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Joach. Ehrenfried Pfeiffer, Institutiones hermeneuticæ sacræ, veterum atque recentiorum et propria quædam præcepta complexæ. Ecl. 1771.
Jo. Bened. Carpzovius, Primæ lineæ hermeneuticæ, et philologiæ sacræ cum vet. tum novi Test. brevibus aphorismis comprehensæ in usum lect. acadd, Helmst. 1790.
Geo. Fr. Seiler, Biblische Hermeneutik, oder Grundsaetze und Regeln zur Erklaerung der Heil. Sehr. des A. und N. T. Erl. 1800.
G. W. Meyer Grundriss einer Hermeneutik des A. und N. Test. und einer Anl. zur populaeren und pract. Schrifterklaerung, Goett. 1801.
Jo. Aug. Ernesti Institutio interpretis N. T. ad usus lectionum. Fourth edition. 1792.
J. Sal. Semler Apparatus ad liberalem N. T. interpretationem. Hal. 1767.
II. The method of interpreting the sacred writings, has undergone a great many changes. It has been regulated more by the disposition, object, piety, and even example of interpreters, than by any adequate and stable rules ; and the rules which were prescribed, were not in all cases, derived from the most proper sources. Before the advent, the Jews had begun to seek after various senses, in their sacred oracles, and those of Alexandria especially, were much attached to the allegorical method of interpretation. It is, therefore, not a matter of wonder, that this method was transferred to the christians, and preferred to that which was strictly grammatical. Even those writers, who did not entirely neglect the grammatical method of interpretation, were not free from the disposition to allegorize, then so prevalent. The Hermeneutical rules laid down, were not sufficiently recommended, by their liberality, correctness, order, and connection.
Notkeri libellus de illustribus viris, qui ex intentione S S. Scripturas exponebant. in Galland. N. Bibl. P P. xiii.
J. Geo. Rosenmuelleri Historia interpretationis librorum S S. in ecel. Christ. inde ab apostolorum aetate usque ad Origenem.
Phil. Henr. Schueler, Gesch. der populaeren Schrifterklaerung unter den Christen von dem Anfange des Christ. bis auf die gegenwaertigen Zeiten.
G. W. Meyer, Geschichte der Schrifterklaerung seit der Wiederherst. der Wiss. J. B. Goett. 1802.
Buddei Isag. hist. theol. ad Theologiam universam.
Rich. Simon, Histoire Critique des commentateurs du N. T. Rotterd. 1703.
On the origin of Allegorical Interpretation.-See
Chr. Gfr. Schuetzii Progr. Jenæ 1794.
Jo. Frid. le Bret de originibus et principiis allegorica sacrarum litt. interpretationis, Tub. 1795.
Eichhorn, Briefe der Bibl. Exegese betreffend, Bibl. der Bibl. Litt. vol. v.
The later Jews have followed the same method. See, Surenhusius B.B205 xatandayñs. Vitringa Obss. Sacr. III. Frommann, de erroribus, qui in interpretatione N. T. a Judæis manarunt, opuscc. p. 82.
Mosheim d. de Judæorum statuto Scripturæ sensum inflectendi.
On the method, in which Christ and the Apostles quoted and employed the 0. T., these writers have treated in the general, when explaining the passages in which such quotations occur.
In the first Christian Churches, as in the Synagogues, the chapters which had been previously read, were explained. Frommann, de hermeneuta veteris ecclesiæ Opp. Phil. p. 421. This practice was extended to the books of the N. T., and gradually gave rise to homilies, which were not without their influence upon the exposition of the Bible.
The Apostolical Fathers. The Christian Apologists who wrote in Greek—Justin Martyr, Athenagoras, Theophilus Alex. &c. Irenæus, Hippolytus, Methodius. The Apostolical constitutions. The Alexandrian Teachers, as Clemens Alexander.
Allegorical and Mystical exposition.-See
Jo. Christ. Cæster diss, de mysticarum interpretationum studio ab Aesyptiis maxime patribus repetendo. Hal. 1760.
On the Allegories of the Fathers, consult
J. G. Kærneri Prr. II. de allegorica interpretandi ratione.--L. 1782.
Origen by no means entirely neglected grammatical interpretation. See, J. A. Ernesti. d. de Origene interpretationis LL. SS. grammaticæ auctore L. 1756, in Opuscc. Rosenmueller Progr. de fatis interpretationis litt. SS. in Eccl. Christ.
The Latin Fathers were even less skilled in interpretation. Tertullian, Cyprian, Lactantius.
