On Christian Doctrine

On Christian Doctrine On Christian Doctrine is an introduction to the interpretation explanation of the Bible which exerted an enormous influence throughout the Middle Ages

  • Title: On Christian Doctrine
  • Author: Augustine of Hippo D.W. Robertson Jr.
  • ISBN: 9780024021502
  • Page: 317
  • Format: Paperback
  • On Christian Doctrine is an introduction to the interpretation explanation of the Bible which exerted an enormous influence throughout the Middle Ages.

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      Posted by:Augustine of Hippo D.W. Robertson Jr.
      Published :2019-07-03T07:24:03+00:00

    713 Comment

    • Justin Evans says:

      A fascinating little book for all kinds of people: late antiquity buffs; philosophers; hermeneuts; and of course, Christians. Augie usually manages to find his way to a reasonable middle position: against biblical literalism, also against waiting for a direct experience of God. Book one describes 'things' rather than signs, and we get some of Augie's less up to date opinions: you shouldn't love people for themselves, but for the sake of God, and the same thing goes for one's self. But these are [...]

    • booklady says:

      As teacher of Christian doctrine and a teacher of such teachers, St. Augustine’s classic work by this name seemed like something I ought to read. And yet I didn’t want to approach it as a philosophy student being forced to study some dusty old textbook, but rather as the curious seeker wanting to discover what this ‘Christian doctrine’ was all about. I discovered St. Augustine is an excellent teacher!He begins with the rules for the interpretation of Scripture, which he considers very se [...]

    • Genni says:

      I feel presumptuous giving Augustine 3 stars. If you were to compare my intellect with Augustine's, mine would definitely be the one wanting. However, there were some thoughts I found troublesome.Augustine's book aims to contain a “general view of the subjects treated in the Holy Scripture”. It is secondarily concerned with proper hermeneutics in order to ascertain what those subjects are. Of his secondary aim, there is a lot of sense in what he writes. Is a passage literal? Do not interpret [...]

    • Brent McCulley says:

      Good and useful.

    • Matt says:

      In contrast to the unwieldy and meandering City of God, Augustine’s four books On Christian Doctrine are notably focused in comparison. Augustine seems to be at his best when he can let his rhetorical skills breathe. His arguments stay rooted in his fundamental belief in biblical truth, but at least here he engages in active interpretation. The entire last book is dedicated to honing skills to distinguish between literal and figurative biblical passages. He seeks for allegory in much of the Ol [...]

    • David Withun says:

      In this short book, St. Augustine presents a wealth of knowledge from which any Christian can derive an excess of benefit. In successive pages, Augustine lays out for the reader the foundations of the Christian faith, of the Christian spiritual life, of proper interpretation of Scripture, and of the correct manner of speech, life, and thinking for a Christian teacher. I recommend this book for Christian teachers and for anyone who wishes to deepen their understanding of the faith and the Scriptu [...]

    • J. Alfred says:

      The first three books are extremely interesting in how to read and interpret the Bible, and indeed how to think: there's a good amount of discussion on what is a thing, what is a sign, how signs are things and things are signs, but you can get mixed up if you interpret a sign as merely a thing and vice versa-- pretty profound stuff, as you might expect from the saint. Book four, on how Christians ought to try to sound good while speaking truth, is much less interesting.

    • Kevin Greenlee says:

      On Christian Doctrine is the first work of Augustine’s I’ve ever finished. The reading group I’m in read the first two sections as a launching point for our discussion of myth and symbol, and I decided to finish the whole thing. The book is essentially a primer on how to read the Bible and then, in the fourth section, how to present the knowledge attained therein.All in all, On Christian Doctrine is a very solid, though basic, examination of symbol, hermeneutics and eloquence. I like Augus [...]

