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St. John Chrysostom: On the Priesthood

Format: Digital


S. John Chrysostom: On the Priesthood offers a fascinating study of the fourth-century church. Using provocative ideas and beautiful language, John Chrysostom provides valuable insight into ministry. According to the translator, B. Harris Cowper, the book’s aim “is to magnify the priestly office, and to render those who enter upon it conscious of their awful responsibilities.” The text uses dialogue and a narrative framework and to convey these ideas. In this English translation, Cowper preserves Chrysostom’s intended meaning through literal, rigorous translation.

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  • Uses provocative ideas and beautiful language to provide insight into the priesthood
  • Conveys the ministry of the priesthood through narrative and dialogue
  • Preserves the literal meaning of the text
Mr. Cowper has done his work faithfully and well, literal where it was possible and right to adhere to the strict luster of the text, and always keeping in view the spirit of the words which he has to render into so different a language.

Church and State Review

A faithful rendering of a book which still remains one of the most valuable as it is certainly the most remarkable of all the treatises on the priesthood.

Literary Churchman

  • Title: S. John Chrysostom: On the Priesthood
  • Author: John Chrysostom
  • Translator: B. Harris Cowper
  • Publisher: Williams and Norgate
  • Publication Date: 1866
  • Pages: 218

Benjamin Harris Cowper was an early-church historian, archaeologist, and translator. He is the author of Syriac Miscellanies, The Journal of Sacred Literature and Biblical Record, and The Apocryphal Gospels and Other Documents relating to the History of Christ.

About S. John Chrysostom

St. John Chrysostom (c. AD 347–407) as the archbishop of Constantinople and an influential Early Church Father. Known for his oratorical skills, he was given the posthumous epithet Chrysostom, or “golden-mouthed.” His homilies consistently emphasize care for the poor. He is one of the Three Holy Hierarchs, along with Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzus. Both the Orthodox and the Catholic churches recognize him as a saint.