Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, Old Testament vol. XV: Apocrypha
Editor: Sever J. Voicu
Hardcover: 575 pages
Publisher: InterVarsity Press, 2010
“The Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture is a unique twenty-nine-volume series encompassing all of Scripture and offering contemporary readers the opportunity to study and read for themselves the key writings of the early church fathers.” (Back Cover)
I have been using the Ancient Commentary on Scripture (hereafter ACCS) for two years now. It was a valuable resource during my seminary education to track down what the church fathers had to say about a specific text without having to do tedious research. There are very few commentaries out there on the Apocrypha (the only other ones I know of are a part of the Anchor Bible Commentary series).
Apocryphal Books Included:
- Wisdom of Solomon
- Ecclesiasticus, of the Wisdom of Jesus the Son of Sirach
- Letter of Jeremiah
- Prayer of Azariah and the Song of the Three Young Men
- Bel and the Dragon
If you’re like me, your probably thinking, “That’s not all of the Apocryphal books. What gives?” Take, for example, 1-4 Maccabees. “The books of Maccabees are almost never explicitly cited by the Fathers.” (xxvii) “What was true for 1-4 Maccabees was true for many other deuterocanonical works. For this reason, the present volume contains commentary on a limited number of works: Tobit, the Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach, Baruch, the Letter of Jeremiah and the additions to Daniel. It was not possible to gather a sufficient quantity of ancient commentary on the other books to justify their inclusion in this volume.” (xxi)
The main application of this volume of the ACCS is for Biblical Studies. The reason for this is, outside of Sirach (which is the alternate reading for some Sundays), none of the texts appear in the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL). With there being almost no church ministry application for this volume, the only application that remains is scholarly (those with a general interest in the Apocrypha texts will find this useful as well).
Overall, I found this to be a useful resource. While lacking in church ministry applications, this volume is invaluable for anyone interested in the Deuterocanon and/or Patristic Theology. Like the other volumes of the ACCS, this one is easy to use. The other resources in this volume provide worthwhile information for those who are new to the Apocrypha and the Church Fathers.
I received this book free from InterVarsity Press. Providing me a free copy in no way guarantees a favorable review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”