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12. Gregory’s Exegesis: Old and New Ways of Approaching the Scriptural Text

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Chapter Summary

This chapter surveys exegetical writings of Gregory. For medieval commentators, Gregory was a constant source and an acknowledged inspiration. In the modern consensus, he is the key intermediary biblical exegete between the earlier age of the fathers and the medieval tradition. The Bible formed the natural context for everything that Gregory wrote. His writings show how indelibly monastic formation had saturated his mind with Scripture. In the strict sense, Gregory's exegetical works are represented by his preaching on the Old and New Testaments. The general Christocentric view of Scripture and its interpretation, based on the fundamental unity between the two Testaments, was the legacy Gregory had inherited from Paul and the early fathers. The careful interpretation of Scripture was always for Gregory not only a route to contemplation but a practical training in proper moral behaviour, indispensable to those who would guide others in the spiritual life.

Keywords: Gregory's exegetical works; medieval tradition; New Testament; Old Testament; Scripture



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