Sunday, August 31, 2008

Book Review: Jason Byassee, Praise Seeking Understanding. Reading the Psalms with Augustine.

This week, I've come to the end of my last official 'summer' reading book, Jason Byassee's Praise Seeking Understanding. Reading the Psalms with Augustine. I've already blogged on Byassee's attitude to historical/critical scholarship's relationship to the literal level of Scriptural reading. Now, I want to discuss Bayasse's book in more detail, especially the nature of the project he pursues in this book.

Byasse's main concern in this book is to recommend Augustine (especially demonstrated in his Ennarationes in Psalmos) as a resource to teach us to read Scripture more allegorically. In this sense, he challenges the current scholarly wisdom both about the centrality of historical/critical scholarship as a (or the only?) resource to understand the Bible and about the arbitrary and inferior quality of allegorical exegetical approaches to the Bible. He places himself firmly in the tradition of recent scholars like Andrew Louth, Nicholas Lash, David Steinmetz, Stephen Fowl, Lewis Ayres and Robert Wilken, who have, in their own ways, champion or championed a return to allegorical readings of the Bible. There has been a recent revival in interest in 'theological exegesis' and Bayasse's book should be understood as contributing to this conversation.

The core of the book deals with four main issues: the Christological emphasis of Augustine's exegesis of the Psalms, the issue of beauty and aesthetics in Augustinian exegesis, the charge of anti-Semitism levelled at Augustine (and the other Fathers) and the value of multi-sense exegesis. I won't summarize all of these sections (otherwise, why read the book?), but I want to make a few observations.

One of the more striking discussions in the book is Bayasse's discussion of aesthetics in Augustinian exegesis. This will, I think, strike many of my readers, even those initiated into patristics for some time, as an odd emphasis. For many of us who read the Fathers, the Fathers are a mine of information about how the early Church operated, came to the doctrinal decisions that they handed down to us and a touchstone of orthodoxy which brings with it an authority greater than any other Christian writing, except the Bible. What Byassee reminded me was that the Ennarationes and, in fact, most other patristic works, were rhetorical works intended, as the rhetorical handbooks of the age noted, to "instruct, delight and move". We moderns are excellent at discovering the instruction, but delight and inspiration fly right over our head. Bayasse argues that we need to recover this delight to appreciate what Augustine was doing and to apply it in our own exegesis. Byassee argues that allegory served these purposes by revealing unexpected meanings in the Biblical text (filtered and, hence, bounded by the Rule of Faith). These meanings instruct us, to be sure, but they, hopefully, also delight us and move us to greater faith. Bayasse suggests that even some of the more unusual interpretations need to be seen in this light, rather than merely dismissed as irrelevant and silly. No doubt, patristic authors can get wearing sometimes, but I think that we all need to recover the aesthetic sense of the Fathers and enjoy them as much as we learn from them. I feel that I've barely begun, but this is a direction that I'm inspired to investigate.

A second point that Bayasse makes is his emphasis that allegory, especially Augustine's use of allegory, is not as arbitrary as it has been alleged, at least, since the Reformation (and more so after the Enlightenment). He points out that at no time did the Fathers (even Origen) view allegory as a way to escape the text, but rather it tightly controlled by the Rule of Faith (early versions of the Creeds). The Rule of Faith limited the possible allegorical readings of Scripture and, deriving from the same source as the New Testament (the apostolic testimony), it served as a check on attempts to use allegory to get around uncomfortable passages. This is important to remember because this has always been my concern with Bibilcal allegory and the reason why I've had problems with it in the past. Yet, in the hands of a master, it can bring light and explain elements of Scripture that other approaches can't. It is particularly use for the reading of the Old Testament and, of course, the Psalms. It certainly informs Augustine's basically Christological reading of the Psalms in the Ennarationes.

A third interesting point about Augustinian exegesis which struck me is that Augustine (and the other Fathers) took Scripture so seriously that even its apparent errors served a purpose in God's self-revelation in Scripture. This point interests me in the light of the good sized industry in both scholarly and popular religious writing to find the errors of the Bible and use them to discredit all, but what the author has as his/her vision of Christianity. We've all seen books like this, so I don't think I really need to list examples. What is striking about Augustine's attitude to these 'error's is that he understands them as opportunities to delve deeper into what God is doing in the Bible. Since he found it incomprehensible that God could make a mistake and because he believed firmly in the inspired quality of the Bible, Augustine argued that these 'mistakes' were there so that we would be encouraged to read carefully and deeply into Scripture, rather than merely use it as a rulebook or reference work on the Christian life (this is paraphrased, of course). These 'errors' mean something and it is the challenge of the Scriptural exegete to delve into their meaning.

