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Spiritual Sense

Spiritual Sense of Scripture

Is the method of interpreting scripture used by the Fathers of the Church and the Medieval monks now obsolete because of the coming of scientific, historical-critical exegesis? Henri de Lubac, following the teaching of Pope Leo XIII through Pius XII and the Second Vatican...

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Jericho’s Walls Come Tumbling Down – Origen

Origen sees the fall of Jericho in the book of Joshua as a figure of the End of the world, the trumpets of the Israelites as foreshadowing the last trumpet of the angels, Rahab & her scarlet cord the Church saved by the blood of...

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Lamb that was Slain – Melito

Melito of Sardis, a 2nd century Father of the Church, shows how the Passover Lamb and many Old Testament realities, prefigure Christ and his suffering. This marvelous Holy Week reading is a great example of the spiritual sense of Scripture....

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Pedagogy of the Law – Irenaeus

Paul's concept of "pedagogy," further developed here by Irenaeus, holds that the whole period of the Old Testament with all its characters, events, and institutions, was a preparation for and foreshadowing of the fullness of revelation that was to come in Jesus Christ and his...

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Moses and Christ – John Chrysostom

Here John Chrysostom contrasts the Red Sea with baptism, Moses with Christ, showing us that while Old Testament realities point forward to the events of the New Covenant, they cannot begin to equal them. ...

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Eat your Bread with Joy – Gregory of Agrigentum

This excerpt from St. Gregory of Agrigentum is an example of the Early Church Father's spiritual interpretation of Scripture whereby realities of the Old Covenant are seen as pointing beyond themselves to Jesus Christ and the realities of the new dispensation. In this case, the...

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Precious and Life-Giving Cross — St. Theodore

St. Theodore the Studite here acclaims the cross as a life-giving tree that is the antidote to that tree in paradise that was Adam's undoing. Following the early Christian method of interpreting the Old Testament spiritually, he traces the many ways the wood of...

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Christ the Perfect Sacrifice – Fugentius

Here St. Fulgentius of Ruspe shows how all the animal sacrifices of the Old Testament were merely signs foreshadowing the ultimate sacrifice, the only sacrifice that could take away all sin and reconcile the human race with God, the self-offering of the Lord Jesus Christ...