Letter & Spirit: Volume 7, 2011

The Bible and the Church Fathers:
The Liturgical Context of Patristic Exegesis


This is the seventh annual volume of the remarkably popular journal of biblical theology edited by Scott Hahn and his St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology. This volume responds to the call of Pope Benedict XVI in his Apostolic Exhortation Verbum Domini for a thoughtful return to the Fathers of the Church and how they approached Sacred Scripture.

This is not in any way to jettison historical-critical methods and the valuable insights that modern biblical scholarship has brought to light. It is simply to acknowledge what Pope Benedict calls for, a measured return to the interpretive methods employed by the Church Fathers as well as the theology that flowed from their exegetical labors.

As he said, The Church Fathers present a theology that still has great value today because at its heart is the study of sacred Scripture as a whole. Indeed, the Fathers are primarily and essentially commentators on sacred Scripture. Highlights include original articles by Fr. William Kurtz, SJ, Matthew Levering, Father Stephen Ryan, OP, Stephen Hildebrand, Owen Phelan, and Michael Barber, as well as an original translation of Joseph Ratzinger’s (Pope Benedict XVI) foundational essay Vicarious Representation by Father Jared Wicks, SJ.

Excerpt from the Editor’s introduction:

Once we recognize the importance and relevance of the ecclesial setting for reading scripture, and recognize also the importance of the patristic interpretive tradition that enriches it, then we can see what the Fathers saw—that the liturgy was then, even as it is now, the privileged setting for the Word.

Table of Contents



Cures of the Soul and Correction of Heart: Pope Leo the Great on the Healing Power of Holy Week
J. Mark Armitage

Patristic Interpretation of Scripture within God’s Story of Creation and Redemption
William S. Kurz, S.J.

Anamnesis and Allegory in Ambrose’s De sacramentis and De mysteriis
Christine E. Wood

“The Yoke of Servitude”: Christian Non-Observance of the Law’s Cultic Precepts in Patristic Sources
Michael Patrick Barber

Scriptural and Sacramental Signs: Augustine’s Answer to Faustus
Matthew Levering

Scripture, Worship, and Liturgy in the Thought of St. Basil the Great
Stephen M. Hildebrand

Patristic Exegesis and the Liturgy: Medieval Ressourcement and the Development of Baptism
Owen M. Phelan

Psalm 22 in Syriac Tradition
Stephen D. Ryan, O.P.

Interiority and Extroversion in Biblical Trinitarian Faith in Augustine’s De Trinitate
Khaled Anatolios

Patristic Biblical Hermeneutics in Joseph Ratzinger’s Jesus of Nazareth
William M. Wright IV

Vicarious Representation
Joseph Ratzinger / Pope Benedict XVI, Jared Wicks, SJ, translator

Liturgy: The Context of Patristic Exegesis
Patrick McGoldrick

For Contributors

At this time, Letter & Spirit does not accept unsolicited manuscripts.
All other editorial inquiries should be directed to:
Dr. William Bales
Managing Editor
[email protected]

Letter & Spirit
2228 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 2A,
Steubenville, Ohio 43952
(740) 264-9535 - phone
(740) 264-7908 - fax

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