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The Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture does what very few of today's students of the Bible could do for themselves. With the aid of computer technology, the vast array of writings from the church fathers—including much that is available only in the ancient languages—have been combed for their comment on Scripture. From these results, scholars with a deep knowledge of the fathers and a heart for the church have hand-selected material for each volume, shaping, annotating and introducing it to today's readers. Each portion of commentary has been chosen for its salient insight, its rhetorical power and its faithful representation of the consensual exegesis of the early church.
The Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture is an ecumenical project, promoting a vital link of communication between the varied Christian traditions of today and their common ancient ancestors in the faith. On this shared ground, we listen as leading pastoral theologians of seven centuries gather around the text of Scripture and offer their best theological, spiritual and pastoral insights.
Today the historical-critical method of interpretation has nearly exhausted its claim on the biblical text and on the church. In its wake there is a widespread yearning among Christian individuals and communities for the wholesome, the deep and the enduring. The Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture does not seek to replace those excellent commentaries that have been produced in the twentieth century. Rather, it supplements them, framing them with interpretive voices that have long sustained the church and only recently have fallen silent. It invites us to listen with appreciative ears and sympathetic minds as our ancient ancestors in the faith describe and interpret the scriptural vistas as they see them.
The Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture is a postcritical revival of the early commentary tradition known as the glossa ordinaria, a text artfully elaborated with ancient and authoritative reflections and insights. An uncommon companion for theological interpretation, spiritual reading, and wholesome teaching and preaching.
About the Mark volume:
The 1999 Christianity Today Book Award Winner
The early church valued the Gospel of Mark for its preservation of the apostolic voice and gospel narrative of Peter. Yet the early church fathers very rarely produced sustained commentary on Mark. This brisk-paced and robust little Gospel, so much enjoyed by modern readers, was overshadowed in the minds of the fathers by the magisterial Gospels of Matthew and John.
But now with the assistance of computer searches, an abundance of comment has been discovered to be embedded and interleaved amidst the textual archives of patristic homilies, apologies, letters, commentaries, theological treatises and hymnic verses.
In this Ancient Christian Commentary on Mark, the insights of Augustine of Hippo and Clement of Alexandria, Ephrem the Syrian and Cyril of Jerusalem join in a polyphony of interpretive voices of the Eastern and Western church from the second century to the seventh. St. Mark's Gospel displays the evocative power of its story, parables and passion as it ignites a brilliant exhibit of theological insight and pastoral wisdom.
The Ancient Christian Commentary on Mark (now in its second edition) opens up a long-forgotten passage through the arid and precipitous slopes of post-Enlightenment critical interpretation and bears us along to a fertile valley basking in the sunshine of theological and spiritual interpretation. In these pages we enter the interpretive world that long nurtured the great premodern pastors, theologians and saints of the church.