Two New Historical Takes on the Bible from Eerdmans
There has been a tendency in the modern era to overlook biblical commentary, theology, and thought from previous generations—especially anything pre-Enlightenment. Priority is often given to whatever is most recent in scholarship with an assumption that whatever is new is inherently superior. Fortunately, in recent years, we have seen somewhat of a reversal in this prejudice with numerous works and series that take older—and even ancient—voices seriously. Today, we are releasing two such series from Eerdmans Publishing, which our users will surely appreciate having in their personal Accordance Libraries.
The Church’s Bible presents voices from the Early Church on the biblical books of Isaiah, Matthew, John, Romans and 1 Corinthians. The volumes on Isaiah and John also include contributions from medieval writers.
From the publisher:
In the early church all discussion of theological topics, of moral issues, and of Christian practice took the biblical text as the starting point, resulting in a substantial library of biblical commentaries and homilies. Unfortunately, this ancient body of writings is now known only in bits and pieces if at all. The Church's Bible series brings this rich classical tradition of biblical interpretation to life once again. Compiled, translated, and edited by leading scholars, these volumes draw extensively from early and medieval commentators, illuminating Holy Scripture as it was understood during the first millennium of Christian history. Designed for clergy, Bible teachers, men and women in religious communities, and all serious students of Scripture, The Church's Bible will lead contemporary readers into the inexhaustible spiritual and theological world of the early church and hence of the Bible itself.
Accordance users may ask how The Church’s Bible compares to a series such as the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture series (ACCS) from IVP. Whereas ACCS follows an almost rabbinic model, offering short snippets (without necessarily including full context) from Early Church writers, The Church’s Bible focuses mostly on texts that were actually commentaries to begin with, and offering much longer excerpts from those older works. In this sense, The Church’s Bible from Eerdmans finds a midway point between a series like ACCS and IVP’s other series, Ancient Christian Texts (coming soon).
In Accordance The Church’s Bible can be run in parallel with any biblical text or translation or read by itself since each volume includes a biblical translation. The New English Translation of the Septuagint (NETS) is used as the basis of the Isaiah volume, while the Revised Standard Version (RSV) is the primary translation for the New Testament volumes.
The Church's Bible (5 Volumes)
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When it comes to reading historical primary texts, the Early Church and Reformation writers often get the most attention. As stated in the preface to The Bible in Medieval Tradition series, “Compared to patristic material, relatively little medieval exegesis has been translated.” This series seeks to correct this lack of attention by providing fresh translations of commentaries by medieval church writers to the modern reader.
The Bible in Medieval Tradition currently covers the books of Genesis, Jeremiah, Romans, and Galatians. Individual chapters offer commentary by different medieval writers. For instance, the Romans volume features an anonymous Cambridge commentator on ch. 1; William of St. Thierry on ch. 2; Peter Abelard on ch. 3; Peter of John Olivi on chs. 4-6; Thomas Aquinas on chs. 7-8, 12; Nicholas of Lyra on chs. 9-11, 15-16; and an anonymous commentator of Mont St. Michel on ch. 14.
Note, however, that the Galatians commentary has overlapping coverage by different writers. By default, when a commentary is placed in parallel with a biblical text or translation, Accordance syncs to the last occurrence of a particular verse reference. To keep sections of the commentary from being overlooked, we have added a separate index at the end of the Galatians volume that lists each verse and each commentator on that verse.
The editors target the series for a wide audience: academic study, spiritual formation, preaching, discussion groups, and individual reflection. If you have not read many medieval writers, this is the perfect beginning point in your Accordance Library to become acquainted with these often-neglected, but very important historical voices.
The Bible in Medieval Tradition (4 Volumes)
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