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The Monk and the BookJerome and the Making of Christian Scholarship$
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Megan Hale Williams

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780226899008

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226899022.001.0001

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Interpretation and the Construction of Jerome's Authority

Interpretation and the Construction of Jerome's Authority

Chapter:
(p.97) Chapter Three Interpretation and the Construction of Jerome's Authority
Source:
The Monk and the Book
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226899022.003.0004

Jerome believed that the task of the commentator was to convey what others have said, not to advance his own interpretations. However, an examination of his commentaries on the Prophets shows that their contents are arranged so as to construct a powerful, but tacit, position of authority for their compiler. By juxtaposing Jewish and Greek Christian interpretations as he does, Jerome places himself in the position of arbiter over both exegetical traditions. But because he does not explicitly assert his own authority, he can maintain a stance of humility appropriate for a monk. Here, Jerome may have been a more authentic representative of the tradition of Origen than was his rival, for all that he was willing to abjure Origen's theology.

Keywords:   Christian commentary, Saint Jerome, Prophets, exegesis, Origen, humility, Jewish, Greek Christian

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