Ancient Christian Texts Collection

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Don Awalt | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, Dec 14 2017 8:39 AM

I thought there was a thread on Ancient Christian Texts Collection in prepub, but I can't find it. Can anyone tell me anything about this collection? It looks expensive but has some notable authors. Do I recall seeing there is an overlap to another Logos collection or anything?

Thanks for any insight you may have!

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Ken McGuire | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 15 2017 11:44 AM

When I went to school in the 1990's, while there were a few figures who were consciously making sure that they interacted with the great exegetes of the past, this was generally something done by only a few - and those few were generally very fluent in the original languages. Since then there has been a flowering of interest in Patristics from a wide variety of people and perspectives - including feminists who suggest that the terms "Patristics" and "Church Fathers" need to be expanded include the women's stories. Among evangelicals, a prominent fruit of this flowering was the "Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture." This set brought together many ancient works and made it so that people who can use a mid-level commentary could be informed by their witness. But this set was also criticized for sometimes giving the impression that these ancient writers spoke with one voice - instead of bewildering variety of voices.

This set looks like it brings out particular voices and lets them speak. It includes a few notes for those of us who are not classical figures to understand them - particularly for evangelical preachers. In general, looking at the list of works included, I see many significant writers and significant texts. I do not have the encyclopedic mind to know what exactly is in other collections. I am pretty sure I read extracts of Origen's "Numbers" in a volume of the Classics of Western Spirituality set, but am pretty sure that was not complete.

As for cost, well, the work of translating and annotating things like this is significant and takes significant training to do well. This cost does have to be recovered, and, for better or worse, the market for things like this, while expanding, is still limited. Personally, I would recommend looking into some of the Church Fathers Library Expansions, but admittedly the set you mention is more recent and has notes that are probably more useful to the general Logos customer.

The Gospel is not ... a "new law," on the contrary, ... a "new life." - William Julius Mann

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Don Awalt | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 15 2017 2:17 PM

Thanks Ken for the writeup. I do have ACCS, and it sounds like it is different than that, albeit with some overlap, if I understand your writeup correctly (pls advise if I got it wrong).

That said, sounds like there is value, just have to think about the affordability. It is very expensive.

Posts 9264
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 15 2017 3:48 PM

I guess there's no easy answer. ACCS is snippets; the two big 'fathers' sets are selective. I use both in a CitedBy, but it's not particularly satisfying.

If I had the dinero, I'd want this for Jerome and Origen. I had the same selective-authors problem on the OT prepub in Nov. I passed on it too. More recently, an author I want is buried in a Eusebius collection. Pass on that too.


Posts 191
Marshall Harrison | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 16 2017 4:47 AM

Ken McGuire:

As for cost, well, the work of translating and annotating things like this is significant and takes significant training to do well. This cost does have to be recovered, and, for better or worse, the market for things like this, while expanding, is still limited. Personally, I would recommend looking into some of the Church Fathers Library Expansions, but admittedly the set you mention is more recent and has notes that are probably more useful to the general Logos customer.

Is the Expansion Pack worth the money or is it just going to contain a lot of links to stuff that I don't have. In other words does it require something higher than Silver to be useful?

Thanks.

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Ken McGuire | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 16 2017 1:12 PM

Marshall Harrison:
Is the Expansion Pack worth the money or is it just going to contain a lot of links to stuff that I don't have.

It would be a destination for some of the links in various resources and for some references in the Ancient Literature portion of the default Passage Guide. But in my opinion, they are most useful if they are read through - if not cover to cover, at least significant extracts so you can hear a bit of their voice and way of thinking. And this is what makes these more modern editions more useful to me than the 19th century editions included in some base packages is that it these editions are more readable. And so I don't mind that many of them are translations of works already in Nicene Fathers or Post-Nicene Fathers. They simply so much more readable.

Looking at just the small one...

St Gregory Dialogues - It would be quite difficult to understand over of millenia of Western Monasticism without reading the Live of Benedict included here.

St Leo Letters - The letter Leo wrote to Chalcedon is still an important treatment of Christology...

Ambrose - Letters let you see how a Bishop argued for orthodoxy in the late Roman Empire - even in the Imperial court. The Treatises give a treatment of what was that orthodoxy... And Ambrose has been one of the most important Latin writers.

St Gregory Naz. takes us to the Greek East. Again, he is a Greek bishop arguing for the faith - using his considerable rhetorical gifts to do so in various situations. The rhetorical models he uses are quite different from today's world, but here is where much of our Trinitarian vocabulary was hammered out.

St Augustine is probably the most influential Latin Church writer. It is next to impossible to be a "westerner" without being exposed to his thought - either directly or from others who have been influenced by him - and they are legion. "Faith, Hope and Charity" is almost a catechism written on the traditional theological virtues for the non-specialist. "Faith and Works" is basic text for the Roman position of how these two things are related. Yes - it is different than what the Reformation said. But it is not the straw man that we often set up. St. Justin Martyr's Apologies is a presentation of the Faith as Christian Philosophy in the 2nd century. Many of his themes have been developed since then, but I was at least impressed how much was so early...

The Gospel is not ... a "new law," on the contrary, ... a "new life." - William Julius Mann

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Marshall Harrison | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 16 2017 2:39 PM

Thanks Ken for the great response. Based on what you wrote it sounds like a good deal.

I just get tired of buying/getting things that require me to buy other stuff to make the most of it.

I finally purchased Silver but I'm surprised at how much other stuff I need to fix links that point to things not in my library. Logos is a money pit and I keep sinking deeper in but after 20+ years with Logos I cant back out now.

Posts 1541
Ken McGuire | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 16 2017 2:58 PM

Since you have Silver already, take a look at "Athanasius: The Life of Antony and the Letter to Marcellinus" in your library and try reading a few chapters to see if anything grabs you. This volume from Classics of Western Spirituality is pretty good and somewhat representative of many things you will run into in other writers in how it integrates biography, exegesis, theology and spirituality...

The Gospel is not ... a "new law," on the contrary, ... a "new life." - William Julius Mann

Posts 191
Marshall Harrison | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 16 2017 3:16 PM

Ken McGuire:

Since you have Silver already, take a look at "Athanasius: The Life of Antony and the Letter to Marcellinus" in your library and try reading a few chapters to see if anything grabs you. This volume from Classics of Western Spirituality is pretty good and somewhat representative of many things you will run into in other writers in how it integrates biography, exegesis, theology and spirituality...

Thanks for the tip. I'll read it.

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