Distinctive in form, content, and style, the epistle to the Hebrews offers a profound high Christology and makes an awe-inspiring contribution to our understanding of Jesus as our High Priest. The earliest extant commentary on the letter comes to us in thirty-four homilies from John Chrysostom. These homilies serve to anchor the excerpts chosen by the editors of this volume because of their unique place in the history of interpretation. In addition to being the first comprehensive commentary on the letter, they deeply influenced subsequent interpretation in both the East and the West, and their rhetorical eloquence has long been acknowledged.
As in other Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture volumes, the excerpts chosen range widely over geography and time, from Justin Martyr and Clement of Rome in the late first and early second century to Bede the Venerable, Isaac of Nineveh, Photius, and John of Damascus in the eighth and ninth centuries. The Alexandrian tradition is well represented in Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Athanasius, Didymus, and Cyril of Alexandria, while the Antiochene tradition is represented in Ephrem the Syrian, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Severian of Gabala, and Theodoret of Cyr. Italy and North Africa in the West are represented by Ambrose, Cassiodorus, and Augustine, while Constantinople, Asia Minor and Jerusalem in the East are represented by the Great Cappadocians—Basil the Great, Gregory of Nazianzus, and Gregory of Nyssa—Eusebius, Cyril of Jerusalem, and Jerome.
This volume offers a rich treasure of ancient wisdom from Hebrews for the enrichment of the church today.