Reading the Psalms historically: antiochene exegesis and a historical reading of Psalm 46

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Peer-Reviewed Research

Abstract:

English: The Antiochene exegetes, most notably Diodore of Tarsus and Theodore of Mopsuestia read the psalms against the historical background of Israelite history, reconstructing a historical setting for every psalm. This paper presents a brief survey of Antiochene exegesis of the psalms in general. The Antiochenes reacted against the allegorical interpretation of the Old Testament by the school of Alexandria. They were influenced in their approach by Aristotelian logic, by the Greek-Christian culture of their time and by the method propagated by Aristarch. This survey is followed by a discussion of the interpretation of Psalm 46 by Diodore, Theodore and Išô`dâdh of Merv. Diodore laid the foundation on which Theodore built. Išô`dâdh followed the interpretation of this Psalm by Theodore. They linked this psalm to the events of the Syro-Ephraimite war.