Friday, June 12, 2009

Gregory Of Nyssa On The Figural Reading Of Scripture

“By an appropriate contemplation of the text, the philosophy hidden in its words [may] become manifest, once the literal meaning has been purified by a correct understanding. Paul somewhere calls the shift from the corporeal to the spiritual ‘a turning to the Lord and the removal of a veil.’ In all these different expressions and names of contemplation Paul is teaching us an important lesson: we must pass to a spiritual and intelligent investigation of Scripture so that consideration of the merely human element might be changed into something perceived by the mind…We know that even the Word himself, who is adored by all the creation, passed on the divine mysteries when he had assumed the likeness of a man. He reveals to us the meaning of the law…Christ trained his disciples’ minds through sayings veiled and hidden in parables, images, obscure words, and terse sayings in riddles.”

-Gregory of Nyssa, Commentary on the Song of Songs.

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