A word on better biblical interpretation – examples from the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies

My review will post on Monday. I’ve been slow to read many of the books because of editing, travel, and health issues; however, they are soon to start rolling. Donald Carlson writes to examine the PS-Clementines, but in doing so he introduces us to a wider world of early Christian interpretation of both Jesus and Scriptures. While their Christology is often undefined (unless you compare the “throne of Jesus” to the “seat of Moses), they incorporate three elements of biblical interpretation we miss today. First, they take a “What Did Jesus Say” approach. Second, oral tradition is on par with Scripture, if not just a measure above it. Finally, they understand rationalism unlike many of us today. Augustine, I believe, saw some of this as well. We simply leave no room for the Logos to work when we read Scripture.

While I would love to see their version of false pericopes as an allowance for textual criticism, I believe this may interfere with the canon. After all, too many people simply pick and choose what they wish to believe anyway.

I recommend this book for a variety of reasons. First, it introduces to a truly unique version of Jewish-Christianity. Second, it introduces us to what I would consider a better way to interpret Scripture.

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