Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians
in Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture
Publisher InterVarsity Press
Paul's letters to the Galatians, Ephesians and Philippians have struck an indelible impression on Christian tradition and piety. The doctrines of Christ, of salvation and of the church all owe their profiles to these letters. And for patristic interpreters, who read Scripture as a single book and were charged with an insatiable curiosity regarding the mysteries of the Godhead, these letters offered profound visions seldom captured by modern eyes. Trinitarian truth was patterned in the apostle's praise of God who is "over all, through all and in all" (Ephesians 4:6).Without a doubt, the greatest text in this collection of letters is the "Christ hymn" of Philippians 2:6-11. This commentary offers an unparalleled close-up view of the fathers weighing the words and phrases of this panoramic charting of the Savior's journey from preexistence, to incarnation, to crucifixion, to triumphant exaltation as universal Lord.This volume opens a treasury of resources for biblical study today. The expository voices of Jerome, Origen, Augustine, Chrysostom, Ambrosiaster, Theodoret, Marius Victorinus and Theodore of Mopsuestia speak again with eloquence and intellectual acumen, some in English translation for the first time.
Galatians seems to have been a popular epistle in the early church, so most of the greats commented or preached on the text at some point. Selections were made from Chrysostym, Augustine, Jerome, Ambrosiaster, Marius Victorinus, and others. On the whole I enjoyed Ambrosiaster's work the most, to the point that I almost picked up the full text of his commentaries on Galatians-Philemon. It was nice to read what some of the early church fathers thought on the text. What I most appreciated were the comments that applied the text. I often found them to be very thought provoking and on a couple of occasions spurred me on to find the full comments by that person on the section. Seeing how brief each section is (I usually could complete reading it in ten minutes), I don't think one should pass up reading it. [Full Review]