The Fathers, especially of the East, did not leave us many commentaries on the Wisdom Books of the Old Testament, even thogh frequently citing the figure of Job and Solomon’s proverbs in their other works. This neglect may perhaps be accounted for by a reluctance to see the sages as recipients of inspiration in the same fashion as psalmists and prophets, Wisdom often seeming to be the fruit of human experience. It is therefore doubly gratifying that recent scholarship has unearthed commentaries on the text of Job, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes by the celebrated preacher of Antioch, John Chrysostom. Not only do these texts complete the already huge corpus of his works, but they reveal the response of a Greek Father to this distinctive sapiential material, which the ancients found challenging, sometimes pragmatic, sometimes quaint. We may debate the Fathers’ degree of appreciation of biblical Wisdom; but, as Chrysostom says of Proverbs, “it makes no trifling contribution to our moral life.”
Softbound. 252 pp.