Handbook of Patristic Exegesis (2 vols)

The Bible in Ancient Christianity


Through this Handbook of Patristic Exegesis, the reader will obtain a balanced and cohesive picture of the Early Church. It gives an overall view of the reception, transmission, and interpretation of the Bible in the life and thought of the Church during the first five centuries of Christianity, the so-called patristic era. The handbook offers the context and presuppositions necessary for understanding the development of the interpretative traditions of the Early Church, in its catechesis, its liturgy and as a foundation of its systems of theology.
The handbook presents a comprehensive overview of the history of patristic exegesis. Apart from a general introduction to the major topics in this field, it contains essays by leading patristic scholars on the most important Church Fathers, such as Augustine, Irenaeus, Origen, Gregory of Nyssa, and others. The essays are supplemented by bibliographies of editions and studies on patristic exegesis published from 1945 until 1995. Together, these bibliographies form the only comprehensive bibliography presently available on this topic.

The Handbook of Patristic Exegesis is being reprinted in an unabridged one volume edition (expected publication June 2006).


EUR €380.00USD $474.00

Biographical Note

Charles Kannengiesser was Successor of the late Cardinal Jean Daniélou at the Institut Catholique, Paris, Catherine Huisking Professor of Historical Theology at Notre Dame University, Indiana (1982-92) and Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ. Since 1992 he is Professor at Concordia University, Montreal. He has published several books and many articles on Athanasius of Alexandria and the Alexandrian tradition.

Review Quotes

' This excellent research tool for biblical scholars and church historians contains exhaustive information about more than 150 Greek and Latin Church Fathers and their translations and interpretations of the Bible…An extensive, thorough, up-to-date international bibliography is included.' Robert T. Anderson, American Reference Book Annual, 2005. ' The interpretation of the Bible in the Church Fathers attracts more and more sophisticated research; but until now we have lacked a really comprehensive overview. In these volumes, one of the foremost contemporary patristic scholars provides a superb conspectus of the field, which will be indispensable for the future of this research. I am profoundly grateful for the enormous labours and the expert critical judgement shown in Professor Kannengiesser's work.' Rowan Williams, The Archbishop of Canterbury. 'Professor Kannengiesser's two-volume Handbook , including also contributions by specialist scholars, is a huge and ambitious enterprise which is the first of its kind in patristic exegesis. His exhaustive study of the work of modern patristic scholars of ancient Christian exegesis contains a magisterial consideration of fifty years of international research on the subject, and of the whole span of Christian Greek and Latin exegesis to the end of the seventh and the end of the eighth century respectively. The Oriental traditions are also examined. In his aim of giving the Bible back to the churches, Kannengiesser caters for specialist and non-specialist alike, as well as for post-modern, prejudiced readers, and those who are more electronically disposed and are not readers in the conventional sense. This Handbook is a triumph.' Professor Pauline Allen, Director of the Center for Early Christian Studies at Australian Catholic University. 'impressionnant manuel [...] une telle somme suscite le respect, et même l’admiration, qu’elle n’a pas d’équivalent et qu’elle n’est pas près d’être remplacée.' J.-M. Auwers, RHE 2012


Scholars and students of early christianity, biblical studies, historical theology, classical studies, ancient philosophy and hermeneutics.