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Christ and peace among the nations: Patristic Exegesis from Isaiah 2.2-4 and Miche 4. 1-4

Funk, Peter (1989) Christ and peace among the nations: Patristic Exegesis from Isaiah 2.2-4 and Miche 4. 1-4. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This paper will investigate the interpretation that was given to the two parallel Old Testament textes Is- 2.2-4 and Mi. 4.1-4 in the Early Church. Particular attention will be paid to the significance of the promise of peace Is. 2,4/Mi 4.3f.The first part of both textes, the prophecy of the pilgrimage of the nations to Zion, is seen almost without exception as fulfilled in the church and in Christ. The interpretation of the promise of peace, however, undergoes distinct transformations. In pre-Constantine times, fulfillment in the peaceful acts of the Christians is seen, and in a more spiritual way, as a conversion from Evil to Good. Later Eusebius of Caesarea introduces a historical-political interpretation which sees the prophecy of peace, in conjunction with the spreading of the Gospel, as realized in the Pax Romana of the Roman Empire. This type of interpretation appears again, especially in the Antiochian tradition which emphasizes a historical interpretation (Heilsgeschichte) of the Old Testament. The commentators which generally come out of the Alexandrian tradition likewise draw upon this interpretation; however, these writers sometimes place an interpretation in the sense of the older tradition as a "spiritual" reading alongside the historical-political reading which should be understood on the level of its literal sense. The significance of the fulfillment of the promise of peace is ordered under the fulfillment of the entire prophecy in Christ and the church. Theodor of Mopsuestia, who, writing in the Antiochian tradition, arrives at the interpretation that the promise of peace is fulfilled with the return of the Jews from their imprisonment, represents an exception. In the time of the Germanic invasions, a commentator from the West (Avitus of Vienna) adds an apocalyptic-eschatologi- cal interpretation which sees the realization of the prophecy as coming with the approaching end of the world.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Theology
Thesis Date:1989
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Feb 2013 13:38

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