Author: TIAN Haihua, Professor at the Institute of Religious Studies, Sichuan University
Abstract:Augustine of Hippo played a historically important role as a biblical scholar, with Platonic philosophy, especially the neo-Platonism of Plotinus, one of the important sources for his reading of the Bible. In the process of refuting heresy, Augustine wrote a variety of exegetical works and constructed his theological system on the basis of the Bible. His De Doctrina Christiana demonstrates his views on the Bible, his principles of exegetical engagement, and his attitude towards the Old Testament. In his works Confessiones, De Genesi Ad Litteram, and De Civitate Dei, he discusses in various places the Genesis creation narrative, explaining how God’s creation is “ex nihilo,” and integrating his views on the Logos, the beginning of the world and the doctrine of the Trinity. Through a select reading of Augustine’s works, this article focuses on his exegesis of Genesis 1-3, to examine Augustine’s biblical views and show how his reading of the Bible influenced biblical interpretation in the Middle Ages and the period of the Reformation.
Augustine, biblical interpretation, De Doctrina Chris-tiana, Genesis 1-3, Neo-Platonism
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