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BY-NC-ND 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter 2020

Der Physiologus und das Neue Testament. Die neutestamentlichen Wurzeln der frühchristlichen Naturdeutung

Zbyněk Kindschi Garský


This article examines the hermeneutic method of the Greek Physiologus, which Pitra (1855), in his critical edition, already described as allegory or allegoresis, and highlights the New Testament roots of this first Christian allegoresis of nature. Physiologus can be thus described because it is not an allegory in the classical sense, but in a genuinely Christian form. Such allegories are known primarily from the works of Clement of Alexandria and Origen, but their foundations were already laid by Paul and John in the New Testament. In Physiologus, Christ also serves as a hermeneutic key, but the Old Testament is replaced by nature, which is allegorically interpreted and rewritten: “So let the perfect Christian people also distinguish the words of the Old Testament from the Spirit, so that the letter does not kill you. Because Paul said: ‘The law is spiritual’” (Physiologus 12).

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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