PROFESSOR OF CHURCH HISTORY IN THE UNION THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, NEW YORK.
IN CONNECTION WITH A NUMBER OF PATRISTIC SCHOLARS OF EUROPE AND AMERICA
WM. B. EERDMANS PUBLISHING COMPANY
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN
HOMILIES ON THE GOSPEL OF SAINT MATTHEW
Preface to the American Edition
Preface to the Oxford Edition
St. John Chrysostom
Homilies on Matthew
Preface to the American Edition
This volume, according to the previous announcement of the publishers, contains a reprint of the Oxford edition of the Homilies of St. Chrysostom on the gospel of St. Matthew.
The Homilies on this Gospel formed three volumes of the Oxford edition, published respectively in 1843, 1844, and 1851. The dedication appears in the third volume, as a memorial of Archbishop Howly, who died in 1848. The preface is from the pen of Charles Mariott of Oriel College.
As regards the present volume, it may be remarked that the archaic style of the English translation has been preserved without material alteration. Even when obscure and involved, the form seemed to be a fitting dress for the original. Occaisionally an amendation, or rather suggestion, has been made in a foot-note by the American editor. The spelling has been altered throughout by the printer, to accord with the usage more common among us. Some obvious typgraphical errors have been corrected, and these have usually been indicated. Instead of the brackets, used in the Oxford edition, to mark words or phrases supplied by the translator, Italics have been substituted. The same remark applies ot passages where the Greek text is in doubt. The editor has felt at liberty to indicate more fully than the translator the protions supplied by the latter. In a few cases an emphatic word is printed in Italics, but these instances can be readily distinguished from the passages above referred to.
The English translator of these Homilies was fortunate in having the Greek text of Mr. Frederick Field as the basis of his renderings. This text is also accessible in the edition of Migne, and has been compared throughout in the preparation of this volume. At the time when the Oxford edition appeared textual criticism had received but slight attention in England; hence the translator seems to have occaisionally failed to estimate aright the value of the authorities for various readings. But in few patristic works we do have better security for the accuracy of the text than in the case of these Homilies on Matthew. The labor of the American editor has been, of course, supplementary. Attention has been called quite frequently to the Greek phrase used in the Homily, with a view to marking the usage in Ecclesiastical Greek. Many foot-notes have been added, to indicate the readings of the New Testament text appearing in the Homilies. The constant use of the Authorized version by the translator made this necessary. The Greek phrase has frequently been given; still more frequently the rendering (and reading) of the Revised version. Where these agree with the text of the Homily, they are cited, without comment, in brackets. Differences between readings are carefully indicated.
Occaisionally the editor has noted his dissent from the renderings or annotations of the translator, but he has not felt warranted in expressing every difference of judgement. All additions made in this volume are enclosed in brackets, and except in cases where the Revised Version is cited without comment, the R. has been appended.
Much time and care have been bestowed upon the Indexes.
M. B. R.
Allegheny, Pa. Sept. 24, 1888.
Preface to the Oxford Edition
The Homilies of St. Chrysostom on St. Matthew were undoubtedly delivered at Antioch (see Hom. vii. p. 43) and probably in the latter part of the time during which he preached as a Presbyter. Montfaucon consideres his little mention of the sin of swearing a sign of his accomplished some reformation on that point by his previous exertions. In the Homilies delievered from 386 to 388, it is a constant topic; and the Homilies known to belong to that date are so numerous, as scarcely leave room for such a series as the present. These, however, contain very little to mark the period to which they belong. The argument from his reference to dissensions some time gone by, possible those between St. Meletius and Paulinus and Evagrius, in commenting on St. Matt. xxiii. 6. is not very conclusive.
A modern reader must sometimes be struck with finding in St. Chrysostom a kind of criticism, which we are apt to thing belongs only to later times. Hist main object, however, is moral, and he searches out with diligence both the meaning and the applications of particular passages, usually concluding with an eloquent exhortation to some special virtue. Some of the most remarkable of these exhortations are on the subject of Alms-giving, which he seems to have pressed with some success at last. His calculation in Hom. lxvi as to what might be done, is somewhat curious. In the end of Hom. lxxxviii. he demands a reformation as the condition of his entering on the cntroversy with Infidels. In the next Homily he discusses the evidence of the Resurrection with nearly the same arguments as would still be used against an objector.
The Theatres are the theme of his frequent reprobation, and the Monks of the mountains near Antioch of his praise. In Hom. lxix. and lxx. he describes their mode of life as an edifying example to all. He frequently attacks the Anomoean or extreme Arian Heresy, and sometimes also the Manichaean. It is perhaps worth while to recollect the nearly contemporaneous prevalence of Manicheism in the West, as it appears in the early history of St. Augustine. In Hom. lxxxvi. there are some remarks on the device of Satan by which evil is introduced by little and little, which are worhty of consideration as applicable to the growth of erroneous doctrine and practice within the Church.
For all information with respect to the Text and Manuscripts of these Homilies, the learned reader is referred to the Greek Edition of Mr. Field, which has been of great service, as affording a safe basis for the Translation. The paucity of materials possessed by Savile, and the carelessness of the Benedictine Editor, had left much room for improvement by a judicious and faithful use of the existing copies. It may now at last be hoped, that we have a Text very closely approximating to the genuine work of the Author.
For the Translation, the Editors are indebted to the Rev. Sir George Prevost, M.a. of Oriel College, and for the Index to the Rev. J. E. Tweed, M.a. of Christ Church, Oxford. It will be their endeavor to complete the commentaries of St. Chrysosom on the New Testament, by bringing out the remainder of the Homilies on the Acts of the Apostles, and those on the Epistle to the Hebrews, as soon as they are able. In both instances, however, the corrupt state of the Text has occaisioned some difficulty and delay.