Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Athanasius on the Righteousness Requirement

Here is a short passage from Athanasius, Torrance's favorite theologian, on the righteousness required to correctly interpret scripture:
For the investigation and true knowlege of the Scriptures there is needed a good life and a pure soul, and that virtue which is according to Christ, in order that the mind, guiding its path by it, may be able to attain what it yearns for, to comprehend it, and as far as it is compatible with the nature of men to learn about the Word of God. For apart from a pure mind and an imitation of the life lived by the saints, no one would be able to understand their statements...He who wishes to comprehend the mind of the divines must first purify and cleanse his soul by his way of living, and approach the saints themselves by emulating their actions, so that through assimilation with them in a common mode of life, they may understand what has been revealed to them from God. (Athanasius, De Incarnatione, 57, quoted in T. F. Torrance, Divine Meaning, 244.)

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