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Overview

Uncover the roots of Christianity and the writings of the early church in a new way. Ancient Christian Texts is a series of new translations of full-length commentaries and sermons based on biblical books or extended scriptural passages by early church leaders like Ambrosiaster, Origen, John of Damascus, Cyril of Alexandria and many others, most of which are presented in English for the first time. With today’s best scholarship, the Ancient Christian Texts provides you with the resources you need to study for yourself the key writings of the early church in a way never possible before.

In the Logos edition, these volumes are enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Key Features

  • Commentaries and sermons from the early church
  • All new translations, many in English for the first time
  • Get a deeper understanding of the theological roots of Christianity

Product Details

  • Title: Ancient Christian Texts Collection
  • Series Editors: Thomas C. Oden and Gerald L. Bray
  • Series: Ancient Christian Texts
  • Publisher: IVP Academic
  • Volumes: 15
  • Pages: 3,910
  • Resource Type: Ancient Texts

Individual Titles

Commentaries on Genesis 1-3

  • Authors: Severian of Gabala and Bede the Venerable
  • Editor: Michael Glerup
  • Translators: Robert C. Hill and Carmen S. Hardin
  • Publisher: IVP Academic
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Pages: 162

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

The church fathers displayed considerable interest in the early chapters of Genesis, and often wrote detailed commentaries or preached series of homilies on the Hexameron—the Six Days of Creation—among them Eustathius of Antioch, Basil the Great, Gregory of Nyssa, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Ambrose, John Chrysostom and Augustine.

This volume of Ancient Christian Texts offers a first-time English translation of Severian of Gabala’s In cosmogoniam and a fresh translation of a portion of Bede the Venerable’s Libri quatuor in principium Genesis. Severian, bishop of Gabala in Syria, who early on was a friend of John Chrysostom, later turned against him and opposed him at the Synod of Oak in 403. Though displaying his own strengths, weaknesses and idiosyncrasies, Severian still represents the so-called Antiochene school with its preference for literal over allegorical interpretation of texts. The text derives from the six homilies found in Migne’s Patrologia graeca, volume 56, together with a seventh homily found only in the 1613 Eton edition of John Chrysostom’s works, edited by Henry Savile, and falsely attributed to Chrysostom. These homilies have been ably translated with explanatory notes by Robert C. Hill.

The commentary from Bede the Venerable derives from Book I of his four-book commentary on Genesis from the account of creation to the casting out of Ishmael. Bede was a polymath—teacher, computist, exegete, historian—and one of the foremost scholars from Anglo-Saxon England. As a teacher, Bede strove to hand on the tradition of the church in a form easily understood by those who might not be well educated. These early chapters in Genesis provided teaching on creation, human origins, sin and redemption. The text deriving from Corpus Christianorum Latina is ably translated with explanatory notes by Carmen Hardin.

Homilies on Numbers

  • Author: Origen
  • Editor: Christopher A. Hall
  • Translator: Thomas P. Scheck
  • Publisher: IVP Academic
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Pages: 196

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Origen of Alexandria (185–254), one of the most prolific authors of antiquity and arguably the most important and influential pre-Nicene Christian theologian, was a man of deep learning and holiness of life. Regrettably, many of his works are no longer extant, in part due to the condemnation of his ideas by the Fifth Ecumenical Council in 553. The condemnation, however, took little account of his historical circumstances and the tentative nature of his speculations. The anathemas were more likely directed toward sixth-century Origenist views than to the views of Origen himself, though clearly he expounded some views that would be judged unacceptable today.

Origen’s numerous homilies provide the oldest surviving corpus of Christian sermons and shaped exegesis for succeeding centuries. With Jerome he was one of the early church’s great critical and literal exegetes. Devoutly he sought to develop a spiritual exegesis of the Old Testament grounded in the revelation of Jesus Christ. The Homilies on Numbers presented here offer a splendid example of his spiritual interpretation of Old Testament texts. He asks, What foreshadowing, what warning, what instruction, what encouragement, reproof, correction or exhortation, do we find in the narratives of Numbers for our benefit as Christians?

Here, based on Baehren’s critical Latin text, is the first English edition of these homilies, ably translated with explanatory notes by Thomas P. Scheck.

Presented in clear, accessible English, this translation of Origen’s commentary on the Book of Numbers is organized according to the Biblical text so both can be read side-by-side as Origen himself intended.

