Thursday, July 05, 2007

Bl. Theophylact on John available!

I don't do too many book promotions on here, and I assure you up-front that I'm not making anything off of this endorsement. (That is, unless someone wants to make it worth my while . . . ) But I just have to say how excited I am that The Explanation of the Gospel of Saint John by Bl. Theophylact, Archbishop of Ochrid and Bulgaria, is finally going to print. Chrysostom Press is in the process of publishing an English translation of Theophylact's (11th c.) commentary on the New Testament. (A very slow process, but what isn't in Orthodoxy?) I mentioned several months ago on here that I'd bought the first three volumes, on Matthew, Mark, and Luke. I suppose a more patient man would have waited for John to come out, since its release was already on the horizon. A more patient man also would have saved some money on the deal, because now you can order all four in hardback for a little more than twice the cost of John by itself. But a more patient man might also have spent less time in Scripture over the succeeding months, so I'm not kicking myself too hard.

I had a professor in seminary who once gave the strongest recommendation he could for a book--"if you don't own it, sell your shoes and buy it." I'm pretty sure I couldn't get $30 for my shoes--for all of them, I mean, let alone any single pair. But if you have $30 worth of used shoes lying around, by all means, sell them! Better yet, if you have $70 worth and don't already own the first three volumes, get busy. (As for me, I wonder if there are still places around that will pay for blood?) Theophylact incorporates the best of Orthodox Tradition in his concise explanation, and the format of alternating bite-sized chunks of Scripture with running commentary makes it easy to use. The translation is in good English, although I haven't read the Greek text, so I can't speak to its accuracy. Even if you have time to plow through John Chrysostom's homilies on every passage of Scripture, you still won't get the breadth of Orthodox Tradition contained here. It's little wonder that Bishop Ignaty recommended to his monks that they read Scripture with Theophylact. Not to disparage the efforts of the good people working on the Orthodox Study Bible, but arguably we've already had one for the past 900 years. It just needs to be translated into English.

1 comment:

Zelda said...

Keep up the good work.