Edited by Paul M. Blowers
A genuine renaissance is presently underway in the study of biblical interpretation and biblical culture in the early Christian age. The profundity and complexity of the early Christians’ engagement with Holy Scripture, in theology, in ecclesial and liturgical life, in ethics, and in ascetic and devotional life, are providing a rich resource for contemporary discussions of the Bible’s ongoing “afterlife” within ecumenical Christian communities and contexts.
The Bible in Greek Christian Antiquity is a collection of wide-ranging essays on the influence of the Bible in numerous and varied aspects of the life of the Greek-speaking churches during the first four centuries. Essays appear under the general themes of (I) The Bible as a Foundation of Christianity; (II) The Bible in Use among the Greek Church Fathers; (III) The Bible in Early Christian Doctrinal Controversy; (IV) The Bible and Religious Devotion in the Early Greek Church. Individual essays probe topics as diverse as the use of the Bible in early Christian preaching and catechesis, appeals to Scripture in the conflicts between Jews and Christians, pagan use of Scripture against the Church, and the Bible’s influence in early Christian art, martyrology, liturgical reading, pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and ascetical life.
Much of the volume constitutes a translation, revision, and adaptation of essays originally presented in the French volume Le monde grec ancien et la Bible (1984), Volume 1 of the series Bible de Tous les Temps. Four new studies appear, however, including an introductory essay on “Origin of Alexandria” as a guide to the biblical reader, and two essays on the biblical culture of early Eastern Christian monasticism.
The Bible in Greek Christian Antiquity comes as an international project, the work of French, Swiss, Australian, and now Canadian and American scholars. It will be useful to students of early Christianity and the history of biblical interpretation, and will also serve as a useful introduction to the many dimensions of the reception of the Bible in the early Church.
“This volume, devoted to examining the impact of the Bible in early Christianity, and beyond, begins to fill a notable vacuum in biblical studies, and also in patristic studies.” — St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly
“The Bible in Greek Christian Antiquity is a superb work of scholarship and highly recommended reading for students, scholars and lay readers with an interest in the history of the early Greek chuches.” — Midwest Book Review
“Full of interesting, informative articles and broad in scope. . . .” — Perspectives in Religious Studies
“ [T]his is an excellent collection of articles that is highly recommended for anyone with an interest in the history of biblical exegesis.” — Pro Ecclesia
“This is a harvest of some of the best current work in the history of biblical interpretation in the early church. The studies introduced into the English edition, especially the work of R. Heine on Origen and F. Norris on Gregory Nazianzus, do indeed strengthen the text and give it a broader appeal. Important for seminary and graduate-level collections in early Christian studies and historical theology.” — Religious Studies Review
“This significant volume is a welcome addition to a too-sparse English bibliography.” — Current Trends in Theology and Mission