During the 4th, 5th, and 6th centuries, the Greek Church produced several interpreters of rather better character. Many grammatical Commentaries of this period have perished. The most distinguished Greek writers were, Eusebius, Chrysostom, Isidore of Pelusium, Theodoret, Procopius of Gaza.
The doctrinal interpreters, were, Athanasius, Basil the Great, Gregory of Nyssa, and Gregory Nazianzen, Cyril of Alexandria, &c. &c.
Among the Latins, Hilary, Ambrose, Arnobius, jun., Victor of Capua, and especially Jerome, Augustine, and Gregory the Great, who were long leaders to later writers. J. G. Rosenmueller, Pr. de traditione hermeneutica, L. 1786.
During this period, some rules on Interpretation were laid down-See
Hieronymi Epist. ad Pammachium de optimo genere interpretandi. Tya chonii Regulæ VII. ad investigandam intelligentiam SS. SS. Augustin, LL. IV. de doctrina Christ. Adriuai sidaywyn eis tas deias y papas
III. From the 7th to the 16th century, very few examples of correct interpretation are to be found. The writings of that period, exhibit the judgment and success of their authors in selecting the opinions of the ancients, rather than their own skill in exposition. For the authority of the early teachers was so great, that most writers preferred selecting scholia from their works, and forming, what are called Catenæ Patrum, than to write original commentaries. These formularies were of such weight, that all expositors followed them, excepting so far, as the study of philosophy and fondness for allegorical and mystical interpretation, led to the neglect of all hermeneutical rules. There was no regular system of interpretation inculcated, until after the revival of letters, when some writers arose to vindicate the claims of grammatical exposition.
The most distinguished writers among the Greeks during this period, were, Oecumenius, Theophilact Achridensis, Euthymius Zigabenus, who flourished from the 10th to the 12th centuries. Besides these, were, Maximus the Confessor, of the 7th. John Damascenus, of the 8th. Photius Cpoli, Simeon Metaphrastes, of the 9th, and Theophanes Cerameus.
The most memorable among the Latins, were the Venerable Bede, of the 7th century, Alcuin of the Sth, Paschasius Ratbertus, and Rhabanus Maurus of the 9th.
In the Latin Church appeared the Glossa Ordinaria et interlinearis.
In the Greek Church, Catenæ, Scholia, and Glossaries. See on these, the following authors.
Tho. Ittig. de Bibliothecis et catenis Patrum.
J. C. Wolf, diss. de catenis patrum græcorum iisque potissimum MSS. 1712.
J. F. S. Augustin, d. præs. J. A. Nosselt, observatione de catenis P P. græcorum in N. T. 1762. Wolf, Anecdota Græca.
Jo. Alberti first edited from MSS. a Greek Glossary, and illustrated it with notes.
J. Chr. Gottlieb Ernesti selected, corrected and amended the Glosses of Hesychius.
The Latin Church produced several similar works.
Lanfranci Scholia in Epp. Pauli.
Thomæ Aquinatis Catena aurea in IV. Evangg. The authority of the ancient interpreters was confirmed by the Council in Trullo DCXCII,
Many endeavoured to unite the allegorical and literal interpretation. Bruno Astensis. John Gerson Propositiones de sensu literali, S. Scr. et de causis errorum.
The works of Nic. Lyranus, Paulus Burgensis, Jo. Wicklife, Nic. De Gorsam, Laur. Valla, and Desid. Erasmus, were of a much higher character.
On the earlier vernacular Versions-See
Schueler I. p. 150. G. W. Panzer, Litt. Nachricht von den alleraeltesten gedruckten deutschen Biblen, aus dem 15ten Jahrh.
IV. When the reformation commenced, its beneficial influence was soon experienced by the interpretation of the Bible. The Reformers, did not, indeed, entirely reject the authority of the Fathers, yet they greatly distinguished themselves in the study and illustration of the Scriptures, and opened the way of grammatical interpretation, which Matthias Flacius was the first to prosecute. When theological controversies had, unfortunately, drawn off the attention of those of our communion from exegetical pursuits, interpreters arose among the Socinians and Arminians, whose subtle and free method of exposition, excited ill will towards themselves, and towards some who did not entirely agree with them. The most distinguished of this class, was Hugo Grotius. During this same period, the Jansenists were advocating the practical, the Cocceians the allegorical and typical mode of interpretation.-Consult,
Jo. Herm. Jani Liber histor, de Luthero studii Biblici instauratore. Hal. 1732.
Jo. Melch. Kraft, Vorlaeuf. Abh, der Historie der deutschen Bibelucbersetzung. Hamb, 1714.