Reference Research Book News, February 2010

Commentary on Isaiah

  • Author: Eusebius of Caesarea
  • Editor: Joel C. Elowsky
  • Translator: Jonathan J. Armstrong
  • Publisher: IVP Academic
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 332

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Eusebius of Caesarea (ca. 260–ca. 340), one of the early church’s great polymaths, produced significant works as a historian (Ecclesiastical History), geographer (Onomasticon), philologist, exegete (commentaries on the Psalms and Isaiah), apologist (Preparation for and Demonstration of the Gospel) and theologian. His Commentary on Isaiah is one of his major exegetical works and the earliest extant Christian commentary on the great prophet. Geographically situated between Alexandria and Antioch, Eusebius approached the text giving notable attention to historical detail and possible allegorical interpretation. But above all, employing the anologia fidei, he drew his readers’ attention to other passages of Scripture that share a common vocabulary and theological themes, thus allowing Scripture to interpret Scripture.

Here, for the first time in English, Jonathan Armstrong provides readers with a highly serviceable translation of Eusebius’s notably difficult Greek text, along with a helpful introduction and notes.

Commentary on Jeremiah

  • Author: Jerome
  • Editor: Christopher A. Hall
  • Translator: Michael Graves
  • Publisher: IVP Academic
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Pages: 232

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Jerome (c. 347–419), one of the West’s four doctors of the church, was recognized early on as one of the church’s foremost translators, commentators and advocates of Christian asceticism. Skilled in Hebrew and Greek in addition to his native Latin, he was thoroughly familiar with Jewish traditions and brought them to bear on his understanding of the Old Testament. In 405 Jerome completed his Latin translation of the Old Testament, based on the Hebrew text, and not long afterward began to work on commentaries devoted to the major prophets—Daniel (407), Isaiah (408–410), Ezekiel (410–414), culminating with Jeremiah but reaching only through chapter 32 before his death in 419.

Throughout the commentary Jerome displays his familiarity with both Hebrew and Greek texts of Jeremiah, often establishing the literal meaning through the Hebrew text and offering a spiritual interpretation that draws on the Septuagint. He frequently interacts with other translations known from Origen’s Hexapla. Jerome’s extensive education in the classics and Jewish tradition as well as in both Antiochene and Alexandrian exegesis shine through the commentary at every point. Here for the first time Michael Graves supplies readers with a highly readable translation in English, useful textual notes and a helpful introduction.

This volume is more readily useful for preachers than some others . . . As Jerome gives a careful reading of the text, noting the flow of thought and making application. Even where one must differ, in Jerome we hear how the text was understood by the leading biblical scholar of the ancient church.

—Ray Van Neste, Preaching, November/December 2012

Commentaries on the Twelve Prophets, vol. 1

  • Author: Jerome
  • Editor: Thomas P. Scheck
  • Publisher: IVP Academic
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Pages: 310

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Jerome (c. 347–419/20), one of the West’s four doctors of the church, was recognized early on as one of the church’s foremost translators, commentators and advocates of Christian asceticism. Skilled in Hebrew and Greek in addition to his native Latin, he was thoroughly familiar with Jewish traditions and brought them to bear on his understanding of the Old Testament. Beginning in 379, Jerome used his considerable linguistic skills to translate Origen’s commentaries and, eventually, to translate and comment on Scripture himself.

In 392, while preparing his Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible, Jerome wrote his commentary on Nahum, the first in a series of commentaries on five of the twelve minor prophets. Micah, Zephaniah, Haggai and Habakkuk soon followed. He was interrupted in 393 by the Origenist controversy, after which he became a vocal critic of Origen of Alexandria—a controversy he referred to in his commentaries on Jonah and Obadiah in 396.

This Ancient Christian Texts volume, edited and translated by Thomas Scheck in collaboration with classics students from Ave Maria University, includes these seven commentaries.

Throughout these commentaries Jerome displays his familiarity with both Hebrew and Greek texts. His spiritual exegesis relies heavily on the exegetical work of Origen. Jerome looks beyond the nationalistic sentiments of the prophets to see a wider message about God’s mercy and justice. His commitment to the truthfulness of the Scriptures as the Word of God is exemplified by his defense of the historicity of Jonah. He finds the fundamental message of the prophets to be the intent to console the saints, so that they may disdain the things of this world and prepare themselves for the day of judgment.

