Gregory of Nyssa, one of the Greek Cappadocian Fathers,was considered one of the great spiritual leaders of the 4th century. Gregory's THE LIFE OF MOSES reflects his "spiritual sense" of the scriprtures. He maintained that the ultimate purpose of the Bible was not its historical teachings but it capacity for elevating the soul to God. Gregory saw the totality of the spiritual life as a continual growth for straining ahead, as in the words of St. Paul, "Forgetting the past, I strain for what is still to come." Gregory frames an immensely significant synthesis of the earlier Hellenistic and Jewish traditions in this work. He describes the spiritual ascent as taking place in three stages, symbolized by the Lord's revelation of Himself to Moses, first in light, then in the cloud, and finally, in the dark.