First Published in 1999. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
For millennia, people of faith have pondered the meaning of Scripture. No book in human history has been the focus of so much interpretation, comment and exposition. Yet tragically the interpretive voices of early church expositors, the luminaries of a vital period of biblical interpretation, have virtually fallen silent in the contemporary study, teaching and discussion of Scripture.
Now the modern church has an unparalleled resource for reading the Scriptures in the light of the early church. Through the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture these interpreters now speak again.
AN UNPRECEDENTED PROJECT
In collaboration with the Ancient Christian Commentary Project at Drew University, InterVarsity Press is pleased to publish the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (ACCS). Already four years in development, the first volumes of this series are scheduled for release by InterVarsity Press during summer 1998.
Under the leadership of Thomas C. Oden, general editor, an international team of scholars will produce three or four new volumes every year. When completed, the ACCS will fill twenty-seven volumes encompassing the entire canon of Scripture plus the Apocrypha. In each volume readers will find the Scripture text in English placed in the setting of the finest commentary from the early church.
The ACCS seeks to do for the Christian community what the Talmud did for the Jewish memory of early interpreters of the Torah. It revives the early tradition of the glossa ordinaria, a text artfully elaborated with ancient and seasoned reflections and insights.
A SPIRITUAL HERITAGE
Today's readers of the Bible tend to interpret Scripture primarily through the lenses of modern-day rationalist inquiry. As products of Enlightenment modernity, contemporary readers are often limited by late twentieth-century interpretations of Scripture. Yet this has not always been so. Long before the rise of historical-critical methods of biblical interpretation, the church unabashedly read the Bible through the eyes of faith, with uncommon spiritual and devotional insight. Even Reformation commentators such as Luther or Calvin recognized the sterling value of the writings of early church leaders such as Ambrose or Augustine.
However, today's students of the Bible rarely access these writings. Thomas Oden says, "We have bright, intelligent, articulate New Testament scholars in our seminaries who have never once cracked John Chrysostom's homilies, who wouldn't know how to find them." Many such materials are not readily available to students of the Bible, and some have never been translated into English.
In recent years, many have sensed the need for a Christian faith that is more historically rooted. The ACCS provides an understanding of Scripture that stands in continuity with the pioneering Christians from the early centuries of the church. In the church's pilgrimage to rediscover its ancient Christian heritage, the ACCS is a resource that reconnects the twenty-first century church with the wisdom of the ages.
Volume editors of the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture together constitute an exceptional team of ecumenical and international patristic scholars. They are reviewing and selecting exegesis and exposition from ancient commentaries as well as the entire range of partristic writings, including sermons, homilies, letters and theological discourses. Material is being gleaned from writings from the second to the eighth centuries, including comments from well-known early church leaders as well as lesser-known commentators, some of which are being translated into English for the first time. In addition, experts in early Christian Coptic and Syriac texts are identifying pertinent exegetical material for inclusion in the commentary.
This foray into the past has been made possible by the technology of the present. "Prior to the technology of digital search methods and storage techniques, this series could hardly have been thought of, and certainly not accomplished short of a vast army of researchers working by laborious hand-and-paper searches in selected libaries around the world," says Oden. The ACCS project utilizes computerized searches of the ancient Greek and Latin patristic corpus to identify scriptural interpretation from which commentary selections are drawn.
Twenty-first century biblical scholars, exegetes, pastors, students and readers of Scripture will gain unequaled access to the finest exegesis of the early Christian centuries, including leading figures such as Athanasius, Augustine, Jerome and John of Damascus. Readers from Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant traditions alike will benefit from the insights of their common Christian ancestors.
The ACCS opens up a long-forgotten passage through post-Enlightenment critical interpretation and bears us along to a fertile valley basking in the sunshine of theological and spiritual interpretation. It provides timely service to the church and the academy by reclaiming classic Christian commentary of the whole canon for a postcritical age.
In the twenty-seven volumes to come, readers are invited into the interpretive world that long nurtured the great pastors, theologians and saints of the early church. Here the salient insight, rhetorical power and consensual exegesis of our early Christian ancestors meets the horizon of the third millennium. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.