What I like about this observation is that it neatly jumps over the inerrancy debate. It affirms that sometimes things can look wrong in the Bible on a literal level, but that God uses even these apparent errors. It isn't that God is being sneaky and planting mistakes to mislead someone (on the analogy of burying dinosaur bones to mislead an unfaithful humanity into believing evolution as some creationists have argued), but that God's power to inspire is so great that He uses the 'human' errors of the writers. In that sense, Scripture is both inerrant and inspired, even if the authors were only the latter. I don't know what to do with this idea, but I'm floating it to see if this is a legitimate interpretation of Augustine's point. I wonder.

A last thing that I think is important out of this book. Bayasse spends a lot of time emphasizing that he isn't dismissing historical/critical readings of the Bible. He argues that they are useful for understanding the literal level of the Bible and have a place in any exegesis of the Bible. Nor does he argue that only allegorical readings should be used in Biblical exegesis. He argues that the Bible bears interpretations on various levels at the same time and that it impoverishes our understanding of the Bible if we privilege one level over the other. The fact that we have done so in modernity (the literal level, ironically) has meant that our exegesis is too shallow. We need to deepen it with the other level of exegesis. In the end, that is the core of Byassee's project.

This is definitely a must-read for anyone who is discontent with how the Bible is read today. It is a challenge to read the Bible more deeply and it is a challenges which has started me thinking about how to apply it in my own study and reading of the Bible. Byassee's plea for new communities (almost a new monasticism), I think, is a hard one to achieve and is primarily aimed at seminaries. My own question is how do ordinary Christians learn to read the Bible more deeply. That is something that I'm sure I'll return to in the near future.

I really must get an editor. It appears that not only did I give the wrong first name to the author of this excellent book, but I persistently mis-spelled his last name. My apologies!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Irony of Historical/Critical Scholarship

I've been reading Jason Byassee's Praise Seeking Understanding: Reading the Psalms with Augustine over the last few weeks. I do intend to write a full book review on this book over the next week or so (God, lesson prep and the impending Patristics Carnival permitting), but I thought it might be interesting to reflect a little on one of Byassee's key points from earlier in book: the relationship of historical-critical scholarship to a Christian reading of the Bible.

Without giving too much away, Byassee's main point in this book is that contemporary readings of the Bible are impoverished by the modern dislike of allegorical (and moral) readings of the Bible. He argues that modernist readings tend to limit themselves to putting the Bible within its original historical context and to establish critical readings of the texts based on that context. Byassee argues that this kind of study is good and, certainly, modern scholarship has tools at its hands that the Fathers, including St. Augustine, never had. While cultural familiarity with the world of the Bible, access to now lost oral traditions and the ability to speak or have access to native speakers of the biblical languages offset many of our modern scholarly advantages, there is little room for doubt that modern scholarly readings deserve attention by anyone who is trying to work out what the Bible means.

The problem for Byassee is that we stop there. That is, we moderns think that the only way to deal with the Bible in an intelligent manner is historical-critical scholarship. We tend to ignore the other levels of readings favoured by Christian writers from the Biblical era through the patristic and beyond: the moral, the allegorical and others senses I'm sure I'm neglecting. If you want a fast way to laughed out of a classroom in most universities, allegorical readings will do it because they are considered capricious and bogus. Bayassee's answer is that allegory as practiced by Fathers like St. Augustine had controls on it, most notably the Rule of Faith and orthodox christology. I'll return to this in my projected book review.

I could have saved all this for the review, but what struck me is the irony of something Byassee points in this part of the discussion. He points out that all the historical-critical interpretation at which we moderns excel would be considered by patristic writers as merely operating on the literal level. That is, while the patristic writers valued historical and critical interpretation to sort out historical and linguistic problems in the Biblical text, they believed this was merely the starting point for Christian interpreters. They would, while, possibly, impressed by the technical skill of our historical and linguistic commentary, see our efforts at Biblical interpretation as shallow, scratching only the surface of what we could glean from the well of Scripture.

This struck me as ironic because, on those occasions I delve into biblical scholarship (either reading blogs or in my own private readings), it is not uncommon to pat ourselves on the back for our prowess in historical and linguistic analysis and to, either implicitly or explicitly, assume that we know the Bible and the world better than our poor benighted predecessors in reading the Bible. There is an arrogance in that attitude which I enjoy seeing punctured, so I enjoyed the irony. It really is true that humility should be a characteristic of the Biblical exegete and I'm not sure we moderns (and post-moderns) have always been good at that particular virtue. It is hard to be humble when one believes firmly in a modernist model of progress either in its classical modernist sense or in its more subtle post-modern (or is it late-modernist) guise.

The irony is heightened, I think, because it is also common for Biblical scholars to shake their heads at the readings of the Bible in churches and yearn for 'critical' readings to take the place of the old traditional readings. This isn't to say that these critical readings don't have value, but the kind of yearnings I note are quite out of touch with how Christians read Scripture and the place of Scripture among Christians. Critical readings aren't more popular because they are very much an elitist pleasure and really have little bearing on the spiritual readings on which most observant Christians base their spiritual lives.

This is, of course, the rub. All too often, we find modern Biblical scholarship engaged in approaches which undercut spiritual readings and tradition. I find a challenge as bracing as anyone else, but there are times when I honestly think that much of Biblical scholarship is spent on proving just how these spiritual readings are untrue and at discovering how almost anything in the Bible just doesn't apply to us. There are, I should note, very faithful people writing Biblical scholarship, who pride themselves on supporting faithful readings, but I don't think many could deny that there are also many who seek to distance themselves through this kind of scholarship from God and the Bible. The fault isn't in the practice of Biblical scholarship (or any scholarship-the same criticism could be levelled at scholars of the patristic era or any era), but in how scholarship is employed: to bring one closer to God or to distance oneself.

I think this explains many things about the world of Biblical and Early Christian studies these days. Certainly, the bitterness of the divide between those favouring a more religious studies approach and those who favour a more explicitly Christian approach can be explained both by a fundamental difference in philosophy/theology, but by a visceral rejection of each other's spiritual choices. It is hard to get either side to acknowledge the good of each other's approach, even if they may find each other's findings useful. I don't think it gets recognized enough how often these kind of differences are, actually, not the result of rationally chosen scholarly positions, but emerge out of one's own experience with religion and other believers. That is, I think, an difficulty with which we all grapple.

So, how does a faithful Christian react to this? I think it is by doing what we've done for centuries. Keep reading the Bible, learn from anyone we can about the historical and linguistic elements of the text, but continue to dig deeper into growing in faith and understanding of what God is trying to tell us. For that, we need to read the Bible at many different levels, not merely scratching the literal surface.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Patristic Carnival XV- Call for Submissions

Welcome to Patristic Carnival XV. This month, the carnival is back here at hyperekperissou this month.

The guidelines remain the same as Modest Proposal entry back in November, 2006 and my additions in August, 2007.

The last day of submission will be August 31 and the postings will be up by the week of September 7th. .

Remember you can offer submissions on the carnival site or the dedicated e-mail (


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Sulpicius Severus, Life of St. Martin 21

Here is the next installment of the Life of St. Martin.


It is even agreed that angels were seen by him many times and that, he used to hold conversations with them. Truly, he perceived the devil as so well and kept him under observation that whether the devil retained proper appearance or whether he changed himself into different images of spiritual wickedness, he was seen in any disguise by Martin. (2) When the devil knew that he was not able to escape Martin, he frequently oppressed him with abuse because he was unable to deceive him with trickery. At one times, the devil, holding a bloody horn of a cow, broke into Martin's cell with a great roar. Showing his bloody right hand and rejoicing in the crime which he recently committed, he said "Where is your power, Martin? I killed one of your people just now!" (3) Martin, after calling together the brothers, reported what the devil had told him: he ordered them to go carefully through the cells of each of their brothers since someone had been afflicted by this disaster. They announced that none the monks were missing, but a peasant who was hired by them to bring wood on a wagon, went into the forest. Therefore, Martin ordered them to go to meet him. (4) In this way, the peasant was discovered not far from the monastery almost dead. Drawing his last breath, he told the brothers the cause of his death and wounds. While he was drawing together more tightly the loosened reins on the yoked oxen, one of them, tossing its head, drove its horn into the peasant's groin. Not much later, the man died. You see by what judgement of God, this power is given to the devil. (5) It was remarkable in Martin that not only in this situation which we reported above, but in many of this type that, as often as it happened, Martin foresaw it long before or he told the brothers about the things announced to him.


