Tuesday, January 6, 2015

ANF 5: Hippolytus Exegetical Fragments III

Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 5

Hippolytus: Works and Fragments I.--Exegetical

Continuing a listing of the useful/interesting bits and fragments in Hippolytus' commentaries on Scripture (again, you don't need to read all of them unless you're a scholar in the field, I'm just trying to point out the highlights):

  • On Matthew: Hippolytus takes a minimalist interpretation of what we are asking for when we petition God for "our daily bread."
  • Doubtful Fragments on the Pentateuch: While this section isn't necessarily worth reading in full, it is interested to see that at some point someone thought it worthwhile to try to figure out how the actual physical books of the law were passed own from Moses to the "present" day. 
  • The Law: I completely believe that this section was originally found in Latin and Arabic, albeit before the time of Islam. "In the name of God eternal, everlasting, most mighty, merciful, compassionate." 
  • On the Psalms: This section is useful mostly as an example of how NOT to interpret Scripture (and here we have to stress that this is certainly a later, spurious, writing--not a Hippolytus original). For example, "Let us inquire, further, why there are one hundred and fifty psalms. That the number fifty is sacred, is manifest from the days of the celebrated festival of Pentecost." And again "The number fifty, moreover, contains seven sevens, or a Sabbath of Sabbaths; and also over and above these full Sabbaths, a new beginning, in the eight, of a really new rest that remains above the Sabbaths." And at that point the non-mathematically inclined are now lost, while the mathematically inclined are laughing. 

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