Is the Ancient Christian Commmentary (ACCS) worth $170?

Page 2 of 3 (47 items) < Previous 1 2 3 Next >
This post has 46 Replies | 3 Followers

Posts 6008
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 16 2018 2:42 PM

 I can’t believe they haven’t fix this ”only some resources are included” thing. It’s confusing and a little misleading in a way. It’s been aproximately 2 years since L7 was released.

I hope they don’t do this when L8 comes out.

DAL

Posts 278
Charlene | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Mar 18 2018 8:51 AM

Disciple of Christ (doc):

Disciple of Christ (doc):

The second lot is the Bible Speaks today Series:

https://www.logos.com/product/8587/the-bible-speaks-today-new-testament 

Thanks!

Posts 201
Marshall Harrison | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Mar 18 2018 6:11 PM

I'm enjoying this thread and I find the early church fathers interesting. But I have a few questions...

Why study them?

What does it  really matter what they thought now that is 2000 years later?

I would think studying current theological thought would be a better use of time. Is our current thought correct? Is how we got here really important or how the ECF influenced out current thinking important?

Or to say it another way; if the ends is right does the means matter?

I realize this could get confrontational but I'm really interested in the why of studying the ECFs and what they thought  about any given piece of scripture.

Posts 33
Joseph Sollenberger | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Mar 18 2018 6:46 PM

By studying the early church fathers, one discovers that certain ideas arise, are debated, refuted, defended, rejected, suppressed, and reappear for the process to repeat. There really is nothing new under the sun, and we may actually learn from bad behavior of the past. Being humans, (said in that sneering Ferengi accent), we like to think that we of the present are the epitome of progress.  George Santayana is absolutely correct and not heeding his advice will continue the cycle. The past is often not pretty, but there are also absolutely wonderful moments when the power of the Holy Spirit is evident in the lives of believers that advance the Kingdom in spite of the imperfection we all have on this side of eternity. By knowing the past, I may be more patient with the present. By knowing the past, I may become more merciful in the present. By knowing the past, I may avoid errors that hinder the work of the Kingdom. By knowing the past I may look forward with hope and confidence. If I forget the past, I must cry out in anguish—Lord, have mercy!

Maranatha,

Joseph

Joseph F. Sollenberger, Jr.

Posts 987
EastTN | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Mar 18 2018 6:48 PM

Marshall Harrison:

Why study them?

On reason that C. S. Lewis gives for reading old books is that every age has its own prejudices and blind spots. Interacting with writers from other time periods helps us overcome the mistakes that are characteristic of our own society.  Just as they made mistakes that we can see, they saw things that we often can't - they have perspectives and insights that we would miss if we only listened to our contemporaries.  Sometimes meeting a person from another country, with a very different perspective on life, can be enlightening.  Reading someone who is not only from a different continent but from a different millennium can be a similar experience.  (Or like talking to your Dad. Every now and then my Dad will say something that just makes me want to slap my head - but he's also seen a lot of things that I haven't, and has a lot of wisdom to offer.)

Posts 5215
Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Mar 18 2018 10:20 PM

To infer former generations have nothing to offer is a great hubris. We stand so tall and see so far only because of the giants whose sghoulders we stand on.  Yes they have faults but they also are hundreds of years indeed in many case almost 2000 years closer to the original writings than we are. That alone gives them insights we can not hope to have ever. Occasionally we run into someone who will put forward a novel idea and claim this new idea must be what was actually meant. I am not saying we ignore new and innovative ideas butI also want to make sure we do not ignore thousands of years of study that has always interpreted it as this way. Truly the preacher was right and there is nothing new under the sun. Many of today’s issues and debates have long ago been discussed and brilliantly defended in the past. It is almost like saying I want numbers but I want to come up with all the formulas and rules myself. You may arrive at A^2 + B^2 = C^2 on your own but why bother to do that when you can gain wisdom from the past as you struggle to learn new things. 

-dan 

Posts 25928
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Mar 18 2018 11:12 PM

Marshall Harrison:
What does it  really matter what they thought now that is 2000 years later?

Why study the Bible much of which is even older? Or why study the OT when we have the NT? These are basically the same question that you ask. You presume that contemporary is a fuller more accurate understanding? That is a questionable assumption - we are as apt to have replace one erroneous opinion for an opinion that avoids the previous error only to make another. As a medical school professor said to his class "90% of what I am about to teach you is not true. Unfortunately, we do not know which 90%." When one traces ideas/interpretations through space and time, one can better see the social influences both on the idea and on its expression. Doing so, permits one to subvert the bias that contemporary is likely truer.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 201
Marshall Harrison | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 19 2018 4:19 AM

MJ. Smith:

Marshall Harrison:
What does it  really matter what they thought now that is 2000 years later?

Why study the Bible much of which is even older? Or why study the OT when we have the NT? These are basically the same question that you ask. You presume that contemporary is a fuller more accurate understanding? That is a questionable assumption - we are as apt to have replace one erroneous opinion for an opinion that avoids the previous error only to make another. As a medical school professor said to his class "90% of what I am about to teach you is not true. Unfortunately, we do not know which 90%." When one traces ideas/interpretations through space and time, one can better see the social influences both on the idea and on its expression. Doing so, permits one to subvert the bias that contemporary is likely truer.

Thanks MJ.

I  probably should have worded my question slightly different. WE are where we are in our current thought. I had assumed that where we are was based on past church thinking and that as a lay person I could just take things somewhat at face value. I can see a good reason for scholars or theologians etc to study the ECF.

My question should have been what's the point of a lay person studying the ECF in any depth. My chances of changing current thought are pretty small. For example how the Canon was determined is fascinating but I have no assumptions about me changing that.