Commentaries on the Twelve Prophets, vol. 2

  • Author: Jerome
  • Editor: Thomas P. Scheck
  • Publisher: IVP Academic
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Pages: 417

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Jerome (c. 347-419/20), one of the West’s four doctors of the church, was recognized early on as one of the church’s foremost translators, commentators, and advocates of Christian asceticism. Skilled in Hebrew and Greek in addition to his native Latin, he was thoroughly familiar with Jewish traditions and brought this expertise to bear on his understanding of the Old Testament. Beginning in 379, Jerome used his considerable linguistic skills to translate Origen’s commentaries and, eventually, to translate and comment on Scripture himself.

Jerome began writing commentaries on the twelve minor prophets in 392 while preparing his Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible. After completing Nahum, Micah, Zephaniah, Haggai, and Habakkuk, he was interrupted in 393 by the Origenist controversy, after which he became a vocal critic of Origen of Alexandria. He finished his commentaries on Jonah and Obadiah in 396. These seven commentaries are available in volume 1 of this set.

The Origenist controversy and his commentary on Matthew occupied Jerome’s time for the next several years. He finally completed his commentaries on the rest of the twelve prophets in 406. This volume, edited by Thomas Scheck, includes those final five commentaries on Zechariah, Malachi, Hosea, Joel, and Amos.

Throughout these commentaries, Jerome refers frequently to the work of previous commentators, and his spiritual exegesis relies heavily on the exegetical work of Origen - though he acknowledges that “I have not followed them in everything.” Jerome hears in these texts God’s judgment and mercy not only on Israel but especially on the Christian community. In Amos, for example, he says that “whatever we have said about Judah refers to the church.” He wrestles especially with the scandalous message of Hosea, which he refers to as drowning with Pharaoh during the crossing of the Red Sea. But he trusts that “the ways of the Lord are the reading of the Old and New Testament, the understanding of the holy Scriptures.”

Incomplete Commentary on Matthew Opus imperfectum, vol. 1

  • Editor: Thomas C. Oden
  • Translator: James A. Kellerman
  • Publisher: IVP Academic
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Pages: 213

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

In the translator’s introduction to this volume, James Kellerman relates the following story: As Thomas Aquinas was approaching Paris, a fellow traveler pointed out the lovely buildings gracing that city. Aquinas was impressed, to be sure, but he sighed and stated that he would rather have the complete Incomplete Commentary on Matthew than to be mayor of Paris itself.

Thomas’s affection for the work attests its great popularity during the Middle Ages, despite its significant missing parts—everything beyond the end of Matthew 25, with further gaps of Matthew 8:11–10:15 and 13:14–18:35. Despite the gaps what remains is quite lengthy, so much so that we offer the work in two volumes, comprising fifty-four homilies. While the early-fifth-century author displays a few Arian propensities in a handful of passages, for the most part the commentary is moral in nature and therefore orthodox and generic. The unknown author, who for several centuries was thought to be John Chrysostom, follows the allegorizing method of the Alexandrians, but not by overlooking the literal meaning. His passion, above all, is to set forth the meaning of Matthew’s Gospel for his readers.

Here for the first time this ancient work is made available in English, ably translated by James A. Kellerman and edited by Thomas C. Oden.

Incomplete Commentary on Matthew Opus imperfectum, vol. 2

  • Editor: Thomas C. Oden
  • Translator: James A. Kellerman
  • Publisher: IVP Academic
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Pages: 228

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

This is volume 2 of the Incomplete Commentary on Matthew. This work was popular during the Middle Ages, despite its significant missing parts—everything beyond the end of Matthew 25, with further gaps of Matthew 8:11–10:15 and 13:14–18:35. Although there are gaps, what remains is quite lengthy, so much so that we offer the work in two volumes, comprising fifty-four homilies.

While the early-fifth-century author displays a few Arian propensities in a handful of passages, for the most part the commentary is moral in nature and therefore orthodox and generic. The unknown author, who for several centuries was thought to be John Chrysostom, follows the allegorizing method of the Alexandrians, but not by overlooking the literal meaning. His passion, above all, is to set forth the meaning of Matthew’s Gospel for his readers.

Here, for the first time, this ancient work is made available in English, ably translated by James A. Kellerman and edited by Thomas C. Oden.

Commentary on the Gospel of John

  • Author: Theodore of Mopsuestia
  • Editor: Joel C. Elowsky
  • Translator: Marco Conti
  • Publisher: IVP Academic
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Pages: 172

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Theodore of Mopsuestia, born in Antioch (c. 350) and a disciple of Diodore of Tarsus, serves as one of the most important exemplars of Antiochene exegesis of his generation. Committed to literal, linguistic, grammatical and historical interpretation, he eschewed allegorical explanations that could not be supported from the text, though he was not averse to typological interpretations of Old Testament texts that were supported by the New.

Regrettably, Theodore was dragged posthumously into the Nestorian controversy, and his works were condemned by the Three Chapters and the Council of Constantinople in 553. As a result many of his theological and exegetical works were lost or destroyed. The original Greek version of his Commentary on the Gospel of John remains only in fragments. This new English translation is based on an early complete Syriac translation dated AD 460–465, within forty years of Theodore’s death in 428.

While charges of heterodoxy against Theodore may not be entirely justified, there remains an apparent dualism in his Christology that should be critically viewed in light of the later Chalcedonian formula. With this caution, there still remains much that is valuable for contemporary readers, whether preachers, students or lay people interested in the early church’s understanding of the Gospel of John.

Here for the first time is a complete English translation of this valuable work, ably translated by Marco Conti and edited by Joel C. Elowsky.

Commentary on John, vol. 1

  • Author: Cyril of Alexandria
  • Editor: Joel C. Elowsky
  • Translator: David R. Maxwell
  • Publisher: IVP Academic
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 375

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Cyril of Alexandria (ca. 378-444), one of the most brilliant representatives of the Alexandrian theological tradition, is best known for championing the term Theotokos (God-bearer) in opposition to Nestorius of Constantinople. Cyril’s great Commentary on John, offered here in the Ancient Christian Text series in two volumes, predates the Nestorian controversy, however, and focuses its theological fire power against Arianism. The commentary, which is addressed to catechists, displays Cyril’s breath-taking mastery of the full content of the Bible and his painstaking attention to detail as he seeks to offer practical teaching on the cosmic story of God’s salvation.

David Maxwell provides readers with the first complete English translation of the text since the nineteenth century. It rests on Pusey’s critical edition of the Greek text and puts on display Cyril’s theological interpretation of Scripture and his appeal to the patristic tradition that preceded him. Today’s readers will find the commentary an indispensable tool for understanding Cyril’s approach to Scripture.

Commentary on John, vol. 2

  • Author: Cyril of Alexandria
  • Editor: Joel C. Elowsky
  • Translator: David R. Maxwell
  • Publisher: IVP Academic
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Pages: 394

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

This is volume 2 of Cyril of Alexandria’s great Commentary on John, offered here in the Ancient Christian Texts series in two volumes. It predates the Nestorian controversy and focuses its theological firepower against Arianism. The commentary, addressed to catechists, displays Cyril’s breathtaking mastery of the full content of the Bible and his painstaking attention to detail as he offers practical teaching for the faithful on the cosmic story of God’s salvation.

David R. Maxwell provides readers with the first completely fresh English translation of the text since the nineteenth century. It rests on Pusey’s critical edition of the Greek text and displays Cyril’s profound theological interpretation of Scripture and his appeal to the patristic tradition that preceded him. Today’s readers will find the commentary an indispensable tool for understanding Cyril’s approach to Scripture.

Commentaries on Romans and 1-2 Corinthians

  • Author: Ambrosiaster
  • Editor: Gerald L. Bray
  • Translator: Gerald L. Bray
  • Publisher: IVP Academic
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Pages: 300

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Ambrosiaster (“Star of Ambrose”) is the name given to the anonymous author of the earliest complete Latin commentary on the thirteen epistles of Paul. The commentaries were thought to have been written by Ambrose throughout the Middle Ages, but their authorship was challenged by Erasmus, whose arguments have proved decisive.

Here for the first time Ambrosiaster’s commentaries on Romans and the Corinthian correspondence are made available in English translation, ably translated and edited by Gerald L. Bray.

The commentaries, which serve as important witnesses to pre-Vulgate Latin versions of Paul’s epistles, are noteworthy in other respects as well. Ambrosiaster was a careful and thoughtful interpreter, with little use for allegory, though he employed typology judiciously. Writing during the pontificate of Damasus (366–384), he is a witness to Nicene orthodoxy and frequently comments on themes related to the Trinity, the consubstantiality of the son, the problem of the unbelief of the Jews and the nature of human sinfulness. He had a keen eye for moral issues and often offers comments that reflect his knowledge of how the church had changed from the time of the apostles to his own day.

This commentary offers a rich repository of insight into the thinking of pre-Reformation church leaders for the leaders and teachers of the church today.

This attractive volume is sure to find a home on many college, university and seminary library bookshelves. Those interested in the history of biblical interpretation in general or in the exegetical study of particular texts may find it worth consulting.

