Original Research - Special Collection: Marianne Dircksen Festschrift

Teaching and illustrating the exegetical method of St Jerome: Letter 21 as a case study

Jacobus Kritzinger
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 53, No 2 | a2444 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v53i2.2444 | © 2019 Jacobus Kritzinger | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 January 2019 | Published: 28 August 2019

About the author(s)

Jacobus Kritzinger, Department of Ancient and Modern Languages and Cultures, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

This article is intended as a case study to introduce students to the life and work of St Jerome, and more specifically to his exegetical method. Letter 21 to Pope Damasus contains Jerome’s interpretation of the parable of the Prodigal Son and offers the ideal text to read with third year or honours Latin students. Since Professor Dircksen has a special interest in the teaching and learning of Latin, this contribution is meant for that section of the Festschrift. My aim is twofold: firstly, to offer an introduction to the text, focusing on several aspects which illustrate Jerome’s exegetical method; and secondly, to illustrate how this material can be presented to students. Students are introduced to a well-known patristic author’s approach to a biblical text, but in this process, they are taught how to approach any text themselves.

Keywords

St Jerome; Parable of the Prodigal Son; ‘Letter 21’; Ancient languages; Patristics; Theology

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