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Isaiah 1-39 - Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture

Item Number: 59173

Catalog Code: 9780830814800

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Isaiah 1-39

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In the desert of biblical scholarship that tries to deconstruct or get behind the texts, the patristic commentators let the pure, clear waters of Christian faith flow from its scriptural source. Preachers, teachers and Bible students of every sort will want to drink deeply from The Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture.
Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, president of Religion and Public Life and editor-in-chief of First Things

Composed in the style of the great medieval catenae, this new anthology of patristic commentary on Holy Scripture, conveniently arranged by chapter and verse, will be a valuable resource for prayer, study and proclamation. By calling attention to the rich Christian heritage preceding the separations between East and West and between Protestant and Catholic, this series will perform a major service to the cause of ecumenism.
Avery Cardinal Dulles, S. J., Laurence J. McGinley Professor of Religion and Society, Fordham University

About the Book


For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government will be upon his shoulder
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.


For the early church fathers the prophecy of Isaiah was not a compendium of Jewish history or theology but an announcement of the coming Messiah fulfilled in the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. As such, the prophet's words were a rich source of theological reflection concerning their Lord and a vital aid in their defense against the objections of the Jews that Jesus was the promised Messiah. The interpretation of Jesus' ministry in light of Isaiah's prophecy was not a theological innovation on their part, but rather a following of the path blazed by the New Testament writers and Jesus himself.

Among passage-by-passage commentaries cited here are those by Eusebius of Caesarea, Jerome, Cyril of Alexandria and Theodoret of Cyr, as well as one attributed to Basil of Caesarea. John Chrysostom preached a series of homilies on Isaiah of which most of those extant concern the first eight chapters, though Chrysostom frequently cites Isaiah in numerous homilies on other books. Augustine of Hippo, Gregory the Great and Bede the Venerable frequently cited passages from Isaiah 1—39 as did many other fathers in defending the Christian faith from Jewish critics.

Edited by Steven A. McKinion, this volume of the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture offers readers access to materials ranging from East to West and from the first through the eighth centuries, some appearing in English translation for the first time. Within this treasure house are riches to illumine the mind and fire the heart.

About the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture Series

he 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.


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St. Augustine of Hippo

St. Augustine of Hippo Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 08/28
Tridentine Calendar - 08/28

Patron Of: Brewers, Eyes, Printers, Theologians

Also Known As
    Aurelius Augustinus
    Doctor of Grace

    28 August

    His father was a pagan who converted on his death bed; his mother was Saint Monica, a devout Christian. Trained in Christianity, he lost his faith in youth and led a wild life. Lived with a Carthaginian woman from the age of 15 through 30. Fathered a son whom he named Adeotadus, which means the gift of God. Taught rhetoric at Carthage and Milan. After investigating and experimenting with several philosophies, he became a Manichaean for several years; it taught of a great struggle between good and evil, and featured a lax moral code. A summation of his thinking at the time comes from his Confessions: "God, give me chastity and continence - but not just now."

    Augustine finally broke with the Manichaeans and was converted by the prayers of his mother and the help of Saint Ambrose of Milan, who baptized him. On the death of his mother he returned to Africa, sold his property, gave the proceeds to the poor, and founded a monastery. Monk. Priest. Preacher. Bishop of Hippo in 396. Founded religious communities. Fought Manichaeism, Donatism, Pelagianism and other heresies. Oversaw his church and his see during the fall of the Roman Empire to the Vandals. Doctor of the Church. His later thinking can also be summed up in a line from his writings:

        Our hearts were made for You, O Lord, and they are restless until they rest in you.

    13 November 354 at Tagaste, Numidia, North Africa (Souk-Ahras, Algeria) as Aurelius Augustinus

    28 August 430 at Hippo


    Bridgeport, Connecticut, diocese of
    Cagayan de Oro, Philippines
    Ida, Philippines, diocese of
    Isleta Indian Pueblo
    Kalamazoo Michigan, diocese of
    Saint Augustine, Florida, city of
    Saint Augustine, Florida, diocese of
    sore eyes
    Superior, Wisconsin, diocese of
    Tucson, Arizona, diocese of
    Valletta, Malta

All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.


