees, which are housed in the amphora, are the souls. The work of the bees is the making of honey, the metaphor of sweetness and pleasures. The delight of the souls that come into the world is the incarnation (receiving flesh), which leads to fleshly associations whereby new incarnations originate.
A writing of the last important Neo-Platonic philosopher, Porphyry (232/233–305), called The Grotto of the Nymphs (De antro nympharum), provides an example. 102–112) in which Homer describes a cave on the Island of Ithaca, the homeland of Odysseus. The passage deals with the grotto of the nymphs (Naiads). In the grotto are found tankards, stone amphorae in which bees are housed, and stone weavers’ looms with strings of purple material. For Porphyry, the grotto represents the world, which is filled with darkness.
In the Septuagint the text reads: “Before him the word goes forth; winged shoes are on his feet” (like the sun god). The famous Egyptian water canals occur in their designations with technical terms (Exod 7:19; 8:5; Isa 19:6; 27:12; 33:21; 38:9), like the Nile marshes (Exod 2:3, 5; 7:19; 8:5; Isa 19:6; 33:9; 35:7; 41:18; 42:14). Even jewelry, clothing, and toiletries of noble women in Egypt have replaced the Hebrew expressions in Isa 3:8–24. During the period of the origin of the Septuagint translations after that of the Pentateuch, one is able to see an increase in the expectation of the end time.