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Posted January 14, 2004

Book: Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: Old Testament XIV, The Twelve Prophets
Editor: Alberto Ferreiro
InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL, pp. 366

Excerpt from Jacket:

“And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, [the risen Jesus] interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself” (Lk 24:27)

The church fathers mined the Old Testament throughout for prophetic utterances regarding the Messiah, but few books yielded as much messianic ore as the Twelve Prophets, sometimes known as the Minor Prophets, not because of their relative importance but because of the relative brevity of their writings. Encouraged by the example of the New Testament writers themselves, the church fathers found numerous parallels between the Gospels and the prophetic books. Among the events foretold, they found not only the flight into Egypt after the nativity, the passion and resurrection of Christ, and the outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost, but also Judas’s act of betrayal, the earthquake at Jesus’ death and the rending of the temple veil. Detail upon detail brimmed with significance for Christian doctrine, including baptism and the Eucharist as well as the relation between the covenants.

In this rich and vital resource you will find excerpts, some translated here into English for the first time, from more than thirty church fathers, ranging in time from Clement of Rome, Justin Martyr and Irenaeus (late first and early second centuries) to Gregory the Great, Braulio of Saragossa and Bede the Venerable (late sixth to early eighth centuries). Geographically the sources range from the great Cappadocians — Basil the Great, Gregory of Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa — John Chrysostom, Ephrem the Syrian and Hippolytus in the East, to Ambrose, Augustine, Cyprian and Tertullian in the West, and Origen, Cyril and Pachomius in Egypt.

Excerpt from Book:

Care for the Poor Give Life to Faith

Leo the Great: And hence Tobias also, while instructing his son in the precepts of godliness says, “Give alms of our substance, and turn not your face from any poor man. So shall it come to pass that the face of God shall not be turned from you.” This virtue makes all virtues profitable, for by its precepts it gives life to that very faith by which “the just lives” and which is said to be “dead without works.” As the reason for works consists in faith, so the strength of faith consists in works. Sermon 10:4.

Table of Contents:

Introduction to the Twelve Prophets

Commentaries on:


Appendix: Early Christian Writers and the Documents Cited

Biographical Sketches

Timeline of Writers of the Patristic Period

Bibliography of works in original languages

Bibliography of works in English translation

Authors/Writings Index

Subject Index

Scripture Index