Tuesday, September 19, 2023


Different Interpretations

Augustine, Sermons 7.3 (Patrologia Latina, vol. XXXVIII, cols. 63-64; tr. Edmund Hill):
There are two opinions which can be put forward about it, of which either may be true, since they both fit the faith. When I say that either may be true, I mean whichever of them was intended by the writer. When we are searching the scriptures, we may of course understand them in a way in which the writer perhaps did not; but what we should never do is understand them in a way which does not square with the rule of faith, with the rule of truth, with the rule of piety. So I am offering you both opinions. There may be yet a third which escapes me. Anyway, of these two propositions, choose whichever you like.

duae autem sunt sententiae, quae hinc proferri possunt, quarum quaelibet vera sit, ambae secundum fidem sunt. quod dixi, quaenam earum vera sit, hoc dixi, quidnam eorum senserit qui scripsit. nam quando nos inquirentes scripturas sentimus aliquid quod scriptor forte non sensit, non tamen hoc sentire debemus, quod abhorreat a regula fidei, a regula veritatis, a regula pietatis. ergo ambas sententias propono. sit fortassis et tertia quae me latet. ex his autem duabus propositis, eligite quam volueritis.

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