    • Jacob Aitken says:

      And so begins the epistemology of the Western world, Christian or otherwise. It begins as a pocket guide to ethics:**use: to employ whatever means are at our disposal to obtain what one desires (I.4). In accordance with the ordo amoris, God uses rather than enjoys us (I.31). God uses us in references to his own goodness**enjoyment: to rest with satisfaction in a thing. The Trinity is the true object of enjoyment. Objects of enjoyment must be eternal and unchangeable (I.22). This leads to the Ord [...]

    • Shep says:

      One of the first major Christian hermeneutics texts. Modern exegetes may cringe at Augustine's use of the allegorical method of Scriptural interpretation, but no one can deny that his hermeneutics has been 1) profoundly influential throughout Christian history and 2) there is something to it. Augustine was attempting to mimic the methods of interpretation utilized by Christ and the apostles, and in this text he shows that he is aware of the extremes that allegorical interpretations can reach, bu [...]

    • kaelan says:

      First things first: I'm clearly not the kind of person for whom this book was intended. But that I thoroughly enjoyed De doctrina christianas—appropriately translated in my edition as On Christian Teaching, as opposed to the more misleading On Christian Doctrine—testifies to St. Augustine's sagacity and clarity as a thinker.As for the work, it is comprised of four parts: The first concerns itself with the concept of love, which Augustine cleverly partitions into love as a means (what he call [...]

    • Tim says:

      St. Augustine's On Christian Doctrine provides historical insight into early church and medieval practices of Scriptural interpretation and rhetorical appropriateness - many of which are foreign to modern readers. It can be dry in portions, but it is also wise and spiritually rich. He champions the church's use of the world's knowledge for its own sake, using the image of the Israelites taking from the Egyptians as they begin their Exodus - "Every good and true Christian should understand that w [...]

    • William Curb says:

      While I would have never picked this book up on my own accord I found that I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. The book was assigned for my class on Dante to help us understand some of the literature that Dante would have read and to give us an idea of the type of literary criticism that Dante would expect. And it is true that our class needed to read this to see where Dante was coming from. The book is definitely dated in Christian ideas, but it does show a good foundation of what [...]

    • Daniel Alvers says:

      I found a friend in this book. While I found him odd and strangely distant in many areas I also found him close and a great help to a climate of insanity in teaching and preaching. He provides clarity and cleverness that is simply timeless. In my opinion he has several limitations that many would point out. However, his upside is a healing to broken and strange set of preachers that this generation has been forced to endure. Modern sophistry and eloquence has horridly infected the church not onl [...]

    • Jeremy says:

      Books I-III: learning how to interpret the Bible; when is it literary and when is it figurative?; "rule of faith"; semioticsBook IV: rhetoric (presenting what you've learned)Good thoughts on hermeneutics, semiotics, and plundering the Egyptians.Read again from Feb. 7-9, 2015.

    • Gwen Burrow says:

      It's by Augustine, which means you should read it. And by the way, it's pronounced Au-gustine.

    • Emmiefiggs says:

      Many good and useful quotes. Can be dry at times

    • Kyle says:

      In On Christian Teaching, Augustine has written an excellent book on the topic of interpreting and teaching Scripture, although it includes so much more. Ultimately Augustine spends Books I-III discussing how to understand what is said in Scripture, and then in Book IV moving on to how to say/communicate what was understood. Augustine himself seems to admit that Books II-III are a bit wordy and tedious, but they are helpful nonetheless, particularly his discussion of things and signs, which are [...]

    • Taylor Pandolfino says:

      On Christine Teaching is a remarkably self-conscious book about biblical hermeneutics, the importance of symbolism, and the Christian rhetorical aesthetic. The text is divided into four books. The first differentiates between things (res) and signs (signa) in Scripture, and what it means to use (utor) things and to enjoy (fruor) things; the second examines unknown signa, unfamiliarity with which can be removed through comprehension of Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, the languages in which Scripture is [...]

    • Marie says:

      In this later writing, Saint Augustine explains how and why it's important to study Scripture and be able to evangelize, as well as the features of the Christian preacher. It's part theological, part lingusitic, part educational, but interesting all around.

