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Romans (Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture) [Hardcover]

By Gerald Bray (Editor), Thomas C. Oden (Editor) & Gerald Bray
Our Price $ 46.75  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   406
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 10.2" Width: 1.4" Height: 7.3"
Weight:   2.28 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Nov 7, 2005
Publisher   IVP Academic
ISBN  083081356X  
EAN  9780830813568  


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Item Description...
Overview
St. Paul's Letter to the Romans has long been considered the theological high-water mark of the New Testament. It was no less regarded by the ancient church, and patristic interpreters have left us an abundance of valuable comment on Romans. This Ancient Christian Commentary on Romans collects the best and most representative of patristic commentary and homily on Romans, and it brings to the public some valuable material that has hitherto been unavailable in English translation. Outstanding among these commentators is "Ambrosiaster," the name given to the unknown Latin commentator of the late fourth century, whose enduring worth is evident to all who read him. And the extensive commentary by Origen, largely inaccessible to modern readers, is frequently and extensively presented here in English for the first time. These commentators are joined by great figures such as John Chrysostom of Constantinople, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Augustine of Hippo, Theodoret of Cyrus, and several lesser commentators such as Diodore of Tarsus and Didymus the Blind of Alexandria. This commentary on Romans (now in its second edition) provides a rare opportunity to encounter the familiar Pauline exposition of the righteousness of God as it echoes in the great Christian minds and communities of the early church.

Publishers Description
A Christianity Today 1999 Book of the Year St. Paul's Letter to the Romans has long been considered the theological high-water mark of the New Testament. It was no less regarded by the ancient church, and patristic interpreters have left us an abundance of valuable comment on Romans. This Ancient Christian Commentary on Romans collects the best and most representative of patristic commentary and homily on Romans, and it brings to the public some valuable material that has hitherto been unavailable in English translation. Outstanding among these commentators is "Ambrosiaster," the name given to the unknown Latin commentator of the late fourth century, whose enduring worth is evident to all who read him. And the extensive commentary by Origen, largely inaccessible to modern readers, is frequently and extensively presented here in English for the first time. These commentators are joined by great figures such as John Chrysostom of Constantinople, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Augustine of Hippo, Theodoret of Cyrus, and several lesser commentators such as Diodore of Tarsus and Didymus the Blind of Alexandria. This commentary on Romans (now in its second edition) provides a rare opportunity to encounter the familiar Pauline exposition of the righteousness of God as it echoes in the great Christian minds and communities of the early church.

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More About Gerald Bray, Thomas C. Oden & Gerald Bray

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Gerald L. Bray (Ph.D., La Sorbonne) is a professor at Beeson Divinity School of Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, and director of research at Latimer Trust. He has written and edited a number of books on different theological subjects. A priest of the Church of England, Bray has also edited the post-Reformation Anglican canons.

Gerald L. Bray has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture
  2. Ancient Christian Doctrine
  3. Ancient Christian Texts
  4. Contours of Christian Theology


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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Balanced Patristic Commentary  Jul 12, 2006
It is discouraging to read some negative reviews printed twice under the same name and to see so many negative reviews without details under "reader."

This commentary indeed includes condemned heretics like Origen and Theodore of Mopsuestia. However, Origen was described by Gregory of Nyssa as the "touchstone of us all" and continued to be influential as a biblical critic throughout the Middle Ages. Theodore of Mopsuestia and Tertullian were similarly influential. Before the Muslim conquests and Iconoclasm ossified positions among Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and so-called Oriental Orthodox Christians, these were the writers who were widely read, admired - and yes - sometimes refuted.

I recommend it as an adjunct to the International Critical Commentary (ICC). Skip the Anchor commentary, which covers much of its liberal bias, and commentaries from conservative publishers that do the same. Use the ICC to uncover the scholarly issues of our day and the ACCS as a pastoral voice, generally in agreement but hardly monolithic, from before the medieval controversies. Since the editor (a Baptist, I believe) has rendered a number of translations himself, it always is worth going to the original sources (preferably in the original language) to follow up on what is attractive, disturbing or unclear.
 
