Abstract and Keywords
Now that ‘reception history’ has become a significant feature of biblical studies, there is renewed interest in the interpretation of scripture in the period of the so-called fathers of the church. Indeed, this shift means that, before embarking on a project in this area, the investigator needs to understand the enormous intellectual change that has occurred over the past generation, not least so as to be able to assess material offered in secondary sources against the date and context of the scholarly contribution. This article begins with a discussion of the most notable studies of the past half-century, in order to plot the shifts in assumptions and models brought to the analysis of exegetical method. It then outlines the significance of scripture in the life of the early church; the range of primary source material; and potential research topics in this area.
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