Even though I was raised in a Romanian Baptist family without any access to the church fathers or the reformers (it was under communism when Christian literature was very scarce), I was attracted toward them from the very beginning. While many of the church fathers are usually associated with the Orthodox Church which was understood as being (mostly) dead in Romania when I grew up as a Baptist, there is no doubt in my mind that many of the writings of the church fathers are still very useful for the church. After all, the Holy Spirit has a history, and to read the Bible with the church fathers, the Reformers, and the Puritans is like having a bible study across the centuries.
Daniel Boyarin (Sparks of the Logos, Brill, 2003, pp. 22-23) gives the following definition for rabbinic hermeneutics: “Hermeneutics is a practice of the recovery of vision. That is, it is ideally a practice in which the original moments of the unmediated vision of God’s presence can be recovered.”
He then goes on and illustrates this model of hermeneutics with the following delightful story from the midrash on the Song of Songs: