Conquering the Promised Land

Gregory of Nyssa Shifting Origen’s Impact
  • Victor Yudin
Part of the Pathways for Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue book series (PEID)


In teaching Catechism at any level,1 one is often confronted with the issue of how to interpret some particularly controversial sections of biblical stories. The main issue raised in one biblical book seemingly contradicts the main statement of another following book. Especially within the books of the Old Testament, we are confronted with this phenomenon. Although the problem strikes most of us individually, this difficulty is a traditional problem in biblical research.


Parallel Repetition Patristic Period Biblical Story Difficult Passage Latin Author 
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  1. 2.
    Cf. Tertullian, An Answer to the Jews, ed. A. Roberts and J. Donaldson, Ante-Nicene Christian Library: Translation of the Writings of the Fathers, down to AD 325, vol. 18 (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1867–72), 4.Google Scholar
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    From early times on, the modern scholarship tended to conjoin Joshua to the Pentateuch, as if it constituted a unity, even though the Jews never saw the Law this way. Cf. P. Vigouroux (ed.), Dictionnaire de la Bible, vol. 3 (Paris: Letouzey et Ané, 1912), 1691.Google Scholar
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    Inter alia, cf. M. Canévet, Gregoire de Nysse et l’hermeneutique biblique (Paris: Etudes Augustiniennes, 1983);Google Scholar
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    Jewish Haggadah is a tradition of seder ritual of the Passover feast. It consists of numerous constitutive parts, some of which have a narrative character. Partly oral in its origin, it combines a recitation of historical events, the way it is presented in the Book of Exodus, with an allegorical interpretation of these events. Sections of Haggadah narrative included commentaries also on other Old Testament books, including the Book of Joshua. Cf. Ernst Daniel Goldschmidt, “Haggadah, Passover,” in Encyclopedia Judaica, 2nd edition, vol. 8, ed. Fred Skolnik (Detroit: Macmillan References USA, 2007), 207–9.Google Scholar
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    Curiously, Scot Douglas considers Gregory’s exegetical methodology as a very complex phenomenon, calling it “theology of the gap.” Cf. Scot Douglas, Theology of the Gap: Cappadocian Language Theory and Trinitarian Controversy (New York: Peter Lang International Academic, 2005), 14.Google Scholar

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  • Victor Yudin

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