Saturday, April 5, 2008

The Fathers on Reading Scripture, II

St Ephraim the Syrian writes:
If there only existed a single sense for the words of scripture, then the first commentator who came along would discover it, and other hearers would experience neither the labor of searching, nor the joy of finding. Rather, each word of our Lord has its own form, and each form has its own members, and each member has its own character. Each individual understands according to his capacity and interprets as it is granted to him.
Commentary on the Diatessaron, 7.22.

1 comment:

the student said...

This sounds beautiful when St. Ephrem says it and is awe-inspiring as one is lifted up while reading his writings and hymns.

But for me it feels like a subjective trap where there is no knowledge that can be guaranteed but only opinion. The values here seems to lie in the journey and not the destination. The journey is worthwhile if one knows there is a destination that is possible. Of course the blood, sweat and tears that are needed to learn something which will have great value is worth every ounce of effort but if I end up with just one more opinion amongst many, as well as with those contrary to mine but with just as equal in value, then what value is there in this?

I want to "K"now something in the end, and this does not have to be, nor is it just cognitive, but a true transformative, uniting knowledge.

I sense that St. Ephrem would be all over me in what I said in that I don't interpret him correctly but I only mention this in light if the little blurb that is posted, not the whole of his thought