In his letter to the church at Philadelphia, Ignatius, the bishop of Antioch in the early second century, recounts the following exchange with some opponents: “For I heard some people saying, ‘If I do not find it in the archives [τοῖς ἀρχειοῖς] I do not believe it in the gospel.’ And when I said to them, ‘It is written,’ they answered me, ‘That is the point at issue.’ But to me the archives [τὰ ἀρχεῖα] are Jesus Christ, the inviolable archives [τὰ ἀρχεῖα] are his cross and death and his resurrection and the faith that is through him” (Ign. Phil. 8.2).
Most scholars understand τὰ ἀρχεῖα to refer to the Hebrew (or Old Testament) Scriptures. As such, this passage provides a glimpse into early Christian attempts to make sense of the sacred texts of Judaism in light of the Christ event. I like this passage because it highlights my interest in how early Christian hermeneutics: that is, how the first Christians read, referenced, and reinterpreted Scriptural texts. I am interested in this reception of the biblical texts and how the study of this Wirkungsgeschichte (“working history”) can connect and illuminate other areas of study such as textual criticism, narrative criticism, and biblical theology.
This blog, I hope, will help keep you (my family and friends) updated on my interests (without you having to actually read any lengthy monographs or dense journal articles!) and developments concerning my doctoral applications and academic publication. Stay tuned!