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Augustines writings on genesis st augustine paid special attention to the book of genesis he wrote three commentaries on the book on genesis a refutation of the manichees the unfinished literal commentary on genesis and the literal meaning of genesis. Saint augustine of hippo 354 430 ce most famous for his work confessions and his city of god is regarded as one of the fathers of the church in the tradition of catholicism in this brief essay from his the literal meaning of genesis augustine denounces christians who speak on subjects they know . 41 st augustine vol 1 the literal meaning of genesis ancient christian writers john hammond taylor on amazoncom free shipping on qualifying offers a thorough and conscientious commentary on the first three chapters from the book of genesis completed in 415 augustines purpose is to explain. Allegorical interpretations of genesis are readings of the biblical book of genesis that treat elements of the narrative as symbols or types rather than viewing them literally as recording historical eventseither way judaism and most sects of christianity treat genesis as canonical scripture and believers generally regard it as having spiritual significance. The following excerpt is taken from augustines the literal meaning of genesis an unfinished book as translated by j h taylor sj newman press new york 1982 quoted by permissionalthough this work was written in ad 401 you will notice that augustines understanding of literal is quite different from todays notion of a literal interpretation of genesis as claimed by young earth