IVP, in their continued efforts to provide access to ancient Christian writing has expanded their series' Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture and Ancient Christian Doctrine to include the more general rubric of Ancient Christian Texts. This allows IVP to specifically publish not only topical material, but selected outstanding Christian writings from the past. In this volume, we receive an anonymous 4th Century commentary on Galatians-Philemon for the first time in English. The anonymous author, dubbed "Ambrosiaster" by the great theologian Erasmus, has produced what is arguably the finest pre-Reformation commentary on Galatians-Philemon which constitutes the majority of works in the Pauline corpus. Features include an introduction on authorship, text, translation, and social and theological context of the 4th Century, as well as notes on ambiguous references, textual difficulties, and possible errors in Ambrosiaster's text.
Ambrosiaster ("Star of Ambrose") is the name given to the anonymous author of the earliest complete Latin commentary on the thirteen epistles of Paul. The commentaries were thought to have been written by Ambrose throughout the Middle Ages, but their authorship was challenged by Erasmus, whose arguments have proved decisive. The commentaries, which serve as important witnesses to pre-Vulgate Latin versions of Paul's epistles, are noteworthy in several respects. Ambrosiaster was a careful and thoughtful interpreter, who made little use of allegory, though he employed typology judiciously. Writing during the pontificate of Damasus (366-384), he is a witness to Nicene orthodoxy and frequently comments on themes related to the Trinity, the consubstantiality of the Son, the problem of the unbelief of the Jews and the nature of human sinfulness. He had a keen eye for moral issues and often offers comments that reflect his knowledge of how the church had changed from the time of the apostles to his own day. Here for the first time his commentaries on Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1-2 Thessalonians, 1-2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon are made available in English, ably translated and edited by Gerald L. Bray.
Gerald L. Bray (Ph.D., La Sorbonne) is a professor at Beeson Divinity School of Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, and director of research at Latimer Trust. He has written and edited a number of books on different theological subjects. A priest of the Church of England, Bray has also edited the post-Reformation Anglican canons.