In this passage, we see a beginning of Sulpicius' evidence of St. Martin's power over the devil himself. Given the generally escalating seriousness of the spiritual threats to Martin, the appearance of St. Martin's contests with the devil makes sense at this point in this Life. One of the striking things about this is the affirmation, at the beginning of this passage, that St. Martin could not be tricked by the devil. That is, he could always discern the devil whatever he did to deceive him. This is an important element of a saint because spiritual discernment is important in spiritual warfare by the saints, so it was important for Sulpicius to emphasize this.

This is followed by an affirmation that the devil was unable to do anything directly to St. Martin himself, but rather was confined to taunting him. This is an expression of St. Martin's spiritual power. This relative immunity from the attacks of the devil is the mark of a saint. Indeed, it is striking as this story unfolds that the devil is unable to injure St. Martin or even his monks. Rather it is someone who is on the fringes of the community, a hired man, whose life in the world, presumably, made him more vulnerable to the assaults of the devil or even irate oxen. The taunts of the devil are a little forced here because, while he achieved a success in injuring someone associated with St. Martin, he did not manage to injure the community itself.

I must say that I was a little surprised that there is no healing element to this story. The poor peasant dies shortly after gasping out his story. While sad for the peasant, a healing wasn't the point of the story. Rather it was St. Martin's foreknowledge of the the devil's designs that Sulpicius highlights. It is clearly suggested that the devil still has power, but that holy men like St. Martin have the gift of foreknowledge and/or discernment to recognize the hand of the devil in the world. That seems to be enough for Sulpicius in this story.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Book Review, Hubertus Drobner, The Fathers of the Church. A Comprehensive Introduction

I am enjoying my summer, partly because of the extra time I've had with my son and my wife, but also because it give me a chance to read more. And that means more book reviews. So here is the latest in this summer of the book review: Hubertus Drobner's The Fathers of the Church. A Comprehensive Introduction (Siegfred S. Schatzmann translator).

This is the translation of Dr. Drobner's introductory textbook on patristics. That is, of course, the place to start. It is not intended as a replacement for the multi-volume patrologies like Quasten's (to name the best of the English language patrologies- even if it is beginning to get dated), but is intended for those starting the study of the Fathers. As a single volume (and despite the sub-title), it is impossible to go into the detail that a multi-volume work can, but Dr. Drobner covers the highlights. He discusses the most important writers and the most important works in a clear and precise way. The translation is an excellent one which enhances the readability of this textbook.

The main value of this book to me is twofold. First, it takes into account recent scholarship in a systematic way. Given the fact that many of the accessible resource works are getting a little long in the tooth, I appreciate the attempt to keep up to date with the important scholarly development over the past few decades. This is particularly true with the (albeit brief) discussion on the apocryphal writings which is getting to be a scholarly industry in its own right.

Second, I appreciate the up-to-date bibliographies appended at the end of each sub-section; bibliographies which were updated in the German second edition and supplemented by an ancillary updated English bibliography (Complete to 2006). It is very helpful to know what recent editions are out as well as translations in order to guide one's studies.

When this book came out earlier this year, the early reviews I've seen lauded it as an essential first resource for patristics. After reading it, I agree that it is an excellent starting point for studies in patristics. Indeed, while I borrowed this book from my wife's college library, I intend to add it to my own library in the course of the next few months. Can we say Christmas present!? I know you could.


Saturday, August 02, 2008

Patristic Carnival XIV- July, 2008

It's been another busy month in patristics with a lot of interesting posts along the way. Enjoy!

Front Gate: Introductions to the Fathers

Marilyn Hughes on the Suite 101 blog features a brief introduction to the Fathers for a Catholic audience.

The Midway: Articles on the Fathers

Thos on the Ecumenicityblog points out a reversal in the spiritual/material manifestation of the Church in a comparison between 2nd Clement and the Westminister Confession and struggles with Ignatius of Antioch's views on Eucharist, episcopal authority and relics.

Geoff Ashley on his self-named blog deals with the question of where we get the Bible.

