vendredi 14 mars 2014

Literal Sense vs Literalistic Approach, Allegoric Sense vs Figurative Approach

1) Creation vs. Evolution : If some pseudo-orthodox thinks Patristic and Literal interpretation of Genesis are incompatible ..., 2) CMI on Allegorical Method - Answered, 3) Literal Sense vs Literalistic Approach, Allegoric Sense vs Figurative Approach, 4) Great Bishop of Geneva! : Congratulating Lita Cosner on agreeing basically with StThomas Aquinas, 5) Mark Shea's Understanding of Scripture, 6) HGL's F.B. writings : Neither Sungenis nor Palm is totally right on Psalm 18 (Sungenis is less off)

It is commonplace that Church Fathers were not only talking about the Literal Sense but also about the Allegoric Sense of any given Old Testament passage. It is an exegesis which as a Catholic Christian I think God Incarnate, Our Lord Jesus Christ, during the Forty Days between Resurrection and Ascension gave his Apostles.

It would include an Allegoric Sense of Abraham's Sacrifice. As very detailed prophetic reference to the Crucifixion. Isaac and Christ both carry wood to where they are to be sacrificed. It would include Fleece of Gideon and Enmity between Woman and Snake as references to the Sinlessness (and in the case of the wet fleece on dry ground also Virginal Giving Birth to Christ) of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Any given sense might either be directly from what Christ said during those days, or derived from it by similarity of thought process.

Unfortunately, this has become mixed up with a very other question. Namely that of Literalistic or Figurative approach to things like Globality of Flood and number and length of Six Days.

Apart from the Allegoric reading, certain authors and fathers also had a Figurative approach, not to Globality of Flood, but to number and length of six days. Philo, Origen, Clement, St Augustine, and a question mark on whether the Stromatist should also be considered a Saint and a Father, are pretty often at least supposed to have endorsed a Figurative approach to the Six days. It has been dogmatised by the Palmarian Catholics, among whom I previously was. I will not condemn it.

I will however insist on this point: all figurative readings of length of days are clearly NOT in favour of an "old" universe.

None of them is anything like "day-age theory" (the people who think they find Patristic support for that one think wrongly, because they are really looking at St Ausgustine's Allegoric Parallelism between the Six Days of Creation and the Six Ages of History), none of them is anything like Cuvierist Barnes' "gap theory", none of them thinks it was never meant as a factual account at all, none of them take the genealogy of Christ in St Luke in anything but a literalistic approach in ist literal sense.

If Adam was created on a literal Day Six, and if "God's Spirit moved over the waters" for no long time ("in wenig Stunden hat Gott das Rechte gefunden")*, less than 24 hours at least, since a week has less than 200 hours, Adam was created less than 200 hours after Heaven and Earth. But if he was created in a single moment creation, obviously also he was created less than 200 hours after Heaven and Earth. A single moment that creates both Heaven and Earth and Adam and Eve cannot imply or even tolerate that Adam and Eve were created more than 200 hours after the Universe.

And the figurative senses (while exposing literal rather than allegoric sense, of course) that would come to mind to modern readers, not just contemporary ones, but contemporary minded ones, are precisely those that have no Patristic support at all.

If even Calvinists can get it right that Origen and St Augustine (notably in De Civitate Dei, which I read in a Swedish translation once) never ever as Christian wrighters admired Egyptian 40.000 year old universe scenarios but repudiated them as so much "bragging about profound knowledge of history" - profound in the eyes of their dupes - how come there are supposed Catholics who cannot get it right?

Some of them have perhaps not mastered that - supposing we assign arbitrarily the worth "16" to the Carbon 14 content of our athmosphere - a measured "2" (eight times less in sample than in athmosphere) is its same amount regardless of background, since 2 = 2, whether it be "16:8" (three halflives from an athmosphere same Carbon 14 content) or "4:2" (one halflife from an athmosphere with 4 times less Carbon 14 than ours at present). Too bad if they are as bad at basic mathematics as they are at exegesis of Church Fathers.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
St Mathilda of Halberstatt
Queen of Germany**

* Goethe was alas a freemason, but he was right on this one.

** Before that meant Prussia, of course!

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