Dale Allison on the History of Interpretation

Dale Allison provides an exemplary analysis of historical interpretation and New Testament studies. In “Reading Matthew through the Church Fathers” (Studies in Matthew, 117–31), he says the following about historical analysis and the modern reader:

They (Church Fathers) were, in so many ways, closer to the first-century Christians than we are. Unlike most of us, they lived and moved and had their being in the Scriptures…They were accordingly attuned to hear things that we no longer hear, things which we can only see after picking up concordances or doing word searches on our computers. I have come to believe that if we find in Matthew or another New Testament book an allusion to the Old Testament that the Fathers did not find, the burden of proof is on us; and if they detected an allusion which modern commentators have not detected, investigation is in order.

Dale C. Allison Jr., “Reading Matthew Through the Church Fathers,” in Studies in Matthew: Interpretation Past and Present (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2005), 119.

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4 thoughts on “Dale Allison on the History of Interpretation

    • Tavis, I agree! If you are able, pick up his new ICC: James commentary. It is a great resource modeling the value of history of interpretation within the New Testament discipline, and for that matter, biblical interpretation. We are in the line of tradition and proceed other valiant interpreters of the text, shall we not listen to history?

  1. Pingback: Dale Allison on the History of Interpretation (2) | Doctrinae Coram Deo

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