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BOOK REVIEWS The Epistles of St. Clement of Rome and St. Ignatius of Antioch. Newly translated and annotated. By James A. Kleist, S.J., Ph. D. Westminster, Maryland: Newman Bookshop, 1946. Pp. vii+162. $2.50. Our Holy Father, in his encyclical letter on Sacred Scripture, Divino Afflante Spiritu, invites all scholars to make a more thorough study of the Fathers for a better understanding of Scripture. This invitation can be extended to serve other branches of theology. The Fathers, moreover, should be read and used more by the priest in his ministry of preaching. The laity, too, should be taught to read the Fathers in preference to the other ancient classics. We gladly welcome, then, the new enterprise of the editors and publisher of Ancient Christian Writers. They are filling a long felt need by giving us a reliable Catholic translation in English. The first volume contains the Epistles of St. Clement of Rome and of St. Ignatius of Antioch. Both these works are ageless classics. Timeless though they are, they convey a lesson that is most timely especially in our day. They inculcate charity in the bond of peace and life saturated with Christ. They pulse with the life blood of Sacred Scripture, especially with St. Paul and St. John. The distinguished translator of this volume, Father Kleist, needs no introduction. He has done a superb job in putting these gems of ancient Christianity into readable, modern diction, which makes their message seem new and fresh. Father Kleist added two helpful introductions, one to St. Clement, the other to St. Ignatius. Forty-three pages of notes, placed in the rear of the book, explain the thought, or the choice of words in the translation. These notes display sound scholarship; Father Kleist shows himself an authority in the Greek language. We hope that we are not being fastidious in pointing out a few slips in a work that is so scholarly. On page 57 we are told that St. Ignatius wrote his epistles about 110 A.D., that is, about 15 or 20 years after the death of the last Apostle. According to Scripture scholars John died about 104 A.D.; so only about 6 to 8 years before Ignatius wrote his epistles. Again, John wrote the Apocalypse at the end of Domitian's reign, that is, about 96 A.D. Now if we follow the opinion of some of the Fathers that the Gospel was written after the Apocalypse, it was written only about 7 to 14 years before Ignatius' epistles, not 15 to 20, as is stated on page 128, note 22. In reference to note 4 on page 104, we should like to note that there are different endings to the collects in the Roman liturgy; hence it is not altogether correct to say that all the collects of the Roman liturgy end with "Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum." On page 120, note 10, besides saying that the absolute use of "Name" for "name of Christ" refers perhaps to Phil. 2, 9, it might have been added that this absolute use is found in Scripture. In III John 7 it is certain, and in Acts 5:41 the better MSS have it thus. In James 5:14 the Vatican codex has the absolute use, but here the better reading seems to call for the addition of "of the Lord." The editors and publisher ought to be congratulated for the clear type and attractive format and good proof reading. Perhaps some readers would want captions before the various sections of the Epistles. At times it is BOOK REVIEWS99 difficult to get an apt caption, especially in epistles; but if judiciously chosen, captions are a great aid in reading ancient works. The first volume of Ancient Christian Writers has set a high standard. We are sure all, laity as well as Religious and clergy, will welcome it. All can read it with pleasure and profit. Dominic J. Unger, O.F.M. Cap. Capuchin College, Washington, D.C. Bibliography of English Translations From Medieval Sources. Number XXXIX of the Records of Civilization Sources and Studies, Austin P. Evans, Editor. By Clarissa P. Farrar and Austin P. Evans. New York...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1945-9718
Print ISSN
0080-5459
Pages
pp. 98-99
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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