“You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness to me.”—John 5:39
It takes some real imagination to go back fifteen or twenty centuries to an age when ordinary people didn’t have Bibles. But if we don’t put in that work, we’ll misunderstand the early Christians completely.
The early Christians didn’t live in our world, and their encounters with Scripture happened in one main context: the liturgy. That was where they heard Scripture. And just as important, that was where they heard Scripture interpreted.
In How the Fathers Read the Bible: Scripture, Liturgy, and the Early Church, Mike Aquilina takes readers back to the first centuries of Church life to show how the liturgy became the home of—and the interpretative lens for—Scripture. Aquilina shows how, both then and now, Scripture is only understood through the life of the Church—and in particular, through the liturgy.
Mike Aquilina is executive vice-president of the St. Paul Center and a contributing editor for Angelus News. He is author of more than fifty books, including The Fathers of the Church and The Eucharist Foretold.
“A learned and accessible study solidly based on the Church’s millennial tradition. How the Fathers Read the Bible will be a resource for all those interested in the Holy Scripture, and specifically how the Fathers understood and interpreted it in the East and the West, from St. Clement of Rome to St. Clement of Alexandria, from St. John Chrysostom to St. Augustine.”
Ines Angeli Murzaku, Director of Catholic Studies Program, Seton Hall University
“Mike Aquilina is a worthy and adventuresome guide to escort the reader on a tour through the patristic era, as he introduces the Fathers and permits their voices to be heard concerning the Church’s Biblical doctrine. Aquilina supplies substantial quotes illumining the contours of patristic exegesis, that is, the Fathers’ manner of interpreting the Bible. Aquilina lets the Fathers do what the Fathers have done best for two millennia: draw the believer more deeply into the sacred page, especially at its liturgical proclamation.”
Kevin M. Clarke, Assistant Professor of Sacred Scripture, St. Patrick’s Seminary and University
“In his masterful way, Mike Aquilina has given us a book that weaves Scripture, patristics, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a way that is graceful and simple. It makes Scripture and patristics easy and even fun, always focused on Jesus. It is a book from the Church for anyone searching for Jesus from any tradition. Any serious seeker of Jesus or the Church will find benefit here. Thank you, Mike, for another great manuscript.”
John Michael Talbot, Founder, Spiritual Father, and General Minister of the Brothers and Sisters of Charity, Little Portion Hermitage
“In his focus on the radiance of the Gospel in the thought and practice of the Church Fathers, Mike Aquilina both discloses and cultivates a fundamental dynamic of the Catholic faith: the life-sustaining relationship between Scripture and the Mass. This highly accessible study animates the living mystery of the Word made flesh and anchors it to the tradition of Scripture as sacrament in the liturgical life of the Church. Highly recommended.”
Michael P. Murphy, Department of Theology, Director, the Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage, Loyola University Chicago