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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 Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon volume:
Among the Wisdom Literature of the Old Testament, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon were all thought by the early church fathers to have derived from the hand of Solomon. To their minds the finest wisdom about the deeper issues of life prior to the time of God's taking human form in Jesus Christ was to be found in these books. As in all the Old Testament they were quick to find types and intimations of Christ and his church which would make the ancient Word relevant to the Christians of their day.
Of extant commentaries on Ecclesiastes none is so profound as the eight homilies of Gregory of Nyssa, even though they cover only the first three chapters of the book. Joining Gregory among those most frequently excerpted in this volume are Augustine, Ambrose, Gregory the Great, Origen, John Cassian, John Chrysostom, Athanasius, Bede the Venerable and Jerome. Gregory of Nazianzus, Basil the Great and Cyril of Jerusalem lead a cast of other less frequently cited fathers, and then there remains a large cast of supporting players, some of whose work is translated here into English for the first time.
This volume edited by J. Robert Wright thus offers a rich trove of wisdom on Wisdom for the enrichment of the church today.