Thoughts to drive us – an old guy on the Bible

Domenico_Ghirlandaio_-_St_Jerome_in_his_studyPaul speaks of a “wisdom of God hidden in a mystery, which God ordained before the world” (1 Corinthians 2:7). God’s wisdom is Christ, for Christ, we are told, is “the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:30). This wisdom remains hidden in a mystery. It is to this that the title of Psalm 9:1, “for the hidden things of the Son,” refers. In him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. The one who was hidden in mystery is the same who was predestined before the world, and was foreordained and prefigured in the Law and the Prophets. That is why the prophets were called seers: they saw him whom others did not see. Abraham also saw his day, and was glad (John 8:56). The heavens which were sealed to a rebellious people were opened to Ezekiel (Ezekiel 1:1). “Open my eyes, ” says David, “so that I may behold the wondrous things of your law” (Psalm 118:18). For the law is spiritual, and in order to understand it we need the veil to be removed and the glory of God to be seen with an uncovered face (2 Corinthians 3:14–18). …

I beg you, my dearest brother, to live among these [sacred books], to meditate on them, to know nothing else, to seek nothing else. Does not this seem to you to be a little bit of heaven here on earth? Do not take offence on account of the simplicity of Holy Scripture or the unsophistication of its words, for these are due either to translation faults or have some deeper purpose. For Scripture offers itself in such a way that an uneducated congregation can more easily learn from it, some benefit there, and both the learned and the unlearned can discover different meanings in the same sentence. I am not so arrogant nor so forward as to claim that I know this, which would be like wanting to pick on earth the fruits of trees whose roots are in heaven. However, I confess that I would like to do so. The Lord has said: “ask, and it shall be given; knock, and it shall be opened; seek, and you will find” (Matthew 7:7). So let us study here on earth that knowledge which will continue with us in heaven.

-Jerome (342-420 AD)
“The Christian Theology Reader,” ed. Alister E. McGrath, Blackwell Publishing: 2007, pg 88.

Jerome was an early church father that is best known as the translator of the Latin Vulgate, bringing a more accurate version of God’s Word to the people of his era. The Vulgate would be used by the church for centuries to follow.

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