A comprehensive historical survey of patristic exegesis. Simonetti examines the changing understanding of the word of God in the early Church, and describes the individual authors and "schools" which were active in this development. First there is a study of the role of Scripture in the infant Church. Simonetti describes the use of Scripture in orthodox circles, drawing comparisons from the Gnostic world. There follows an examination of Eastern exegesis in the 4th and 5th centuries (Eusebius, the Antiochian School, the Cappadocians, and later developments in Alexandria), and an examination of Western exegesis in the same period (including detailed discussions of Jerome and Augustine). Simonetti concludes with a study of developments in the Eastern and Western Church in the later 5th and 6th centuries. A final section provides a theological perspective through a study of the theological interpretation of Scripture in the patristic era.