Sunday, June 24, 2018


Biblical Interpretation

John Milton (1608-1674), The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce, Book II, Chapter XIX:
Thus at length we see both by this and other places, that there is scarce any one saying in the Gospel, but must bee read with limitations and distinctions, to bee rightly understood; for Christ gives no full comments or continued discourses, but as Demetrius the Rhetoritian phrases it, speakes oft in Monosyllables, like a maister scattering the heavenly grain of his doctrine like pearls heere and there, which requires a skilfull and laborious gatherer, who must compare the words he findes, with other precepts, with the end of every ordinance, and with the generall analogie of Evangelick doctrine: otherwise many particular sayings would bee but strange repugnant riddles ...
The reference is to Demetrius, On Style 7 (tr. W. Rhys Roberts, rev. Doreen Innes):
Commands too are always terse and brief, and every master is monosyllabic to his slave ...

καὶ τὸ μὲν ἐπιτάσσειν σύντομον καὶ βραχύ, καὶ πᾶς δεσπότης δούλῳ μονοσύλλαβος ...

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