Sunday, May 2, 2010

Relevant Confessions

I've been reading through St. Augustine's Confessions for the last year or so. It's been a slow read due to it's brainy nature but every once in a while there'll be a passage like the following that will give me reason to pause. So here's ol' Gus, giving relevant commentary on the relationship scripture has with truth:

When, therefore, someone says, ‘Moses meant what I understand by this passage,’ and someone else says, ‘No, he meant what I understand by it,’ I think I show more proper caution in saying: Why not both, if both are true? And if someone sees a third meaning in these words, or a fourth, or any truth at all, why should we not believe that Moses, through whom the one God tempered the Holy Scriptures to the minds of the many readers who would see various truths in them, himself saw them all? For my part, I am bold to avow that my own attitude is thus: if I were to write something of Scriptural authority, I would rather write in such a way that whatever truth one could comprehend about those matters, it would be echoed in my words, rather than write one true opinion so plainly as to exclude other opinions whose falsity could not offend me. I am reluctant, therefore, my God, to rush into believing that Moses did not receive a similar gift from you. In writing these words, Moses perceived and considered every truth that we have been able to find in them and every truth we have not been able to find, or have not yet been able to find but which nevertheless can be found in them.

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