This Church’s Bible volume brings together select lengthy excerpts from early Christian writings on Romans, Paul’s most comprehensive statement of Christian teaching. J. Patout Burns Jr. has judiciously chosen extended passages from such church fathers as Origen, Rufinus, Pelagius, Chrysostom, Ambrosiaster, Augustine, and Theodoret, enabling readers today to benefit from the church’s rich treasure trove of commentary on Paul’s Letter to the Romans. Covering the first five hundred years of Christian history, this volume incorporates new translations made from the best texts currently available.
Both Burns’ pastoral sensitivity and his extensive study of patristics shine through his selection of ancient passages, which run the full gamut of perspectives on Romans. Each passage is relevant and applicable to our current understanding and living of the Christian life, not just historically valuable. This volume—and the entire Church’s Bible series—will be welcomed by preachers, teachers, students, and general readers alike.
Interested in the whole series? Be sure to check out The Church’s Bible (4 vols.).
“Paul lists the parts of the title in this greeting according to their sequence in the work of salvation.” (Page 14)
“Have you not heard the Apostle say, the just lives from faith? Your faith is your justice. If you believe, you will certainly be careful. And in being careful, you will strive. God knows your efforts; God sees your intention; God judges your battle against the flesh. God urges you to fight and helps you to win. God looks forward to your struggling, catches you when you totter, crowns you when you succeed. Therefore, Let the righteous rejoice in the Lord; or as I would say, ‘Let the faithful rejoice in the Lord,’ because the just lives from faith. Praise befits the upright (Ps 33:1).” (Page 26)
“Sin conquered the human race in battle and held it in captivity as an enemy. Then came the Son of God, whom God made not only wisdom, righteousness, and sanctification for us, but redemption (1 Cor 1:30) as well.” (Page 76)
“Before there was a book, there were persons who handed on Christ’s sayings and told of the marvelous things God had worked in him. First came Christ, then the witnesses, then the books.” (Page xiii)
“cleanses them of their prior sins, justifies them, and makes them ready for the glory of God.” (Page 76)
The Church’s Bible has already distinguished itself as the preeminent place to find the riches of patristic exegesis made available in a reliable and accessible form. J. Patout Burns’ volume, Romans: Interpreted by Early Christian Commentators, is a welcome addition to this series. This is an invaluable resource for a contemporary reading and recovery of Paul’s Letter to the Romans.
—David G. Hunter, Cottrill-Rolfes Chair of Catholic Studies, University of Kentucky
The Church’s Bible, a new commentary series on books of the Bible composed of quotations from patristic and medieval commentators, bears witness to the long, rich tradition of biblical interpretation within the church catholic. Such a series has always been badly needed. It also provides a welcome corrective to current fringe modes of interpretation that are more interested in rhetoric, style, or sociology than in the substance and content of the written Word of God. Recommended heartily to all pastors, preachers, and professors and students of theology.
—Joseph A. Fitzmyer, professor emeritus, Catholic University of America
This series rescues from the shadows the many penetrating insights of ancient Jewish and Christian interpreters. . . . They can continue to instruct us today with their perception into the perennial foibles of the human condition.
—Religious Studies Review
J. Patout Burns Jr. is the Edward A. Malloy Professor Emeritus of Catholic Studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School. His other books include Cyprian the Bishop and War and Its Discontents: Pacifism and Quietism in the Abrahamic Traditions.