Author: Archbishop Averky (Taushev)
The work of Archbishop Averky (Taushev) stands apart in an intellectual climate that prizes innovation over tradition, headlines over the Truth, and intellectualism over divine revelation. Writing in the tradition of biblical exegetes such as St John Chrysostom and Blessed Theophylact of Bulgaria, Archbishop Averky provides a commentary that is firmly grounded in the teaching of the Church, manifested in its liturgical hymnography and the works of the Holy Fathers. Analyzing all four Gospels chronologically and simultaneously, he allows the reader to see the life of Christ as an unfolding narrative in accessible, direct language.
Using the best of pre-Revolutionary Russian sources, Archbishop Averky also remained abreast of developments in Western biblical scholarship, engaging with it directly and honestly. He was adamant, however, about the primary importance of Patristic exegesis in understanding the Scriptures. He approaches the Gospels first and foremost not as a literary work of antiquity, but as the revelation of Jesus Christ as God in the flesh.
Archbishop Averky’s commentaries on the New Testament have become standard textbooks in Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary and have been published in Russia to widespread acclaim. This present volume is the first translation of these texts into English. It will be an indispensable addition to the library of every student of the Gospels.
Posted by Fr. John Whiteford on 11th Nov 2015
This text was written by Archbishop Averky for use at Holy Trinity Seminary, and has been used to train seminarians there ever since. But now, with the publication of the text in English translation, this indispensable text is available to the English speaking Orthodox world.
This text has some similarities to the text "The Life and Times of Jesus, the Messiah" in that it covers the contexts of the Gospels, chronologically, and shows how the four Gospels complement one another. But this text also provides a window for English speakers on pre-revolutionary Russian Biblical scholarship, and also brings the commentaries of the Fathers to bear on the subject. Archbishop Averky shows a familiarity with Protestant biblical scholarship, as well.
One could read the commentary cover to cover simply to gain a better understanding of the Gospels, but it also can be used as the starting point for the study of any given passage of the Gospels. Particularly when studying the synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), looking at parallel passages can provide deeper insights into a passage. This text helps connect those parallels, and helps one understand how these parallels should be understood together, through the perspective of Holy Tradition.
It is a text that would benefit any pious laymen, but which should be a go to reference for Orthodox clergy. I look forward to seeing the subsequent volumes in this series published as well.
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