Isaiah: Interpreted by Early Christian and Medieval Commentators

  • Werner Lategan Stellenbosch University


To a large extent, patristic and medieval modes of exegesis and interpretation of Scripture remain an unfamiliar and inaccessible world for most faith communities. The Church’s Bible commentary series attempts to change this situation, and is designed “to present Holy Scripture as understood and interpreted during the first millennium of Christian history.” (p. x) As such it wants to disseminate the richness of the Church’s classical tradition of interpretation to a broader church based audience. This objective is commendable, but one might gain the impression that the nature of the book’s content does not quite gel with its supposed audience – particularly since the scope of its supposed audience is not entirely clear. To date this series also includes volumes on The Song of Songs and 1 Corinthians. Apart from the main commentary section, the Isaiah volume also includes rather short introductions to the interpretation of the Old Testament in the early church, as well as the Christian interpretation of Isaiah. Also included is a preface to the commentary section on Isaiah, which entails some excerpts from introductions to ancient commentaries on Isaiah, New Testament passages, and references to Isaiah in early Christian writings. Two appendixes (authors of works excerpted and sources of texts translated), and indexes of names, subjects and Scripture references complete the volume.