Dr. Alexander Roman on the Oblation blog considers St. Benedict's rule in a (Ukrainian) Orthodox setting. This is a setting I hadn't expected and was happy to be enlightened.

Ben on the Dunelm Road blog discusses how to track down patristic citations of the Bible using the myriad of electronic tools at the scholar's fingertips.

Tamie on the Traces of Tamie blog starts with the dispute over worship chorus' over-emphasis on the humanity of Jesus and continues with a discussion of the insights of Athanasius and the 5th century Fathers on the subject of Jesus' humanity and divinity. She follows up with a post contrasting Anglican attempts at unity with the Father's imperative to defend the Gospel, even if it meant being offensive.

Phil Gons on the Logos Bible Software announces the launch of the Patrologia Cursus Completus, Series Graeca.

James White on the Pros Apologin blog muses over the Patrologia Cursus Completus, Series Graeca.

Father Chadius on the Hermeneia blog discusses his fascination with history, the Pilgrimage of Egeria's witness to the Church of Jerusalem's liturgy in comparison to emotional, but brief modern worship.

On this blog, I continue my discussion of Origen's On Prayer, discuss the state of patrology online. Anne on the Heart, Strength, Mind and Soul blog contributes to the discussion in a separate post on her blog. Eric Sowell follows suite quickly thereafter.

Michael Larionov on the forwardandup blog discusses some insights of Victor Kharalamov in Theology Today on theosis in patristic theology and speaks out against the modern tendency to blame the Platonic element in Christian theology for any number of theological sins.

Will Huysmen on The Banana Republican blog discusses the patristic case for the Immaculate Conception as suggested by Pope Pius IX.

Richard Aguirre on the regula fidei blog discusses Eusebius' teachings on schism, sects and the unity of the orthodox tradition

An Augustinian Heart on the Christianity Community blog reflects on St. Ambrose on the Holy Eucharist.

Freddy on the Soli Deo Gloria blog dicusses the anthropology of the patristic era (and of the early mediaeval period).

Holly Pivic on the Fulfilled Prophecy blog features a series on the Church Fathers and the Anti-Christ in parts one, two, three and four.

Philip Sumpter on the Narrative and Ontology blog discusses the regula fidei (rule of faith) in a series of quotes. Here is the table of contents for the series (I love this idea of giving a table of contents for long series!)

Puritan Lad on the Christianity in History blog attempts to prove that St. Gregory Thaumaturgus was an amillenialist.

Amadeo on the Praying Mantis blog discusses patristic attitudes to unity, striving for the Gospel, abiding with Christ and missional service. Scroll down a bit as the link doesn't connected directly to the entry for July 7th.

The Linguist on The Language Fan blog discusses the challenges of patristic Greek and the thought of Theodoret of Cyrrhus on the Octateuch.

Jason Engwer on the Triablogue blog disputes about the evidence for pre-millenialism in patristic thought.

Anne on Heart, Strength, Soul and Mind blog discusses whether Tertullian believed in purgatory and assesses the historical value of the Gospel of Mary.

Maria Lectrix on her self-named blog gives a list of her audio books, an excellent resource for those interested in patristics.

derek4messiah on the Messianic Jewish Musings blog discusses the patristic evidence for the Ebionites and whether this group were really just Messianic Jews. He follows up with a sermon he preached dealing with the same topic.

Micahel Newnham on the Phoenix Preacher blog discusses creeds and councils in church history between 300 and 400 AD.

The Budding Theologian on his self-named blog features a discussion on the 4th Ecumenical Council (Chalcedon) in three parts (Part One, Part Two, Part Three)

Chris Zeichman on Thoughts on Antiquity considers the state of scholarship on Marcian and the Synoptic probleem and proposes a new solution.

Andy Farmer on the Covenant Fellowship Church Family reflects on the contribution of the Apostolic Fathers.

Andrew Compton on The Reformed Reader blog discusses whether the Church Fathers really are important for biblical interpretation.

bfhu on the Black Cordelias blog muses on the implications of the so-called paganization of the Catholic Church as a result of its acceptance by the Emperor Constantine.

donaldkim on his self-named blog discusses St. Antony from a Protestant perspective.
Tim Troutman in his renovated and newly renamed blog, Army of Martyrs, features a series on the development of doctrine: an introductory post outlining the problem, hierarchical developments in the third century, the development of papal juridiction in the third century, and a discussion of papal jurisdiction in relation to the Roman political climate in the third century.

