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Prior to the middle of the fourth century, the exegesis of St. Paul had been monopolized by Greek and Syriac commentators. Then, in the space of half a century (c. 360 – c. 409), there appeared no less than 52 commentaries by six different Latin authors. This sudden flurry of literary activity has been dubbed [...]

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Presented here for the first time in English translation (from Rufinus’s Latin version) is the Apology for Origen, the sole surviving work of St. Pamphilus of Caesarea (d. 310 AD), who was one of the most celebrated priest-martyrs of the ancient Church. Written from prison with the collaboration of Eusebius (later to become the bishop [...]

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In his General Audience of May 2, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI praised Origen for his “primordial role” in the history of lectio divina, the prayerful reading of Scripture. He explained that Origen approaches Scripture reading not as “mere study” but as the pathway to knowing Christ and “falling in love with him.” Origen’s nine extant [...]

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St. Cyril of Alexandria is best known for his role in the Christological disputes of the fifth century. In recent years, however, scholars have turned their attention to Cyril the exegete. Cyril wrote extensive commentaries on nearly every book of the Bible; in fact, two-thirds of his extant corpus is devoted to biblical interpretation. Yet, [...]

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St. Jerome (347-420) has been considered the pre-eminent scriptural commentator among the Latin Church Fathers. His Commentary on Matthew, written in 398 and profoundly influential in the West, appears here for the first time in English translation. Jerome covers the entire text of Matthew’s gospel by means of brief explanatory comments that clarify the text [...]

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The book of Zechariah is “the longest and most obscure” of the Twelve Minor Prophets, Jerome remarked. That may have been the reason why in 386 he visited the Alexandrian scholar Didymus the Blind and requested a work on this prophet. Though long thought to be lost, the work was rediscovered in 1941 at Tura [...]

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This translation makes available nineteen orations by the fourth-century Cappadocian father Gregory of Nazianzus. Most are appearing here in English for the first time. These homilies span all the phases of Gregory’s ecclesiastical career, beginning with his service as a parish priest assisting his father, the elder Gregory, in his hometown of Nazianzus in the [...]

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This volume completes the first English translation of Rufinus’s Latin version of Origen of Alexandria’s Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans and contains Origen’s detailed exegesis of Romans 6:12-16:27. Origen’s much neglected Commentary, which stands out in splendid isolation at the fountainhead of Greek and Latin exegesis, is now completely accessible to English readers. [...]

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Origen of Alexandria’s Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans is the oldest extant commentary on Romans (ca. 246). This volume presents the first English translation of the commentary, covering his exegesis of Rom 1:1 to 6:11. One of his longest and most mature works, it is the only commentary of Origen available in a [...]

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Born of an aristocratic pagan family at Neocaesarea in Pontus at the beginning of the third century, St. Gregory received his early training in literature and rhetoric in his birthplace. While visiting Caesarea in Palestine, he chanced to hear the Christian philosopher and theologian Origen and remained there for five years as his pupil. Deeply [...]

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Souls existing before their bodies, witches summoning dead prophets from the underworld, the return of the damned–and the Devil himself–to God in the end, and many other theological speculations surprise the reader of Origen’s Homilies on Jeremiah and I Kings 28. Some of these very theses of the third-century priest from Alexandria, Egypt, were condemned [...]

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Thirty-nine of Origen’s homilies on the Gospel of Luke survive in Jerome’s Latin translation. Origen preached them in Caesarea, perhaps around 234 or 240, to a congregation of catechumens and faithful. Most of the homilies are short; on average, they treat about six verses of the Gospel and would have lasted between eight and twelve [...]