Tyconius’ Book of Rules

An Ancient Invitation to Ecclesial Hermeneutics


In Tyconius’ Book of Rules Matthew R. Lynskey explores the church-centric interpretation of ancient biblical exegete Tyconius in his hermeneutical treatise Liber regularum. Influential within his Donatist tradition and the broader context of early North African Christianity, Tyconius wrote one of the earliest works on exegetical theory and praxis in Latin Christianity.
By investigating five key concepts undergirding Tyconius’s theology of church, Lynskey demonstrates how Tyconius’ ecclesiology shaped his hermeneutical enterprise. Through careful readings and close analysis of Liber regularum, this study seeks to describe Tyconius’ exegesis on its own terms, reflecting on notable historical, theological, formational, and missiological implications of his ecclesial exegesis as it concerns the ancient and contemporary church.

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Matthew R. Lynskey, Ph.D. (2018), University of South Africa, serves in Training and Theological Formation at unfoldingWord. He is the author of the spiritual formation journal Sacred Markings (Noble Imprint, forthcoming) and modern church-based catechism series The Narrative Journey (Noble Imprint, forthcoming).
Citation Note

Part 1 Mapping the Landscape: Reconstructing Tyconius’ Mental World

1 Introduction
 1 Limitations and Specific Inquiry
 2 Methodological Considerations
 3 Overview and Outline
 4 Conclusion

2 Grasping Tyconius’ Personal Profile, Ecclesiastical Setting, and Literary Prologue
 1 Personal Profile: A Sketch of Tyconius, the Man
 2 Ecclesiastical Setting: Roman North African Christianity and the Donatist Divide
 3 Literary Prologue: The Key to the Keys
 4 Conclusion

Part 2 Standing at the Crossroads: Assessing the Intersection of Tyconius’ Ecclesiology and Hermeneutic

3 Bridegroom and Bride: The Church as Body of Christ
 1 Tyconian Ecclesiology: The Body of Christ
 2 Tyconian Hermeneutics: An Ontological Hermeneutics
 3 Conclusion

4 Black and Beautiful: The Church as Bipartite Body
 1 Tyconian Ecclesiology: The Bipartite Church
 2 Tyconian Hermeneutics: Transformational Hermeneutics
 3 Conclusion

5 The Septiform Church: The Church as Spiritual World
 1 Tyconian Ecclesiology: The Spiritual World
 2 Tyconian Hermeneutics: Spiritual-Sapiential Hermeneutics
 3 Conclusion

6 The Living Stone: The Church as Universal People of God
 1 Tyconian Ecclesiology: The Universal People
 2 Tyconian Hermeneutics: Ecumenical Hermeneutics
 3 Conclusion

7 The Last People: The Church as Eschatological Community
 1 Tyconian Ecclesiology: The Pilgrim People
 2 Tyconian Hermeneutics: Eschatological Hermeneutics
 3 Conclusion

 1 Toward an Ontological Hermeneutics
 2 Toward a Transformational Hermeneutics
 3 Toward a Spiritual-Sapiential Hermeneutics
 4 Toward an Ecumenical Hermeneutics
 5 Toward an Eschatological Hermeneutics
 6 Conclusion

All interested in the study of early North African Christianity, the history of early Christian exegesis, ressourcement theology, early Christian spirituality, and the nature of ecclesial hermeneutics.
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