St. Jerome’s Commentaries on Galatians, Titus, and Philemon

Translated by Thomas P. Scheck

St. Jerome (347–420) was undoubtedly one of the most learned of the Latin Church Fathers. He mastered nearly the entirety of the antecedent Christian exegetical and theological tradition, both Greek and Latin, and he knew Hebrew and Aramaic. We have the fruit of that knowledge in his most famous editorial achievement, the Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible. Declared “the greatest doctor in explaining the Scriptures” by the Council of Trent, Jerome has been regarded by the Latin Church as its preeminent scriptural commentator.

Much of Jerome’s prodigious exegetical output, however, has never been translated into English. In this volume, Thomas P. Scheck presents the first English translation of St. Jerome’s commentaries on Galatians, Titus, and Philemon. Jerome followed the Greek exegesis of Origen of Alexandria, proceeding step by step and producing the most valuable of all of the patristic commentaries on these three epistles of St. Paul. Jerome’s exegesis is characterized by extensive learning, acute historical and theological criticism, lively and vigorous exposition, and homiletical exhortation.

Scheck’s translation is supplemented with thorough annotations and a detailed critical introduction that sets the context for reading Jerome’s commentaries. It is an invaluable reference for patristics scholars, historical theologians, Church historians, and New Testament scholars.

Thomas P. Scheck is associate professor of classics and theology at Ave Maria University. He is the author of Origen and the History of Justification: The Legacy of Origen’s Commentary on Romans, also published by the University of Notre Dame Press.

“Scheck’s introduction is clearly written and lucid, containing fine theological observations as well as a clear historical context for Jerome’s commentary. Scheck’s excellent translation comes at a most opportune time given that interest in patristic exegesis is high and Jerome is among the best of the ancient commentators on Galatians.” —Joseph T. Lienhard, S.J., Fordham University


“Jerome is best remembered as the translator of the Greek and Hebrew Bible into Latin, the Vulgate, which has profoundly influenced Western thought. Now Scheck has given us the first-ever translation of what may be the most important patristic commentary on these epistles. Exegetes and historians, take note!” — The Religious Book Club

“In his 45-page introduction, Scheck . . . discusses Jerome’s biography, his exegetical predecessors (Origen), use of the Septuagint, and commentary on Paul’s letter to the Galatians. Then he presents the first English translations of Jerome’s commentaries on Galatians, Titus, and Philemon, with brief notes . . . . The commentary on Galatians is based on G. Raspanti’s 2006 edition, and those on Titus and Philemon are based on F. Bucchi’s 2003 edition.” — New Testament Abstracts

“Scheck’s work represents overall a valiant effort to make three seldom-read and sometimes difficult texts available in translation, two of which are available only here. . . . the commentaries on Titus and Philemon can be found nowhere else in English at present, and the translator is to be commended for the new access he has provided to them, and to have all three in one volume is wonderful. These three commentaries provide a good introduction to Jerome’s views on the Pauline epistles specifically and to his theory and practice of exegesis more generally.” — The Medieval Review

“The treasure that is Jerome’s remarkable exegetical output has never completely been unlocked for English-language readers. Thomas Scheck’s translation of the important church father’s commentaries on Galatians, Titus, and Philemon is an important step in that direction. Scheck’s lucid rendering retains the virtuosity of Jerome’s original Latin, while copious annotations serve to place the works within Jerome’s intellectual and social contexts.” — Religious Studies Review

“Thomas Scheck has produced very readable translations of Jerome on Galatians, Titus and Philemon, and it seems they are the first English and modern translations. There is an excellent introduction, with good notes and plentiful cross references to NT texts throughout.” — The Heythrop Journal

“This book is conceived by its editor not merely as a translation of a hitherto untranslated Latin text but also as an act of reparation to a philologist whose merits are now underrated even by scholars belonging to the Catholic tradition which he did so much to form.” — Theology

“Scheck’s translation is fluent and easy to read, with chapters and verses (both nonexistent in Jerome’s day) clearly identified for modern use. . . . This book is a must for any serious scholar of the epistles that it covers, as well as for those more generally interested in the biblical interpretation of the early church. Scheck is to be congratulated on making these texts available to a wider audience, and it must be hoped that he will continue his good work in the future.” — Review of Biblical Literature