Click here to get the answers to the most commonly asked RBL questions.

Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Language for God in Patristic Tradition: Wrestling with Biblical Anthropomorphism
Sheridan, Mark and Thomas C. Oden

Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2015 pp. 254. $17.45


Description: Criticism of myth in the Bible is not a modern problem. Its roots go back to the earliest Christian theologians, and before them, to ancient Greek and Jewish thinkers. The dilemma posed by texts that ascribe human characteristics and emotions to the divine is a perennial problem, and we have much to learn from the ancient attempts to address it. Mark Sheridan provides a theological and historical analysis of the patristic interpretation of Scriptureís anthropomorphic and anthropopathic language for God. Rather than reject the Bible as mere stories, ancient Jewish and Christian theologians read these texts allegorically or theologically in order to discover the truth contained within them. They recognized that an edifying and appropriate interpretation of these stories required that one start from the understanding that "God is not a human being" (Num 23:19). Sheridan brings the patristic tradition into conversation with modern interpreters to show the abiding significance of its theological interpretation for today. Language for God in Patristic Tradition is a landmark resource for students of ancient Christian theology. Wide-ranging in scope and accessible in its analysis, it demonstrates that those engaged in theological interpretation of Scripture have much to gain from studying their forebears in the faith.

Subjects: Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Early Church Origins

Login to Read the Review(s)

You must be a member of SBL to read the review(s). In May 2019, SBL improved security of its main site with a new login procedure that requires an email address and a password, instead of an SBL member number. RBLís login procedure is now synched to SBLís. Please use your email address and SBL password to log in to RBL. Your use of this site indicates your acceptance of RBLís Terms of Use.


Email Address
SBL Password
 
  
 Forgot Your Password
 Join SBL or Renew Membership


Review by Kevin Clarke
Published 4/19/2018
Citation: Kevin Clarke, review of Mark Sheridan, Language for God in Patristic Tradition: Wrestling with Biblical Anthropomorphism, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2018).


Adobe Acrobat Reader
All RBL reviews are published in PDF format. To view these reviews, you must have downloaded and installed the FREE version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have the Reader or you have an older version of the Reader, you can download the most recent version now.

 

 
Privacy PolicyTerms of UseContact Us