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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 Psalms 1-50 volume:
The Psalms have long served a vital role in the individual and corporate lives of Christians, expressing the full range of human emotions, including some that we are ashamed to admit. The Psalms reverberate with joy, groan in pain, whimper with sadness, grumble in disappointment and rage with anger.
The church fathers employed the Psalms widely. In liturgy they used them both as hymns and as Scripture readings. Within them they found pointers to Jesus both as Son of God and as Messiah. They also employed the Psalms widely as support for other New Testament teachings, as counsel on morals and as forms for prayer.
But the church fathers found more than pastoral insight in the Psalms. They found apologetic and doctrinal insight as well, as is attested by the more than sixty-five authors and more than 160 works excerpted in this commentary.
Especially noteworthy among the Greek-speaking authors cited are Hippolytus, Origen, Eusebius of Caesarea, Athanasius, Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nyssa, Didymus the Blind, Evagrius of Pontus, Diodore of Tarsus, John Chrysostom, Asterius the Homilist, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Theodoret of Cyr, Cyril of Alexandria and Hesychius of Jerusalem. Among noteworthy Latin authors we find Hilary of Poitiers, Ambrose of Milan, Jerome, Augustine, Arnobius the Younger and Cassiodorus.
Readers of these selections, some of which appear here for the first time in English, will glean from a rich treasury of deep devotion and profound theological reflection.