    • Seth Holler says:

      Sep 2003. Read portions as an undergraduate. Mar 2011. More portions as a graduate student. Oct 2017. It's a treat to find an edition read by Simon Vance. I can't identify the translator; neither could the Customer Service folks at Hovel Audio, when I contacted them to ask. Update: Found the translation. It is a revision of the NPNF edition.

    • Eli says:

      I loved this book. I love Augustine's mind, and it is so exciting to see how identical the ancients were to modern man. Augustine shows in this book that he was a true scholar and lover of truth. Modern man has so much to learn from the men of old; to think otherwise is madness.His advice and directions on learning various disciplines, such as logic, mathematics, art, animal science, history, etc. are excellent and should be read by young people, which would stimulate them and help them see why [...]

    • Rad says:

      Augustine's On Christian Doctrine would perhaps be better titled On Biblical Exegesis, an observation also made by the translator of this volume, D.W. Robertson, in the book's Introduction: "Esssentially, On Christian Doctrine is an introduction to the interpretation and explanation of the Bible" (ix). It is a fairly short work, consisting of a Prologue and four books. Its brevity appears at odds with Augustine's warning at the beginning: "[The subject of this book] is a great and arduous work, [...]

    • Timothy Darling says:

      I include this book in a selection of books I call "Conversation with Christ." This is a powerful older book that has influenced Christian thinking for centuries, giving us some of the roots of thoughts practices that are still widely used today. Augustine of Hippo of course is one of the greatest of Church Fathers and should be heard on any topic he chooses to discuss. This book, however is sadly ignored in our homiletics and hermeneutics classes to our own detriment. We are an arrogant, short- [...]

    • Andrew says:

      I don't really feel comfortable rating a book from Saint Augustine, so I intend my rating to relate to the translation done by D.W. Robertson, Jr. For readers who need to carefully understand Augustine's argument, this translation is far superior to the more recent one done by R.H.P. Green, though Green's introductory material and notes are quite helpful.One way to understand this book is as a project of replacing the 'corpus' of classical literature that Augustine and other Roman citizens were [...]

    • Eric says:

      Augustine begins the first of On Christian Doctrine’s four books by stating, “There are two things on which all interpretation of scripture depends: the process of discovering what we need to learn, and the process of presenting what we have learnt” (1.1). He starts with discovery, further subdividing “things” from “signs” and focusing the remainder of the first book on learning which things (people included) are appropriate to use, enjoy, and/or love (1.2). The second book focuses [...]

    • Kyle Barton says:

      On Christian Teaching is made up of four books—three on discovering truth in the Scriptures and one on presenting the truth to others. Here’s how the four books break down:Book 1 is about “things”. Augustine says that of all the things, some are to be used and some are to be enjoyed. Ultimately, the only thing that is to be enjoyed is the Triune God and all other things are to be used to that end. Book one is the most theological and abstract of the four books and contextualizes Augustin [...]

    • Chris Whisonant says:

      This was a great read overall. I liked the first 3 parts, though I didn't care as much for the 4th part. It wasn't bad, but the discussion of the types of rhetorical language wasn't quite up my alley.

    • Ben Zornes says:

      This was just fantastic. Augustine's work here clearly shaped and guided Christian thought and doctrine, and the effects of his wisdom are felt today. He navigates the heresies common to his day and leads the reader to understand what the Bible teaches. He offers timeless principles which should form and shape Christians, both the lay person and the leaders. Two sections in particular I found most delightful and spiritually edifying. The first is in book 1, where he pursues how objects are to be [...]

    • Josh says:

      I think the translation of the title to "On Christian Teaching" is more accurate, as the book doesn't relate to core theological points of the Christian faith, but rather principles for studying scripture and for teaching it. It consists of four books. Book 1 relates to loving God and people.Books 2 and 3 relate to interpretive rules, and this is where I ran into some disagreements. Augustine describes interpreting numbers symbolically, refusing to believe that the disciples caught 153 fish just [...]

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