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Theodoret of Cyrus: Commentary on the Psalms 1–72

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This volume makes available for the first time in English the major biblical commentary by one of the leading exponents of Antiochene exegesis, Theodoret, bishop of Cyrus. Though originally intended as an opening to his exegetical work—in the manner of his predecessors in this school, Theodore of Mopsuestia and John Chrysostom—Theodoret’s Psalms commentary comes from his later ministry in the decade before the Council of Chalcedon, which he was instrumental in convening. It thus documents current christological and trinitarian concerns and illustrates an Antiochene hermeneutic that rests firmly on the literal sense of the “inspired composition of the mighty David.”

Though commentators less well acquainted with this lengthy work have been ready to dismiss Theodoret as lacking originality, a sounder assessment would acknowledge his willingness to take account of previous work, from both Alexandria and Antioch, and steer a middle course. He deliberately avoids the excesses of allegorical interpretation of Origen, on the one hand, and of the historicism found in Diodore and Theodore, on the other. Moderation and flexibility are the hallmarks of his own approach to the Psalms, to which he comes not as scholar or preacher but as teacher and pastor. He aims simply to offer his readers “some benefit in concentrated form.”

This translation respects the conciseness which the bishop sets as one aim for himself, his other principle being to let the text speak for itself. Theodoret emerges in this work as a measured commentator and balanced exponent of his school’s hermeneutical and theological principles.

Key Features

  • Presents the first portion of a major biblical commentary by Theodoret of Cyrus
  • Illustrates an Antiochene hermeneutic
  • Documents the Christological and Trinitarian concerns of the time

Top Highlights

“‘All things are put in subjection,’ it is clear that this does not include the one who put all things in subjection to him.’17 Uncreated nature alone, you see, is separate from this subjection as something free. The nature, which receives existence from it, however, is subject whatever it be—visible or invisible—to Christ the Lord, both as God and as man. Such is the honor human nature received from the God of all.” (Page 86)

“In these words, therefore, he prophesied the human characteristics of Christ the Lord. Let no one say, however, the inspired authors are in direct contradiction with each other, when you hear Isaiah crying aloud, ‘We saw him, and he had no form or beauty; rather, his form was without honor, worse than the sons of human beings.’9 Those things, in fact, prefigure the Cross and the Passion, which are marked by drunken and insolent violence; hence the inspired author added, ‘A person abused, experienced in bearing weakness, despised, and of no account,’ and so on to indicate the Passion. The psalm, on the other hand, speaks of his beauty, not of body but of virtue and complete righteousness, not affected by the stain of sin, free of all defilement.” (Page 261)

“Now, let no one think it inappropriate that Christ the Lord is given wisdom according to his human nature, after hearing the divinely inspired Luke saying, ‘And Jesus advanced in wisdom and in divine and human favor.’15 And listen to him saying again that when he was trembling with emotion and sweating drops of blood an angel came and supported him.16 Now, if he stood in need of angelic assistance to give evidence of what the form of a slave was like,17 much more presumably was he given wisdom by the divinity dwelling within him. Being human and God, after all, he was given wisdom as a human being whereas he was the fount of wisdom as God.” (Page 116)

  • Title: Theodoret of Cyrus: Commentary on the Psalms 1–72
  • Author: Theodoret
  • Series: The Fathers of the Church
  • Volume: 101
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America
  • Print Publication Date: 2000
  • Logos Release Date: 2014
  • Pages: 451
  • Era: era:nicene
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subject: Bible. O.T. Psalms › Commentaries--Early works to 1800
  • ISBNs: 0813201012, 9780813201016
  • Resource ID: LLS:COMMPSALMS172
  • Resource Type: Bible Commentary
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2024-03-25T19:28:30Z

Theodoret of Cyrus or Cyrrhus was an influential author, theologian, and Christian bishop of Cyrrhus, Syria (423-457). He played a pivotal role in many early Byzantine church controversies that led to various ecumenical acts and schisms. He is considered blessed or a saint by the Eastern Orthodox Church http://www. intratext. com/IXT/ENG0824/_P14. HTM.


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    Save 25% off during the Memorial Day Sale!


    Digital list price: $39.99
    Regular price: $30.99
    Save $7.75 (25%)