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How the Church Fathers Read the Bible: A Short Introduction

ISBN: 9781683595830
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Read the Scriptures with the insight of our forebears

Christians live in the house built by the church fathers. The fathers’ reading of the Scriptures shaped key doctrines that are essential to Christianity. But appreciating how the fathers read the Bible is not just for the historically curious, as if it were only a matter of literary archaeology. Nor should it be intimidating. Rather, the fathers gleaned insights from Scripture that continue to be relevant to all Christians.

How the Church Fathers Read the Bible is an accessible introduction to help you read Scripture with the early church. With a clear and simple style, Gerald Bray explains the distinctives of early Christian interpretation and shows how the fathers interpreted key Bible passages from Genesis to Revelation. Their unique perspective is summed up in seven principles that can inspire our Bible reading today. With Bray as your guide, you can reclaim the rich insights of the fathers with reverence and discernment.

Praise for How the Church Fathers Read the Bible

A reliable road map for students beginning their journey with the fathers.

—Christopher Hall, author of Reading Scripture with the Church Fathers; associate editor, Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture

A delightful sketch of the goals and assumptions by which the church fathers read holy Scripture.

—Kathryn Greene-McCreight, affiliate priest, Christ Church, New Haven; spiritual director, Annand Program, Yale Divinity School

Top Highlights

“the second of Origen’s three senses of interpretation” (Page 114)

“fathers of the church could not know that we would still be reading their works today” (Page 175)

“New Testament goes back over the history of the Old in order to redeem it” (Page 128)

“vindicated in ways that they could not have known or suspected” (Page 175)

“If that did not happen, there was no new birth at all.” (Page 166)

  • What Is Patristic Biblical Interpretation?
  • The Clash of Worldviews
  • The Four Senses of Interpretation
  • The Search for Consensus
  • Case Studies
  • Seven Theses on How the Church Fathers Read the Bible
  • Title: How the Church Fathers Read the Bible: A Short Introduction
  • Author: Gerald Bray
  • Publisher: Lexham Press
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Page Count: 184
  • Format: Logos Digital, Hardcover
  • Trim Size: 5.5x8
  • ISBN: 9781683595830

Gerald Bray is research professor of divinity at Beeson Divinity School of Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. He is the author of numerous books, including Biblical Interpretation: Past and Present, God Has Spoken: A History of Christian Theology, and Preaching the Word with John Chrysostom.


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  1. Cheryl Alfonso


Print list price: $24.99
Save $8.00 (32%)