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1 Corinthians: Interpreted by Early Christian Commentators (The Church’s Bible | CB)

, 2005
ISBN: 9780802825773
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Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, one of the earliest Christian writings, had enormous influence on the formation of Christian teaching. In this Church’s Bible volume Judith L. Kovacs weaves comments from all the commentaries and sermon series written in Latin or Greek between the years 250 and 800, illustrating the historic Christian understanding of this crucial text.

The church fathers gathered here include Augustine of Hippo, Irenaeus, Gregory of Nyssa, Athanasius, Origen, John Chrysostom, and many more. Preceding the line-by-line exegesis is a lucid essay by Robert Louis Wilken on how the church fathers interpreted the New Testament, an informative introduction to 1 Corinthians by Kovacs, and two chapters of general patristic commentary on Paul and on this letter. Completing the volume are several helpful appendixes and indexes.

Freshly translating many passages into idiomatic English for the first time, Kovacs does not merely excerpt random quotes from the church fathers but instead produces a sustained interaction with their direct comments on 1 Corinthians. This soaking in the wisdom of the past is sure to spiritually refresh and intellectually sharpen contemporary readers who seek to better understand this part of Scripture.

  • Presents an informative introduction to 1 Corinthians
  • Illustrates the historic Christian understanding of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians
  • Produces a sustained interaction with the church fathers direct comments on 1 Corinthians

Top Highlights

“First came Christ, then the witnesses, then the books. This” (Page x)

“The prostitute is the one who agrees to commit adultery with you.” (Page 99)

“For me,’ he writes, ‘the archives are Jesus Christ, the inviolable archives are his cross and death and his resurrection and faith through him.…’1 Although most, if not all, of the books of the New Testament had been written by the time he became bishop, Ignatius makes no mention of Christian writings to settle the dispute. He appeals only to the person of Christ and the brief narrative of his saving deeds, not to written documents.” (Pages xi–xii)

“Thus, for these and other reasons, prize her love more than anything else. For if we must bear one another’s burdens (Gal 6:2), how much more should you bear with your wife?” (Page 184)

“the early Christians began with the risen Christ, and long before there was a book the faith was handed on orally” (Page x)

Judith Kovacs has done a magnificent job with this second volume of The Church’s Bible. Her translations are always fluent and sometimes inspired, and the extracts she has chosen range from the merely interesting to the arresting. Many of them repay not only study and thought but also prayer and meditation, showing abundantly that commentary on Scripture was, for the church fathers, always at least as much a matter of the heart as of the intellect.

Paul J. Griffiths, Warren Professor of Catholic Theology, Duke Divinity School

This distinguished work is a model of how to bring patristic exegesis alive for a new generation. Judith Kovacs’ selection of passages and her lengthy, fresh translations will yield new theological and exegetical insights to readers not familiar with pre-Enlightenment criticism and should persuade them that this field deserves far more attention than it has until now received. This volume sets a standard for the Church’s Bible series that other scholars will want to emulate.

Robert Morgan, emeritus professor, University of Oxford

Here is an excellent contribution to this poignantly named series, which should prove a rich resource for libraries, preachers, and expositors.

Theological Book Review

  • Title: 1 Corinthians: Interpreted by Early Christian Commentators
  • Author: Judith L. Kovacs
  • Series: The Church’s Bible
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Print Publication Date: 2005
  • Logos Release Date: 2014
  • Era: era:medieval
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subject: Bible. N.T. 1 Corinthians › Commentaries
  • ISBNs: 9780802825773, 080282577, 080282577X
  • Resource Type: Bible Commentary
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2022-09-29T22:58:38Z

With the Logos edition, you can reap the maximum benefit from the each Church's Bible volume by getting easier access to the contents of this series—helping you to use these volumes more efficiently for research and sermon preparation. Every word from every book has been indexed and catalogued to help you search the entire series for a particular verse or topic, giving you instant access to cross-references. Additionally, important terms link to your other resources in your digital library, including dictionaries, encyclopedias, commentaries, theology texts, and others. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for because in Logos, your titles will automatically integrate into custom search reports, passage guides, exegetical guides, and the other advanced features of the software. You'll have the tools you need to use your entire digital library effectively and efficiently, searching for verses, finding Scripture references and citations instantly, and performing word studies. With most Logos resources, you can take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps, providing you the most efficient and comprehensive research tools in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Judith L. Kovacs is associate professor of religious studies at the University of Virginia, series editor of the Blackwell Bible Commentaries, and coauthor (with Christopher Rowland) of the Blackwell volume on Revelation.


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Digital list price: $39.99
Save $8.00 (20%)