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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 Jeremiah, Lamentations volume:
Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, prophesied for four decades under the last five kings of Judah--from 627 to 587 B.C. His mission: a call to repentance. Among the Apostolic Fathers, Jeremiah was rarely cited, but several later authors give prominent attention to him, including Origen, Theodoret of Cyr and Jerome who wrote individual commentaries on Jeremiah and Cyril of Alexandria and Ephrem the Syrian who compiled catenae.
Justin and Irenaeus made use of Jeremiah to define Christians over against Jews. Athanasius made use of him in trinitarian debates. Cyril of Jerusalem, Irenaeus, Basil the Great and Clement of Alexandria all drew on Jeremiah for ethical exhortation.
Lamentations, as might be expected, quickly became associated with losses and death, notably in Gregory of Nyssa's Funeral Orations on Meletius. By extension the Fathers saw Lamentations as a description of the challenges that face Christians in a fallen world.
Readers will find some ancient authors translated into English here for the first time. Throughout they will gain insight and encouragement in the life of faith as seen through ancient pastoral eyes.