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Romans (Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture) Hardcover – October 7, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0830813568 ISBN-10: 083081356X Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Series: Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 434 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Academic; 02 edition (October 7, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 083081356X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830813568
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.6 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #502,591 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The Scriptures have been read with love and attention for nearly two thousand years, and listening to the voice of believers from previous centuries opens us to unexpected insight and deepened faith. Those who studied Scripture in the centuries closest to its writing, the centuries during and following persecution and martyrdom, speak with particular authority. The Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture will bring to life the truth that we are invisibly surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses." (Frederica Mathewes-Green, Commentator, National Public Radio)

"The Ancient Christian Commentary project fills a long overdue need for scholars and students of the church fathers. Professor Oden has pulled together a sterling team of scholars to provide for all of us fresh translations of the Latin and Greek texts of the fathers relating to their interpretation of the Bible and Apocrypha. Such information will prove immeasurable to those of us who have felt inundated by contemporary interpreters and novel theories of the biblical text. We welcome some new insight from the ancient authors in the early centuries of the church. Many thanks to Thomas Oden and the other editors for this unparalleled work which will be the standard for generations." (H. Wayne House, Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology, Michigan Theological Seminary)

"Chronological snobbery--the assumption that our ancestors working without benefit of computers have nothing to teach us--is exposed as nonsense by this magnificent new series. Surfeited with knowledge but starved of wisdom, many of us are more than ready to sit at table with our ancestors and listen to their holy conversations on Scripture. I know I am." (Eugene H. Peterson, James Houston Professor of Spiritual Theology, Regent College)

"We are pleased to witness publication of the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture series. It is most beneficial for us to learn how the ancient Christians, especially the saints of the church who proved through their lives their devotion to God and his Word, interpreted Scripture. Let us heed the witness of those who have gone before us in the faith." (Metropolitan Theodosius, Primate, Orthodox Church in America)

"Few publishing projects have encouraged me as much as IVP's recently announced Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture with Dr. Thomas Oden serving as general editor. . . . How is it that so many of us who are dedicated to serve the Lord receive seminary educations which omitted familiarity with such incredible students of the Scriptures as St. John Chrysostom, St. Anathasius the Great and St. John of Damascus? I am greatly anticipating the publication of this commentary." (Fr. Peter E. Gillquist, Director, Department of Missions and Evangelism, Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America)

About the Author

Gerald L. Bray (Ph.D., La Sorbonne) is a professor at Beeson Divinity School of Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, and director of research at Latimer Trust. He has written and edited a number of books on different theological subjects. A priest of the Church of England, Bray has also edited the post-Reformation Anglican canons.

More About the Author

Thomas C. Oden (Ph.D., Yale University) recently retired as Henry Anson Buttz Professor of Theology at The Theological School of Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. He is general editor of the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture and author of numerous theological works, including a three-volume systematic theology.

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 31, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The ACCS series, of which this volume on Romans is a part, is a place to begin in terms of patristic commentary, not a place to end. If this series had claimed to be an in-depth and comprehensive collection on the Church Fathers' statements on Scripture, then many of the critiques leveled at it would be justified. However, these negative reviews are aiming at a straw man.
The ACCS series provides selected commentary by various thinkers in the early centuries of Christianity regarding the various books of the Bible. Even with its selectivity, these books are hundreds of pages long (compared to the at most thirty or so pages of the actual Scriptural text). To try and be as comprehensive as some reviewers seem to be demanding, the volume on Romans would no doubt have to be at least three large volumes itself.
The series creators hoped these volumes could help encourage cross-denominational discussion with these formative thinkers. It is a starting place for thinking and discussing, not the end. Perhaps the best use of these volumes are as time-savers. Even the best Patristics scholar will not have the location of every comment on a particular Scripture verse by the Fathers right of the top of his/her head. And they may not want to spend the time of going through the index of, say, every volume in the Ante-Nicene, Nicene, and Post-Nicene Fathers series (all, what, 28 of them?). Instead, the scholar can look quickly at this volume from the ACCS, looking to see what various Fathers had to say, then go to the original document to see the topic in context, where the various commentaries can be compared. Certainly, the ACCS volume on Romans is useful for that.
If one is looking for every comment from every Church Father on Scripture, this is not the series for you. But, then again, that's not what this series intended to be in the first place. But, as a starting place for further research, it is excellent.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By J. Magruder on July 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is discouraging to read some negative reviews printed twice under the same name and to see so many negative reviews without details under "reader."

This commentary indeed includes condemned heretics like Origen and Theodore of Mopsuestia. However, Origen was described by Gregory of Nyssa as the "touchstone of us all" and continued to be influential as a biblical critic throughout the Middle Ages. Theodore of Mopsuestia and Tertullian were similarly influential. Before the Muslim conquests and Iconoclasm ossified positions among Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and so-called Oriental Orthodox Christians, these were the writers who were widely read, admired - and yes - sometimes refuted.

I recommend it as an adjunct to the International Critical Commentary (ICC). Skip the Anchor commentary, which covers much of its liberal bias, and commentaries from conservative publishers that do the same. Use the ICC to uncover the scholarly issues of our day and the ACCS as a pastoral voice, generally in agreement but hardly monolithic, from before the medieval controversies. Since the editor (a Baptist, I believe) has rendered a number of translations himself, it always is worth going to the original sources (preferably in the original language) to follow up on what is attractive, disturbing or unclear.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By John Todd Fisher on May 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover
In light of all the negative reviews below, I'd like to add another perspective. While I do agree that there is a need for a more in-depth and scholarly collection of ancient comments on Scripture (yes, Anchor would probably do a fine job), this series is a great resource for the busy pastor. When I was in seminary, or in positions where I wasn't preaching every week, going to the original documents was expected and even enjoyable. But as the pastor of a church plant, I'm thrilled to have these books to quickly see how my interpretations (and those of modern commentators) square with the thoughts of our ancient brethren.

If you're an academic, a student, or want to really wrestle with what the ancients had to say, then yes, a more extensive collection is desirable. But if you're pressured with the weekly grind of preaching, yet still want to take your congregation a bit deeper, these commentaries can be a real blessing.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Regular Joe on February 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Produced by mainly Protestants with some consultation by Catholics the volumes are limited in scope and selective to what material they cover from the Fathers of the Church. Translations are sometimes questionable, but as the old axiom goes "the translator betrays" and all translators must make decisions that will not always be accepted by others.

For its limited scope these are fine volumes worthy of any non-scholars shelf as a help in formulating education series, sermons, homilies, articles, or other work. They provide a very approachable format to learn how some of the Fathers of the Church interpreted the Bible. The front material is weak and not comprehensive and the biographical data on the fathers, while present, is very short. A subject index is also included.

For the student I would use this volume as a regular high school or undergraduate research tool, and a starter tool for graduate or post graduate work. Serious scholars will need to look to other materials such as the ICC and original sources. This commentary alone is not sufficient.

For a specific example, passages such as Romans 3:23, 6:23, 8:28-30, and others are left wanting in the included commentary. The included quotations at times simply don't offer much or don't appear to give an adequate summary of Early Christian Thought. The Fathers appear ambiguous in the selected quotations on the meaning of the passages, when in fact a fuller study reveals a shared unity and method of interpretation among the orthodox (read: right belief) fathers (See Williamson's study on interpretation in the Church
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