The Church Fathers – Reception and Interpretation of the Old Testament:

Church Fathers and their Writings

Author’s note: The Church Fathers wrote and preached about a wide variety of themes, but, certainly, the biblical interpretation is present in all their works representing the core of their contribution to their readers. The following links are a near extensive list of material found on the internet about their writings:

Church Fathers: Churchfathers.org gives answer to the most basic questions about this topic: Who are the Church Fathers? What did they do? Why should we read them? Besides the answer for those questions, this website provides very introductory quotations on the most relevant material produced by the Fathers in all areas they wrote about, such as ethics, morality, salvation, papacy and obviously, scripture. This website is a concise and fundamental introductory material which can be useful for those who have no knowledge of the legacy of the Fathers.

Early Church Fathers: The Christian Classics Ethereal is an online library which contains the most relevant material on the classical Christian writings in its entirety. It is maintained by the Calvin College since 1993 and the texts were translated by different scholars. The Patristic section is divided in three parts: the Ante-Nicene Fathers, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers and Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers. It is aimed for those who wish a deeper understanding of the patristic legacy, by reading a translation straight from the originals.

Early Church Fathers – Additional Texts: This website is a continuation of the Patristic section of Christian Classics Ethereal Library, but for editorial reasons, it was allocated to a different webpage.

The Fathers of the Church: This website contains some of the Church Fathers writings present on other websites, but what makes it distinct from them is that it includes the consequence of the biblical and theological investigation of the Fathers: The decision of the Ecumenical Councils. It also makes available other compilations made by the Fathers such as treatises, liturgies and constitutions.

Early Christian Writings: This website is developed and updated by Peter Kirby, a prominent researcher in the field of early Christian writing and biblical interpretation. It contains not only the writings from the Fathers, but also a very helpful list of links with additional patristic material such as papers, books and other commentaries written by diverse distinct authors.

Biblical Commentaries

Biblia Clerus: Clerus Bible is a Roman Catholic initiative from the Congregation for the Clergy which aims to make available an online scripture commentary according to the Church’s tradition and Magisterium. Available in Latin, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, German and English, this website features the biblical text from the Old and New Testament, plus an explanation from the Church Fathers writings or sermons for the given passage. Furthermore, it includes comments from the Symbol of faith, the Catechism and various encyclicals and exhortations.

Search the Scriptures: This website was created by Eugenia Constantinou, Ph.D. Doctor Eugenia received her Ph.D. degree from Université Laval, Canada and she is now a professor at the University of San Diego in California. She is author of innumerous books and articles, including the translation of a volume in the acclaimed series of the Fathers of the Church published by the Catholic University of America. Her website aims to provide an accessible Bible study for orthodox Christians. It features an MP3 lecture and pdf handouts ranging from subjects such as the biblical canon to the Fathers biography. The core of this website however, is a verse-by-verse analysis of the books of Old Testament paraphrasing the Church Fathers. Since Doctor Eugenia provides a record of her lectures, it is a convenient device for those who are willing to learn about the Church fathers in a practical and modern way.

Patristic Lectionary for the Divine Office: The Patristic Lectionary for the Divine Office is an initiative of the Center for Catholic Studies from the Durham University. This website contains downloadable files containing both the biblical readings for the celebration of the Divine Office in the Roman Catholic tradition, and 1,544 commentaries or homilies made by the fathers for the day. This website claims to help the restoration of the ancient practice of accompanying the scriptural readings with a sermon delivered by “most eminent orthodox and catholic fathers.” It contains some commentaries about the New Testament, but it is also full of Old Testament commentaries.

Saint Athanasius Bible Study: This website is a parish webpage, developed for an average orthodox Christian church parishioner interested in the study of the scripture in a congregational setting. Despite this popular goal, it does not disappoint in the academic quality of the material provided. The downloadable material is prepared my Mark Kern, a distinguished contributor of the best sold orthodox book in America, the Orthodox Study Bible published by Thomas Nelson. Some of the material on this site focuses on the New Testament, but it does not fail to recall the roots in the Old Testament, and to reflect the opinions of the Church Fathers. It is a very useful tool for those who wish to read the scripture in a Bible study format accompanied by a high quality compilation of the Fathers exegesis.

Reflections on Patristic Biblical Thought

A Lamp for Today: A Lamp for Today: “Understanding the Old Testament with Jesus and the Apostles” is a blog which exemplifies the typical patristic Christocentric interpretation of the Hebrew Bible. The author of this blog is Edith M. Humphrey, who received her Ph.D. in New Testament and Early Christian Origins from McGill University; she is now a professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. This blog is aimed for Orthodox Christians who attend the Sunday Divine Liturgy. The Eastern Eucharistic Liturgy does not include readings from the Old Testament. In spite of this fact, Edith M. Humphrey skillfully analyses New Testament passages following the Lectionary of the Orthodox Church connecting to it a reflection of the Old Testament passages.

This list was compiled by Kairo Chorne.

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