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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. II:
On Christian Doctrine: Chapter 26

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 26.—Obscure Passages are to Be Interpreted by Those Which are Clearer.

Now from the places where the sense in which they are used is more manifest we must gather the sense in which they are to be understood in obscure passages.  For example, there is no better way of understanding the words addressed to God, “Take hold of shield and buckler and stand up for mine help,” 1892 than by referring to the passage where we read, “Thou, Lord, hast crowned us with Thy favor as with a shield.” 1893   And yet we are not so to understand it, as that wherever we meet with a shield put to indicate a protection of any kind, we must take it as signifying nothing but the favor of God.  For we hear also of the shield of faith, “wherewith,” says the apostle, “ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” 1894   Nor ought we, on the other hand, in regard to spiritual armor of this kind to assign faith to the shield only; for we read in another place of the breastplate of faith:  “putting on,” says the apostle, “the breastplate of faith and love.” 1895


Footnotes

566:1892

Ps. 35.2.

566:1893

Ps. 5.12.

566:1894

Eph. 6.16.

566:1895

1 Thess. 5.8.


Next: Chapter 27

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