The Park Street Blogma Dogma blog features a reflection on the Christian life today and what St. Ignatius of Antioch teaches us about living up to our faith. He follows up with a reflection on St. Irenaeus, sola scriptura and babies who fall down.

Wymen Richardson on the Walking Together blog continues his patristic summaries, summarizing the Epistle of Barnabas, the fragments of St. Papias and the First Apology of St. Justin Martyr.

Tim Enlose on the Societas Christiani blog challenges the Reformed post-millenialist, James Jordan, for his views that the Church Fathers were actually 'Church Babies' because their theological thinking was much more primative than our exalted standard.

Eric Sowell on the Archaic Christianities blog investigates Irenaeus and the text of Matthew 11, 27.

Danny Garland on the Irish, Catholic and Dangerous blog gives a helpful summary of the Eight Ecumenical Councils.

Roger Pearse on the Thoughts on Antiquity blog discusses St. Cyril of Alexandria after the Council of Ephesus, follows up on a disparaging post on St. Cyril and discusses when the corruption of the Church occcured.

Kevin Edgecomb on the biblicalia blog discusses St. John Chrysostom, Jews and Julian the Apostate (with a review of Robert Wilken's book, John Chrysostom and the Jews: Rhetoric and Reality in the Late 4th Century inserted).

The Marketplace: Book Reviews

Georg S. Adamson on the Revelation Resources blog reviews Hubertus Drobner's Lehrbuch der Patrologie, the English edition of which I'm currently reading (watch for a review in the next month from me).

Russell Veldman on the Faster Unto Thee blog reviews Brian Litfin's Getting to Know the Church Fathers.

Polycarp on The Church of Jesus Christ blog reviews J.N.D. Kelly's classic Early Christian Doctrines.

Kent Eilers on the Theology Forum reviews Mark Husbands & Jeffrey Greeman's Ancient Faith for the Church's Future, which features essays from the 2007 Wheaten Theology Conference. This is definitely on my must-read list.

Paul S. on the St. Athanasius and St. Cyril Theological Library blog features a review of Pauline Allen's book on Severus of Antioch.

Tim Troutman in his renovated and newly renamed blog, Army of Martyrs, reviews Jaroslav Pelikan's The Christian Tradition Volume 1.

Eric Sowell on the Archaic Christianities blog reviews Michael Grant's biography of Constantine I
John Hobbins on the Ancient Hebrew Poetry blog discusses Christians and Jews in late Roman antiquity in light of modern anti-Semitism.

Robin Perry on the Theolgoical Scribbles blog reviews April DeConick's book, The Gospel of Thomas.

On this blog, I review Craig Allert's A High View of Scripture? and Pangiotes Chrestou's Greek Orthodox Patrology: An Introduction to the Study of the Church Fathers.

Exhibition Place: Biographies of the Fathers

Candy W. on the
Catholic E-Books blog features St. Clement of Alexandria and his theological treatises.

The Rodeo: Patristic catenae

Dave Armstrong on the
Biblical Evidence for Catholicism blog features a catena dealing with (alleged) examples of anti-Semitism among the Church Fathers with counter-examples. He follows us with a catena on the sinlessness of Mary.

bfhu on the
Black Cordelias blog provides a patristic catena on the practice of confession.

Will Huysmen on
The Banana Republican blog features a patristic catena defending the filioque close before the Photian schism.

Richard Aguirre on the
regula fidei blog features patristic catenas on the Perpetual Virginity of St. Mary, and on the Holy Eucharist.

The Foreign Exchange Tent: Translations

No entries this month.

The Apocryphal Aisle: Christian Apocrypha

Tony Chartrand-Burke on the
Apocryphicity blog features a discussion of religious intolerance in the Academy.

April DeConick on
The Forbidden Gospel blog asks for questions about the newly discovered Apocalypse of Gabriel, continues this discussion in light of Hosea 6, 1-3, provides a helpful list of links for coverage on the Acocalypse of Gabriel, discusses the Gnostic perspective on who was in Noah's Ark, questions the exclusivity of the Gnostics, considers the accomodation of Gnostics to the culture around them.

Well, that's it for the month. I hope you enjoyed the Patristics Carnival XIV! If you are interested in hosting Patristics Carnvial XV or a Patristics Carnival in the near future (say, to the end of the year), let me know soon!