Ambrosiasters theological anthropology: Nature, law and grace in the commentaries on the Pauline epistles and the Quaestiones veteris et novi testamenti CXXVII. Joshua David Papsdorf

ISBN: 9780549592624

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193 pages


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Ambrosiasters theological anthropology: Nature, law and grace in the commentaries on the Pauline epistles and the Quaestiones veteris et novi testamenti CXXVII.  by  Joshua David Papsdorf

Ambrosiasters theological anthropology: Nature, law and grace in the commentaries on the Pauline epistles and the Quaestiones veteris et novi testamenti CXXVII. by Joshua David Papsdorf
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Ambrosiaster was an influential, yet anonymous, Latin commentator on Paul who flourished in the late fourth century. This dissertation is a systematic study of his theological anthropology organized around four phases in salvation history. First, itMoreAmbrosiaster was an influential, yet anonymous, Latin commentator on Paul who flourished in the late fourth century.

This dissertation is a systematic study of his theological anthropology organized around four phases in salvation history. First, it addresses Ambrosiasters understanding of creation and prelapsarian human nature. Second, it considers the effects of Adams Fall and the nature of the relationship between pagans and God. Third, it deals with Ambrosiasters understanding of Judaism and the Jewish people. Fourth, and finally, it looks at man as a Christian. Each section presents an overview of Ambrosiasters thought drawn from the commentaries and Quaestiones and supported by extensive citations of the texts.

Taken as a whole, the study yields a remarkably consistent theological anthropology based on: Ambrosiasters emphasis on the plain sense of scripture, a Christus Victor soteriology, and a belief that mankind was created with the primary purpose of countering Satans rebellion. The dissertation concludes with mixed appraisals of Ambrosiasters work.

As a Pauline exegete, he succeeds in emphasizing Pauls pastoral concerns and his hopefulness regarding virtuous pagans and non-Christian Jews, but he fails to reflect the true importance of divine grace and initiative in Pauls thought. Regarding his relationship to the Pelagian controversy, despite Augustines use of Ambrosiasters phrase quasi in massa to describe mankinds sin in Adam, Ambrosiaster is not proto-Augustinian, nor is he proto-Pelagian. Ambrosiasters theological anthropology is of a different sort, so, while both Augustine and Pelagius draw from his work, it does not naturally lead to either.

Finally, as a theologian, Ambrosiaster displays some remarkably prescient insights, particularly in regard to the hope of salvation for non-Christians, but his overall system is seriously flawed by his inordinate emphasis on Satans role in creation and his corresponding depiction of the cosmos and mankind as instruments designed to counter Satan rather than free expressions of Gods glory and love.



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