Friday, August 29, 2014

A Voice from the Past - Hillary of Poitiers

All these passages they neither understand rationally, nor distinguish as to their occasions, nor apprehend in the light of Gospel mysteries, nor realize in the strict meaning of the words; and so they impugn the divine nature of Christ with crude and insensate rashness, quoting single detached utterances to catch the ears of the unwary, and keeping back either the sequel which explains or the incidents which prompted them, though the meaning of words must be sought in the context before or after them.

Hillary of Poitiers, 185-254 AD, On the Trinity, Book IX, 2, (translated by Rev. E. W. Watson and Rev. L. Pullan, The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, T & T Clark and Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1997, Second series, Vol. IX, p. 156)

It is commonly said we should not take things out of context, but how can we safeguard against this? How can we recognize it?


  1. I think that it begins with knowing God and knowing who He is. For me, knowing that God is love and there is no darkness in Him has changed my life.

    1. I agree that those broad principles are important for understanding Scripture, even if we do not agree on all the particulars.