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The Song of Songs: Interpreted by Early Christian and Medieval Commentators (Church's Bible) [Hardcover]

By Richard Alfred Norris (Editor)
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Item Number 143890  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   344
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 10.22" Width: 7.12" Height: 1.17"
Weight:   1.8 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Nov 18, 2003
Publisher   Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN  0802825796  
EAN  9780802825797  


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Item Description...
Overview
The Song of Songs, traditionally attributed to Solomon, is a collection of lyrics that celebrate in earthly terms the love of a bridegroom and a bride. Throughout the course of early Christian history, the Song of Songs was widely read as an allegory of the love of Christ both for the church and for its individual members. In reading the Song this way, Christians were following in the steps of Jewish exegetes who saw the Song as celebrating the love of God for Israel. In "The Song of Songs," the inaugural volume of The Church's Bible, Richard A. Norris Jr. uses commentaries and sermons from the church's first millennium to illustrate the original Christian understanding of Solomon's beautiful poem. In recent times, the Song of Songs has been more a focus of literary than of religious interest, but Norris's work shows that for early Christians, this text was counted, with the Psalms and the Gospels, among those Scriptures that touched most deeply on the believer's relation to God. All in all, Norris's "Song of Songs" is a masterful work that aptly acquaints contemporary readers with the church's traditional way of discerning in this text a guide to the character of Christian belief and life. This volume _ and the entire Church's Bible series _ will be welcomed by preachers, teachers, students, and general readers alike.

Publishers Description
The Christian church has a long tradition of biblical interpretation. In the first eight hundred years of Christian history the fathers of the faith produced a nearly inexhaustible library of commentaries and homilies on the Bible. The Church's Bible series seeks to recover this largely lost source of profound theology and spiritual wisdom for today's church. In The Song of Songs, the inaugural volume of this extraordinary new commentary series, Richard A. Norris Jr. uses commentary and sermons written during the first six centuries and in the Latin Middle Ages to illustrate the original Christian reading of Solomon's beautiful love poem. In recent times, the Song of Songs has been more a focus of literary than of religious interest, but Norris's work shows that for early Christians, this poem was counted, with the Psalms and the Gospels, among those scriptures that touched most deeply on the believer's relation to God. Christian interpreters, translates them into idiomatic English, and arranges them as verse-by-verse comments on the biblical text itself. The Christian voices gathered here include Origen, Gregory the Great, Gregory of Nyssa, Bernard of Clairvaux, Ambrose of Milan, William of St. Thierry, Bede the Venerable, Augustine of Hippo, Cyril of Alexandria, and many more. Together their stirring reflections on the Song of Songs aptly acquaint contemporary readers with the church's traditional way of discerning in this text a guide to the character of Christian belief and life. Amid the many commentary series available today, The Church's Bible is both unique and original. Church's Bible Series Editors: Robert Louis Wilken (general editor) The Church's Bible presents Scripture as it was understood during the first millennium of Christian history. Compiled, translated, and edited by leading scholars, these volumes return to early and medieval commentaries on key books of the Bible, recovering anew the church's rich classical tradition of scriptural interpretation for clergy, teachers, and all serious readers of the Bible. Titles in this Series: The Song of Songs: Interpreted by Early Christian and Medieval Commentators

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More About Richard Alfred Norris

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Norris is Professor Emeritus of Church History at Union Theological Seminary, New York City, Priest Associate of the Church of St. Ignatius of Antioch, and Diocesan Canon in the Diocese of New York. He has taught and written extensively on the history and development of doctrine in the early church.

Richard A. Norris lived in the state of New York. Richard A. Norris was born in 1930 and died in 2005.

Richard A. Norris has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Sources of Early Christian Thought


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Product Categories
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Make me hear your voice...  Jan 5, 2004
The books in this series by Eerdmans, `The Church's Bible', is part of a series of historical reflections on biblical development and interpretation during the first millennium of Christianity. As the series editor Robert Louis Wilken points out, during that first thousand years, all questions of practice, theology and ethics began with the biblical text. Few are familiar with the richness of commentary and understanding that comes from the scholars, saints and biblical explorers of the first thousand years, the `undivided' years, of Christendom. This series presents biblical texts laid out with commentary following from the wide variety of writers from that period.

In this particular volume, produced by Richard Norris, the selected commentaries largely come from sermons or interpretations written specifically for the Song of Songs. Many of them, according to Norris, are incomplete - that is, they only concentrate on small portions of the biblical book. Other sources included reference the Song of Songs incidentally or peripherally, yet demonstrate important points about Christian thought from these historical periods.

Wilken provides a series introduction, discussing general Old Testament themes and interpretations, and following this Norris provides a basic introduction to the text and the method of this volume. The main section sets out the text of the Song of Songs in a side-by-side parallel of a translation from the Septuagint and from the Vulgate (the books used by the ancient commentators), followed by passages from the ancient authors. All of these are presented in new translation by Norris into modern English. The pericopes are also introduced with commentary by Norris to set overall context and themes.

There is an appendix with brief biographical information on each of the twenty-one ancient commentators. This include well-known names such as Ambrose, Augustine of Hippo, Bernard of Clairvaux, Gregory of Nyssa and Bede the Venerable, but also lesser-known names such as Rupert of Deutz and Apponius (known really only for his commentary on the Song of Songs). Origen is included in the list despite his somewhat problematic relationship with the church.

This is a book designed for scholars, clergy, and others who have a deep and abiding interest in the history the way texts are interpreted. Combined with modern commentaries on the same texts, books of this series can be enlightening and fascinating for the reader to see how much things have changed, and how many things have not.

 

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