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D.H. Williams: Tradition, Scripture, and Interpretation

Perhaps important for readers is Williams noting that for ancient Christian thinkers, Scripture possesses more than one meaning precisely because the Spirit once inspired its composition, and now inspires its reading (33). Whereas anyone can perceive the literal or historical meaning of the text to a large extent, only Spirit-filled believers can penetrate the depths of meaning inherent within the biblical writ. All in all, while the patristic age is marked by the development of the Apostle’s and the Nicene creeds, D. H. Williams contends we must not neglect the lesser known yet just as significant theological texts and expressions of worship that were seminal in shaping early Christian identity. Being more than an anthology, this sourcebook introduces the primary sources of Christian antiquity, which is invaluable. Although originally intended to be a companion volume to Evangelicals and Tradition, this title enables clergy and laity, students and teachers, to read the patristic authors on issues related to the earliest development of Scripture and tradition, showing how they functioned as authorities for the early church. In today’s environment, it is essential to delve into primary research for oneself, and this sourcebook enables one to have direct access to the unadulterated writings of many writers from the early church. Thus, I unreservedly recommend this title for clergy and laity alike.

Reviewed by Bradford McCall


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This review was originally published on the In Depth Resources index of the Pneuma Foundation website on May 11, 2009. The Pneuma Foundation is the parent organization of

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Category: In Depth, Summer 2017

About the Author: Bradford L. McCall, B.S. in Biology (Georgia Southwestern St. University, 2000), M.Div. (Asbury Theological Seminary, 2005), grew up on a cotton farm in south Georgia. A graduate student at Holy Apostles College and Seminary, Bradford has particular interest in teleology, causation and early modern philosophy.

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