—James Benedict, Brethren Life Thought, Winter Spring 2009

Here for the first time Ambrosiaster’s commentaries on Romans and the Corinthian correspondence are made available in English, ably translated and edited by Gerald L. Bray. I was truly impressed by the translations of this ancient text. This truly looks to be an example of translation work carefully done.

—Norman Jeune III, Christians in Context, July 1, 2009

Commentaries on Galatians-Philemon

  • Author: Ambrosiaster
  • Editor: Gerald L. Bray
  • Translator: Gerald L. Bray
  • Publisher: IVP Academic
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Pages: 166

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Ambrosiaster (“Star of Ambrose”) is the name given to the anonymous author of the earliest complete Latin commentary on the thirteen epistles of Paul. The commentaries were thought to have been written by Ambrose throughout the Middle Ages, but their authorship was challenged by Erasmus, whose arguments have proved decisive.

The commentaries, which serve as important witnesses to pre-Vulgate Latin versions of Paul’s epistles, are noteworthy in several respects. Ambrosiaster was a careful and thoughtful interpreter, who made little use of allegory, though he employed typology judiciously. Writing during the pontificate of Damasus (366–384), he is a witness to Nicene orthodoxy and frequently comments on themes related to the Trinity, the consubstantiality of the son, the problem of the unbelief of the Jews and the nature of human sinfulness. He had a keen eye for moral issues and often offers comments that reflect his knowledge of how the church had changed from the time of the apostles to his own day.

Here for the first time his commentaries on Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1-2 Thessalonians, 1-2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon are made available in English, ably translated and edited by Gerald L. Bray.

Greek Commentaries on Revelation

  • Authors: Oecumenius and Andrew of Caesarea
  • Editor: Thomas C. Oden
  • Translator: William C. Weinrich
  • Publisher: IVP Academic
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 212

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

The Eastern church gives little evidence of particular interest in the book of Revelation. Oecumenius of Isauria’s commentary on the book is the earliest full treatment in Greek and dates only from the early sixth century. Along with Oecumenius’s commentary, only that of Andrew of Caesarea (dating from the same era and often summarizing Oecumenius before offering a contrary opinion) and that of Arethas of Caesarea four centuries later provide any significant commentary from within the Greek tradition.

William Weinrich renders a particular service to readers interested in ancient commentary on the Apocalypse by translating in one volume the two early sixth-century commentaries. Because of the two interpreters’ often differing understandings, readers are exposed not only to early dialogue on the meaning and significance of the book for the faith and life of the church, but also to breadth of interpretation within the unity of the faith the two shared.

Latin Commentaries on Revelation

  • Authors: Victorinus of Petovium, Apringius of Beja, Caesarius of Arles, and Bede the Venerable
  • Editor: William C. Weinrich
  • Translator: William C. Weinrich
  • Publisher: IVP Academic
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 201

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Interest in the book of Revelation in the Western tradition is stronger and earlier than that in the East. The earliest full commentary on the Apocalypse is that of Victorinus of Petovium written in the mid to late third century by the earliest exegete to write in Latin. Victorinus interpreted Revelation in millennialist terms, a mode of interpretation already evident in works by Irenaeus, as well as in modest allegorical terms.

Caesarius of Arles wrote in the early sixth century and offered a thoroughgoing allegorical-ecclesial interpretation of the Apocalypse. Apringius of Beja in Portugal, writing in the mid sixth century, drew on Jerome’s edition of Victorinus’s commentary yet understood the seven seals christologically as the incarnation, birth, passion, death, resurrection, glory and kingdom.

Bede the Venerable, who died in 735, is the last commentator to be included in this collection. Characteristically, he passes on commentary from earlier exegetes, here including that of Augustine, Gregory the Great, Victorinus, Tyconius and Primasius.

William Weinrich renders a particular service to readers interested in ancient commentary on the Apocalypse by drawing together these significant Latin commentaries. The work of translating these texts was begun in preparing the volume on Revelation in the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture. We are indebted to William Weinrich for completing this work with his able and fresh translation and notes on these texts.

This is an excellent contribution to a much-needed series, which, along with Weinrich’s companion volume on the Greek commentaries of Oecumenius and Andreas of Caesarea, makes available to a wider readership the diversity and rich sophistication of early exegesis of Revelation. Revelation scholars will profit immensely from the interpretive possibilities explored by their ancient predecessors.

—Ian K. Boxall, Journal for the Study of the New Testament, 35(5)