Aquinas's thoughts on biblical interpretation


(Derek King) #1

Does anyone know Aquinas’ thoughts on Biblical interpretation? He has thoughts on everything, so I would assume there’s something. We hear from Augustine a lot, but I’d be curious to know Aquinas’s thought on the matter.


(Brad Kramer) #2

http://biologos.org/blog/pre-modern-readings-of-genesis-1-part-2 Here’s a good blog to read on the subject. It compares the approach of Aquinas (as it relates to Genesis 1) alongside other important Christian figures throughout history.


(Henry Stoddard) #3

@dsking6,

I do not know everything about Thomas Aquinas; however, I do know that he accepted some of Aristotle’s views on the soul. The soul is what makes all things living. Plants, animals, and human beings have souls. There is a difference between non-human souls and the souls of human beings. For example, the souls of animals or plants are generated by the body of these creatures; therefore, once the body dies; the soul dies also. According to Aquinas, the soul of a human being is different because it is directly created by God. Therefore, the human soul can live on without the human body until the resurrection of the dead. Since God directly creates the human soul, he has the power to annihilate it. Therefore, Aquinas does not prove that the human soul is inherently immortal as Plato believed. It also did not pre-exist the body, and the body is not the prison of the soul. Concerning biblical interpretation, he seems to accept the traditional views of the Roman Church. He was an amillennialist, accepts the concept of purgatory as well as heaven and hell. As for creation, I would say that Aquinas accepted a literal Adam and Eve. I personally know of nothing that would dispute that. Did Thomas believe that the souls of human beings were still persons? Yes, however, he believed they were not totally complete without the body. Can we pray to the souls of saints? Yes, Thomas believed that. What about the age of the earth? I have no reference to Thomas’s views on this issue. Perhaps he was a product of his time, accepting a Young Earth. Perhaps he did not think about that. Only God and Thomas know that now.

I have noted that a certain Dr. Pak has written on the subject. Her writing was very informative and I must applaud it.