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1 Corinthians
Interpreted by Early Christian Commentators
HARDCOVER; Published: 10/25/2005
ISBN: 978-0-8028-2577-3
370 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 7x10

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Series: The Church's Bible (CB)

Paul's first letter to the Corinthians, one of the earliest Christian writings, had enormous influence on the formation of Christian teaching. In this Church's Bible volume Judith L. Kovacs weaves comments from all the commentaries and sermon series written in Latin or Greek between the years 250 and 800, illustrating the historic Christian understanding of this crucial text.

The church fathers gathered here include Augustine of Hippo, Irenaeus, Gregory of Nyssa, Athanasius, Origen, John Chrysostom, and many more. Preceding the line-by-line exegesis are a lucid essay by Robert Louis Wilken on how the church fathers interpreted the New Testament, an informative introduction to 1 Corinthians by Kovacs, and two chapters of general patristic commentary on Paul and on this letter. Completing the volume are several helpful appendixes and indexes.

Freshly translating many passages into idiomatic English for the first time, Kovacs does not merely excerpt random quotes from the church fathers but instead produces a sustained interaction with their direct comments on 1 Corinthians. This soaking in the wisdom of the past is sure to spiritually refresh and intellectually sharpen contemporary readers who seek to better understand this part of Scripture.
Theological Book Review
"Here is an excellent contribution to this poignantly named series, which should prove a rich resource for libraries, preachers, and expositors."
Paul J. Griffiths
— University of Illinois at Chicago
"Judith Kovacs has done a magnificent job with this second volume of The Church's Bible. Her translations are always fluent and sometimes inspired, and the extracts she has chosen range from the merely interesting to the arresting. Many of them repay not only study and thought but also prayer and meditation, showing abundantly that commentary on Scripture was, for the church fathers, always at least as much a matter of the heart as of the intellect."
Robert Morgan
— University of Oxford
"This distinguished work is a model of how to bring patristic exegesis alive for a new generation. Judith Kovacs's selection of passages and her lengthy, fresh translations will yield new theological and exegetical insights to readers not familiar with pre-Enlightenment criticism and should persuade them that this field deserves far more attention than it has until now received. This volume sets a standard for the Church's Bible series that other scholars will want to emulate."
"Scholarly, but also accessible to the intelligent reader. . . Kovacs provides commentary from close to thirty patristic sources in all, and each selection is pertinent to the text at hand."
Journal for the Study of the New Testament Booklist
"Kovacs has, here, translated and edited some of the most important early commentary on 1 Corinthians. . . This book is an invaluable tool for any who are interested in the interpretation of scripture throughout the Christian era."
Concordia Journal
"The average pastor will find The Church's Bible far more helpful for week-to-week study, preaching, and teaching of the Scriptures than the Ancient Christian Commentary."
Review of Biblical Literature
"Deserves to be welcomed warmly, since it allows a wide readership to gain access to ancient biblical interpretations that are either difficult to find or that are so numerous that one easily drowns in the material."