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.