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date: 21 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter offers an introduction to the origins, main characteristics, and some main representatives of the early Christian biblical commentary. It outlines the emergence of the biblical and Late Antique philosophical commentary from the context of the late Hellenistic and early post-Hellenistic study of grammar and rhetoric (e.g. in Homeric scholarship), and discusses the role of Origen of Alexandria as the main theorist and practitioner of the early Christian biblical commentary, including Origen’s treatment of commentary topics (topoi) and his conceptualization of his commentarial activity as a form of Christian philosophy, or science. It then continues with an overview of the history of the early Christian biblical commentary after Origen, touching upon the history of the Antiochene school of exegesis and upon the Latin commentary tradition culminating in Jerome of Stridon and Augustine of Hippo.

Keywords: Alexandrian tradition, ancient commentaries, ancient grammar, Antiochene exegesis, commentary topics, early Christian biblical commentaries, Homeric scholarship, Late Antique philosophical commentaries, Latin commentary tradition, Origen of Alexandria

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