Don't Be Put Off!!!  May 7, 2006
In light of all the negative reviews below, I'd like to add another perspective. While I do agree that there is a need for a more in-depth and scholarly collection of ancient comments on Scripture (yes, Anchor would probably do a fine job), this series is a great resource for the busy pastor. When I was in seminary, or in positions where I wasn't preaching every week, going to the original documents was expected and even enjoyable. But as the pastor of a church plant, I'm thrilled to have these books to quickly see how my interpretations (and those of modern commentators) square with the thoughts of our ancient brethren.
If you're an academic, a student, or want to really wrestle with what the ancients had to say, then yes, a more extensive collection is desirable. But if you're pressured with the weekly grind of preaching, yet still want to take your congregation a bit deeper, these commentaries can be a real blessing.
 
A place to begin  Feb 1, 2004
The ACCS series, of which this volume on Romans is a part, is a place to begin in terms of patristic commentary, not a place to end. If this series had claimed to be an in-depth and comprehensive collection on the Church Fathers' statements on Scripture, then many of the critiques leveled at it would be justified. However, these negative reviews are aiming at a straw man.

The ACCS series provides selected commentary by various thinkers in the early centuries of Christianity regarding the various books of the Bible. Even with its selectivity, these books are hundreds of pages long (compared to the at most thirty or so pages of the actual Scriptural text). To try and be as comprehensive as some reviewers seem to be demanding, the volume on Romans would no doubt have to be at least three large volumes itself.

The series creators hoped these volumes could help encourage cross-denominational discussion with these formative thinkers. It is a starting place for thinking and discussing, not the end. Perhaps the best use of these volumes are as time-savers. Even the best Patristics scholar will not have the location of every comment on a particular Scripture verse by the Fathers right of the top of his/her head. And they may not want to spend the time of going through the index of, say, every volume in the Ante-Nicene, Nicene, and Post-Nicene Fathers series (all, what, 28 of them?). Instead, the scholar can look quickly at this volume from the ACCS, looking to see what various Fathers had to say, then go to the original document to see the topic in context, where the various commentaries can be compared. Certainly, the ACCS volume on Romans is useful for that.

If one is looking for every comment from every Church Father on Scripture, this is not the series for you. But, then again, that's not what this series intended to be in the first place. But, as a starting place for further research, it is excellent.

 
disappointing  Oct 21, 2001
This series is disappointing. I simply did not find the comments from the Fathers very illuminating presented in this context. This was not what I expected.

I would advise anyone who finds modern biblical scholarship unhelpful to immerse himself in the Fathers directly and in the original context. If we then read the scriptures adopting, if only for the moment, their mindset, their presuppositions, and their methods, the scriptures will be openned up to us in a new and fruitful way.

We moderns can find allegorical interpretation, for example, somewhat farfetched. But it is clear to me that some of what the apostles intended to teach cannot be understood from a strictly literal reading of the text. The apostles themselves do not take a concrete, literal approach to interpreting the Old Testament. Imitating the thought processes of the Fathers, who are much closer culturally to the apostles, opens our eyes to more of the New Testament's message.

In the final analysis, it is difficult to fully comprehend the gospel message presented in the scriptures without realizing that the early Church, for which the New Testament was written, believed in baptismal regeneration, the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist (understood as sacrificial) and the Church as an organic structure put in place by the apostles.

If the authors of this series had fully appreciated this I think they might taken the plunge into the stream instead of dousing themselves with thimblefuls of water.

A final comment on the choice of the RSV. The major defect of this fine translation is the tendency to downplay the messianic implications of Old Testament texts, that is to "recover" some "original" text from the accretions of subsequent interpretations. Many of the texts that are interpreted messianicly in the New Testament are translated in such a way as to obscure rather than highlight this possiblity. A similar problem arises in the New Testament with the choice of "it" rather than "He" for the Holy Spirit. I'm not sure what alternative the editors had for this problem.

 
What a shame  Feb 16, 2001
The translations go on unabated, and I really hate to give this volume a bad review. It is such a good idea. But this terribly abridged and oddly selected series of translations (good translations, I have to say, that is the one star) is not the way to go about it. We need a REAL and BROAD set of ancient Christian commentaries. These won't do.
 

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