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Comment: Condition: Very good condition., Binding: Paperback / Publisher: InterVarsity Press / Pub. Date: 1998 Attributes: 223 p. ; 21 cm. / Stock#: 2059680 (FBA) * * *This item qualifies for FREE SHIPPING and Amazon Prime programs! * * *
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Reading Scripture with the Church Fathers Paperback – August 21, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 223 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Academic; First Paperback Edition edition (August 21, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830815007
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830815005
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #630,379 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

These are the first two volumes published in the "Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture" series intended for educated laity and the clergy, which aims to introduce the reader to the church fathers and their exegesis of the Bible. The scope of Mark is impressive and the format generally easy to use. It presents the gospel in its entirety in the Revised Standard Version, with each passage followed by an overview of selected comments from the church fathers of the first seven centuries and then by the full comments themselves. To find these comments, the editors ran computerized searches of the whole body of patristic literature in Greek, Latin, Syriac, and Coptic; comments are limited to the church fathers, including nothing from the Arians or Gnostics, for example. Individual passages are fully referenced for easy location in the original, but while there is a list of writers at the end, there is no list of their works. From the appendix, it appears that far more passages were omitted than included, and a list of omitted passages would have been useful. Hall (biblical and theological studies, Eastern Coll.) has written a useful introduction to the series. He discusses the methods used by the church fathers in their exegesis of scripture, concentrating on Athanasius, Gregory of Nazianzus, Basil the Great, and John Chrysostom in the East and Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, and Gregory the Great in the West, then moving back in time to their predecessors. Again, no references are made to those outside mainstream Christianity. Little is said about rabbinic or philosophical influences on the church fathers' methods, and one might wish that the influence of the New Testament, and its use of the Old, had been more fully explored. Nevertheless, this book is thorough and informative on the methods and controversies of the church fathers. For public, academic, and church libraries.?Michael S. Borries, CUNY
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Christopher A. Hall is chancellor of Eastern University and dean of the Templeton Honors College. He is also associate editor of the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Adam Baker on October 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a good book for getting people interested in the church fathers. I recommend it for that purpose. Beyond that, it comes across as a bit shallow. The major theme of the book is the controversy between allegorical and non-allegorical interpretation of Scripture. In a book written by Protestants to Protestants we expect the non-allegorical camp to win, but the reasons for this are not really thought through in the book. Do Origen's allegorical hemeneutics eventually lead to contradictions? The danger of this is acknowledged, but there are no examples given. This and similar inadequacies of the exposition make this a frustrating book. I am encouraged, however, to seek out the primary literature to find out for myself, however.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Harry E. Gray on March 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
I very seldom believe that a book is a "must read," but this is one of those times. Over the past year-and-a-half I have been examining the Orthodox Faith. Coming from the Independent Christian Churches/Churches of Christ (Restoration or Stone-Campbell Movement), I was well-versed in Alexander Campbell's writings. The Church Fathers were looked at only to reinforce the Movement's views. Even any writer between Luther and Campbell was suspect.

This book helps to set right the overlooked Church Fathers. Mr. Hall helps open the doors in a very readable way for Protestants. With the strong basics he presents, the reader will be drawn to further study. I wish that I had used this book first in my studies on Orthodoxy.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Stratiotes Doxha Theon VINE VOICE on February 19, 2008
Format: Paperback
The interest that Protestant theologians are showing to the church fathers is fascinating. It is an area they have struggled with in that it so often challenges the presupposition of sola scriptura and the authority of the church. It is good that they are exploring now this great well of faith so often overlooked. Dr. Hall's work will go far to providing the foundation these studies will require. He explains the fathers through biographical sketches of 8 ancient doctors of the church and with an overview of the Alexandrian and Antiochene schools of hermeneutics. In the end his comments on what we can learn and apply from that background is thorough and good information. Key points are that the fathers knew the interpretation and teaching of scripture had to be done within the context of the church tradition/community and with the mind set on allowing scripture to work in the interpreter's heart. Without that context, we can never hope to plumb the depths of the scripture. The fathers knew and applied those ground rules in a way that seems foreign to our modern minds. But, Dr. Hall argues, those ground rules are essential and we do well to seek out the advice of the early fathers in light of their understanding of those concepts.

Very highly recommended. Perhaps a subtle Protestant bias comes through in the discussion of the context of sacred tradition as a guide in interpretation but otherwise an honest, informative, and entertaining introduction to the interpretive presuppositions of the church fathers.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jordon Cooper on June 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
Great book that was a welcome addition to my library. I feel that the author gave a strong review, explanation, and context for the selected church fathers that were covered. After reading the book, I came away with a deeper understanding of the fathers, the early church, and some of the stuggles that the church is going through now.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C. Zodrow on April 25, 2007
Format: Paperback
Hall does a fine job of touching on the some of the most salient points of patristic interpretation. It would do well as a secondary source for a Biblical Theology course, as he provides a great bibliography and direction for thinking about each of the fathers he covers.

One critique: Too much weight is given to the notion that Post-modernism is EVERYONE'S problem when it comes to understanding the Biblical text. Some of us got over that a long time ago, or never had the problem to begin with.

One thing lacking: direct examples of "how" the fathers did exegesis, the process of interpretation. This would be helpful for a furthering a sound Biblical method of hermeneutics based on their work. Otherwise, a great read.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Charles N. Bell on October 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
Christopher A. Hall has written a interesting introduction to the church fathers which is exactly what I was seeking. I can recommend this to anyone since it is easy to read, concise and well written. It is my first reading on the church fathers and am continuing with Learning Theology with the Church Fathers. I just hope he continues the series with the planned, "Praying with the Church Fathers."
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16 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Didaskalex VINE VOICE on May 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
"The study of the Church Fathers is central to an understanding of and appreciation for the history and content of Orthodox Christianity. ... It was these that produced the Scriptures, the formulations of the Councils,..." An Introduction to Patristics, Monachos.Net

Ancient study of scripture:

The study of the scripture with the company of early church fathers, is a great project, invigorating patristic hopes, that Nottingham's patrologist Dr. George Bebawi has proposed to translate the series into Arabic for the benefit of Christian readers in the Middle East. Chris. Hall, the coeditor of "Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture" has written a pleasant and useful introduction to the Commentary series and to patristic studies of scripture, in general, targeted for the curious American reader. He discusses in a logical sequence expected queries of the postmodern western mind, "why pursue an abandoned Eastern Church tradition, when they no more read the scripture, let alone studying it?" Hall uses here the authority of Robert Wilken and Thomas Oden's own journey home to the Fathers through PaleoOrthodoxy, to prove his case to patrology seekers. The desert fathers, says Burton-Christie, needed only scripture to sustain their spiritual life.

Fathers of the Church:

The Church Fathers are; "Ecclesiastical leaders and teachers who are accepted as authorities in matters of doctrine. In the early Church, Orthodoxy was determined by the so-called consensus patrum that showed general agreement among a set of Christian leaders distinguished by purity of faith, holiness of life, approval of the church, and antiquity.
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