St. Bede the Venerable

St. Bede the Venerable Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 05/25
Tridentine Calendar - 05/27

Patron Of: Lectors

Also known as

    * Venerable Bede
    * Father of English History


    * 25 May
    * formerly 27 May


    Born around the time England was finally completely Christianized. Raised from age seven in the abbey of Saints Peter and Paul at Wearmouth-Jarrow, and lived there the rest of his life. Benedictine monk. Spiritual student of the founder, Saint Benedict Biscop. Ordained in 702 by Saint John of Beverley. Teacher and author, he wrote about history, rhetoric, mathematics, music, astronomy, poetry, grammar, philosophy, hagiography, homiletics, and Bible commentary.

    He was known as the most learned man of his day, and his writings started the idea of dating this era from the incarnation of Christ. The central theme of Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica is of the Church using the power of its spiritual, doctrinal, and cultural unity to stamp out violence and barbarism. Our knowledge of England before the 8th century is mainly the result of Bede’s writing. He was declared a Doctor of the Church on 13 November 1899 by Pope Leo XIII.


    * 672 at Wearmouth, England


    * 25 May 735 of natural causes


    * 1899 by Pope Leo XIII


    * lectors


    * Prayer to Saint Bede


    * monk writing at a desk
    * old monk dying amidst his community
    * old monk with a book and pen
    * old monk with a jug


All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.


St. Cyril of Alexandria

Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 06/27
Tridentine Calendar - 02/09

Patron Of: Alexandria, Egypt

    Nephew of Theophilus the Patriarch. Monk. Priest. Bishop of Alexandria, Egypt in 412. Patriach of Alexandria. Suppressed the Novatians. Worked at the Council of Ephesus. Fought against Nestorius who taught the heresy that there were two persons in Christ. Catechetical writer. Wrote a book opposing Julian the Apostate. Greek Father of the Church. Doctor of the Church.

    376 at Alexandria, Egypt

    444 at Alexandria, Egypt of natural causes; relics in Alexandria

All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.


Isaiah the Prophet

 Isaiah the Prophet Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 07/06


    * 6 July


    Eighth century BC Old Testament prophet. Killed at the order of King Manasses of Juda.


    * sawn in two
    * buried under an oak tree


    * Pre-Congregation


    * elderly man holding a scroll that reads “Ecce Virgo Concipiet”
    * old man being sawn in two
    * robed figure holding a saw

All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.


St. John Chrysostom

Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 09/13

Patron Of: Against Epilepsy, Constantinople, Istanbul, Speakers, Lecturers, Orators, Preachers

Also known as
    Greatest of the Greek Fathers
    Giovanni Crisostomo

    John's father died when he was young, and he was raised by a very pius mother. Well educated; studied rhetoric under Libanius, one of the most famous orators of his day. Monk. Preacher and priest for a dozen years in Syria. While there he developed a stomach ailment that troubled him the rest of his life.

    It was for his sermons that John earned the title "Chrysostom" (golden mouthed). They were always on point, they explained the Scriptures with clarity, and they sometimes went on for hours. Made a reluctant bishop of Constantinople in 398, a move that involved him in imperial politics. Criticized the rich for not sharing their wealth, fought to reform the clergy, prevented the sale of ecclesiastical offices, called for fidelity in marriage, encouraged practices of justice and charity.

    Archbishop and Patriarch of Constantinople. Revised the Greek Liturgy. Greek Father of the Church. Proclaimed Doctor of the Church in 451.

    John's sermons caused nobles and bishops to work to remove him from his diocese; twice exiled from his diocese. Banished to Pythius, and died on the way.

    c.347 at Antioch, Asia Minor


All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.

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