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Former Liberal Democrat Leader’s Remarks on the Death of Queen Elizabeth

Former Liberal Democrat Leader’s Remarks on the Death of Queen Elizabeth Tim Farron (Lib-Dem), MP for Westmoreland and Lonsdale spoke from the floor of the House of Commons to express his thoughts on the late Queen Elizabeth. The day after her untimely demise he...

Queen’s Choice of Hymns and Scripture Readings

Queen’s Choice of Hymns & Scripture Readings Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth demonstrated the depth of her faith and understanding of the scriptures and hymnody when planning her funeral.  The hymns were melodic works of substance, truth, and comfort designed for...

Church Leaders and Parliamentarians Pay Tribute

Church Leaders and Parliamentarians Pay Tribute In a statement given shortly after the announcement of the Queen’s death, Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby said: “As we grieve together, we know that, in losing our beloved Queen, we have lost the person whose...

Keene Review: God’s Church for God’s World Part One

God’s Church for God’s World Faithful perspectives on mission and ministry Tom Woolford and Adam Young (eds.) IVP, 2022 (ISBN: 9781789742244, 218pp, £19.99) Part One   This is an important book which takes a snapshot of evangelical ministry in 2022. The title and...

The Faith of the Queen; A Cleric’s Reflections

The Faith of the Queen A Cleric’s Reflections As far as we know, Queen Elizabeth II commended only one book published during her long reign. In 2016 she penned the Foreword to a volume produced jointly by the Bible Society, HOPE and the London Institute of...

Collins: The Elizabethan Settlement

The Elizabethan Settlement By Revd Canon Chuck Collins Queen of England for 44 years, Elizabeth died March 24, 1603. She was the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, the last of the five monarchs in the House of Tudor. She never married ("Virgin Queen"). Her coffin...

Pilgrim’s Process: Rebuke

Pilgrim’s Process By the Revd Dr Peter Sanlon Rebuke In the fifth century some monks in France realised that Augustine’s theological writings commended a Biblical and God focused vision of the Christian pilgrimage. Augustine has been called the ‘Doctor of grace’ for...

Anglican Bishop of Norwich Joins in Roman Catholic Requiem Mass for The Queen

Anglican Bishop of Norwich Joins in Roman Catholic Requiem Mass for The Queen Church of England Bishop of Norwich, Graham Usher joined in a Roman Catholic Requiem Mass for Her Majesty The Queen at St John’s Roman Catholic Cathedral in Norwich on 15 September.   Roman...

The Queen’s Faith in Her Own Words

The Queen’s Faith – in Her Own Words Its formal name was ‘Her Majesty’s Most Gracious Speech’. To the royal household, it was known as the QXB – the Queen’s Christmas broadcast. Queen Elizabeth II spoke about the significance of Christmas to more people than anyone...

Anglican Futures: A Cure for the Lambeth Hangover?

Anglican Futures Commentary A Cure for the Lambeth Hangover? As the bishops of the Anglican Communion disembark from their flights and return to their dioceses, there is a danger that some will rub their eyes, and realise that however great the party was, there has...

Book Review: How the Church Fathers Read the Bible

How the Church Fathers Read the Bible

A Short Introduction

Gerald Bray

Lexham, 2022 (ISBN: 978-1-68359-583-0, 194pp, £19.99)

The formularies of the English church make frequent reference to the Patristic writers but these sources are little known or understood today. This is in large part due to the unfamiliar manner in which many of the church fathers used and interpreted the Bible. Gerald Bray does valiant work addressing such incomprehension in this introduction to patristic hermeneutics.

The work begins with a brilliantly judged review of the state of biblical materials and studies in the early Christian centuries, noting the role of texts such as the Septuagint, Hexapla, and Masoretic Bible.  Bray continues to a consideration of the various modes of interpretation commonly used at the time, persisting in inviting the reader to enter the thought-world of the fathers. This world, riven by divides of language, theology, and political allegiance, saw the evolution of the church from Jewish to gentile majority, from contending with pagan philosophers to internal heresies, and from a minority sect to a state religion. Each such change brought new insights and views on biblical revelation such that the fathers, spanning over five centuries, represent an almost bewildering tapestry. 

Bray is helpful in curating this rich inheritance, dispelling various common misconceptions as he goes, such as around the patristic use of the apocrypha. Each chapter blends notes on contemporary patristic scholarship with Bray’s own valuable insights and closes with a summary of the main developments reviewed. A chapter of case studies on the reception history of a few select scriptural texts is supported by the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture and illustrates the effects of contrasting allegorical, spiritual, and literal approaches. A parallel chapter of studies on individual authors might have been appreciated and could assist a future edition. 

Edward Keene, Little Shelford

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