Drawing on the writings of Eusebius of Caesarea, Ambrose, Jerome, Cyril of Alexandria, Theodoret of Cyrus, Bernard of Clairvaux, and nearly 60 others---all of them masterfully translated---this illuminating work reveals how Isaiah was used by New Testament writers and understood by the early church fathers. Includes translated excerpts of the Septuagint and editorial commentary. 504 pages, hardcover from Eerdmans.
In his extremely thorough work on Isaiah, Robert Wilken brings to bear his considerable knowledge of early Christianity. Drawing on writings of the church fathers -- Eusebius of Caesarea, Ambrose, Jerome, Cyril of Alexandria, Theodoret of Cyrus, Bernard of Clairvaux, and nearly sixty others -- all of them masterfully translated, this work allows the complex words of Isaiah to come alive.
Wilken's selection of ancient commentators clearly illuminates how Isaiah was used by the New Testament writers and understood by the early church fathers. Each chapter begins with a modern English translation of the septuagint, prepared by Moisés Silva. Editorial comments provide a foundation for understanding the excerpted commentaries and other writings that follow for each chapter.
Isaiah: Interpreted by Early Christian and Medieval Commentators is ideal for devotional and spiritual reading and for a deeper understanding of the church's historical interpretation of this major prophet.
University of Notre Dame
"This addition to the Church's Bible series makes available a remarkably rich selection from the great volume of Christian commentary on Isaiah written during the church's first millennium. It is significant both historically, as a contribution to the history of biblical interpretation, and theologically, as an expression of faith nourished by an attentive and devout reading of 'the sacred page.'"
Paul J. Griffiths
University of Illinois at Chicago
"The Isaiah volume in The Church's Bible is as intellectually and aesthetically delightful as its predecessors in this series, and it is an essential resource for anyone who wants to see what this Hebrew prophet has meant to Christians. Isaiah is especially important among the prophetic books because of the explicitness with which Christians have taken it to speak of Christ, and this is amply represented in the commentaries collected here. So too is some of the anti-Jewish polemic sometimes practiced by Christians. Both threads are important for understanding the history of Christian perceptions of the Jewish people, and they are woven elegantly together in this fascinating book."
University of Notre Dame
"This outstanding volume opens a new window on the text of one of Israel's most beloved prophets, Isaiah. I found myself continually entranced by the innumerable insights that the early Christian theological imagination was able to cull from its biblical source. The approach taken by these writers is often as hard-hitting as it is edifying. These classic thinkers took the biblical text seriously and wrestled with problems that continue to befuddle modern readers. This masterful collection of patristic interpretations gives the reader a powerful new lens with which to examine the sacred page. One of the real attractions of the volume is that the selections provided are long enough that one can take a favorite interpreter and follow him through the course of the whole book."
Fr. John Behr
St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary
"Robert Wilken offers us a treasure trove of gems providing insight into one of the most beloved biblical prophets, garnered from early and medieval writers, so enabling modern readers once again to approach this book of Scripture as Christians did for many centuries as a witness to Christ. This volume is certain to stimulate further the contemporary renewed appreciation of the depths and riches of the traditional Christian approach to Scripture; for this, and for the series, we are truly thankful."
Review of Biblical Literature
"In short, this volume is an outstanding addition to the field of Isaiah studies and can be useful for both scholars and lay readers alike."