For the church fathers the Gospels did not serve as resources for individual analysis and academic study. They were read and heard and interpreted within the worshiping community. They served as sources for pastoral counsel and dmonition for those who were committed to the Way. Although Matthew and John were generally the preferred Gospels, Luke, because of his particular interests and unique contributions, took pride of place during the Christmas season as well as during Easter and other major feasts.During the early patristic period, the tradition of continuous reading (lectio continua) through the Gospels developed, such that over a course of time a complete Gospel was read in sections, and sermons were preached on the readings either at weekly or midweek worship and Communion liturgies or during morning and evening prayer services. Among such sermons that have survived, this commentary includes selections from Origen and Cyril of Alexandria. This volume, edited by Arthur A. Just, opens up a treasure house of ancient wisdom that allows these faithful witnesses, some appearing here in English translation for the first time, to speak with eloquence and intellectual acumen to the church today.
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