But after reading your response I am reminded of  Acts 17 and the Bereans and I should be emulating them.

Posts 201
Marshall Harrison | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 19 2018 4:36 AM

Joseph, your insight on "nothing new under the sun" and knowing the past makes a lor of sense.

EastTN, thank you. I'm with you on learning from other cultures and their different perspective on things. I just never really considered that approach with the thinking and history of the ECF.

Dan, thanks to you too. I didn't mean to imply that former generations have nothing to offer. My assumption was more along the line that scholars had already learned from them and that modern commentaries and journals already incorporated this thinking after studying the ACF and other period writings. I'm off to repent of my hubris. Intentional and otherwise.

I am fascinated about church history and especially the first 300 years or so after Acts 2. My new goal is to strive to listen to wise council (you people included) and to be more like the Bereans.

I am just a retired software engineer with some 20 hours of seminary back in the '90s. I love to smoke meat and work with wood. I would like to go back to seminary and finish this time but funds are limited and I don't know what I would do with the degree. Turning 62 with lots of free time has left me looking for meaning and something to do with my time. Just not sure. But I'm starting with CH101 from the mobile education course I got from Connect Essentials.

Thanks again to all.

Posts 351
Liam Maguire | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 19 2018 5:06 AM

Marshall Harrison:

For example how the Canon was determined is fascinating but I have no assumptions about me changing that.

The canon formation an excellent reason to study to the EFCs and one way that you can certainly change thought patterns. In my experience of talking to Christians and non-Christians alike (in the UK) is that this idea persists that the early church essentially got together one day, forgot to invite the gnostics, and then picked their favourite books (read as those which supported their 'agenda')  and - tadah - the NT Canon was born. 

The reality is far from that misconception. The reality is that EC writers were using various parts of what is now the NT as early as 1 Clement and the Didache. When the church finally compiled the NT it was more like formally ratifying (with a few exceptions) what the church had been using for years. Sure you could learn that by reading a book on the Canon by someone like Micheal Kruger, but that is not the same as seeing the allusions and quotations for yourself as you read those books and others like them. When that happens, your evangelism and apologetics, not to mention faith, rest on first-hand experience and evidence, rather than book knowledge and facts alone.

Alternatively, you could read a systematic theology to learn more about the Trinity, but if you read the Cappadocian Fathers and let them speak for themselves, you'll be in a much stronger position to engage apologetically with those who think the Trinity is a pagan construction (eg. Mormons, JWs, etc.) or who have been mistaught it (Muslims). Just a thought.

Personally, I love ACCS and think that on sale it is an excellent way to dive into the ECF's without having to by a big collect library and then wondering where to start.

Check out my blog 'For Fathers'

Posts 201
Marshall Harrison | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 19 2018 6:08 AM

Thanks LMAM.

I setup a reading plan this morning for the Book of Acts. I plan to read it multiple times this year. The life an ministry of Paul is also very interesting to me. I'll be studying bot of those while taking CH101.

Posts 33
Joseph Sollenberger | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 19 2018 6:42 AM
Marshall, welcome to a wonderful stage of life! I am five years ahead of you and I find time to study and reflect in a very focused way. Why is this important? As I stated in my previous post, I become keenly aware that issues of today match, in many ways, issues of he past. The basic nature of sin and its manifestations have not changed. We of more decades of experience have a special mission field. We carefully listen, encourage, and engage with those of the generations behind us. We have the opportunity to impact individuals, not in mass settings, but one at a time as we invest time and attention to their lives. In my decades as a high school chemistry teacher, I learned that the most impactful interactions were not the well planned and carefully orchestrated lessons, but the simple and spontaneous moments when least expected. I would encounter students years after they left my classroom and discover, for good or ill, the little things that had significant impact from their time in my classroom. This experience is always humbling! So, enjoy a time of fewer demands, but converse and engage with family, friends, those you worship with, and even strangers on the benches at the mall (as we wait for our wives). As in all ages, you will discover frightened and worried souls seeking meaning and purpose because the spirit of the present age has failed them. Indeed, the fields are ripe and ready for harvest. Laborers are needed. Shalom, Joseph

Joseph F. Sollenberger, Jr.

Posts 201
Marshall Harrison | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 19 2018 6:59 AM

Joseph Sollenberger:
Marshall, welcome to a wonderful stage of life! I am five years ahead of you and I find time to study and reflect in a very focused way. Why is this important? As I stated in my previous post, I become keenly aware that issues of today match, in many ways, issues of he past. The basic nature of sin and its manifestations have not changed. We of more decades of experience have a special mission field. We carefully listen, encourage, and engage with those of the generations behind us. We have the opportunity to impact individuals, not in mass settings, but one at a time as we invest time and attention to their lives. In my decades as a high school chemistry teacher, I learned that the most impactful interactions were not the well planned and carefully orchestrated lessons, but the simple and spontaneous moments when least expected. I would encounter students years after they left my classroom and discover, for good or ill, the little things that had significant impact from their time in my classroom. This experience is always humbling! So, enjoy a time of fewer demands, but converse and engage with family, friends, those you worship with, and even strangers on the benches at the mall (as we wait for our wives). As in all ages, you will discover frightened and worried souls seeking meaning and purpose because the spirit of the present age has failed them. Indeed, the fields are ripe and ready for harvest. Laborers are needed. Shalom, Joseph

Thanks Joseph.

Posts 9806
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 19 2018 7:19 AM

Marshall Harrison:

[I  probably should have worded my question slightly different. WE are where we are in our current thought. I had assumed that where we are was based on past church thinking and that as a lay person I could just take things somewhat at face value. I can see a good reason for scholars or theologians etc to study the ECF.

The Bereans had much more to work with. You have a couple thousand years of guesses (organized into hundreds of theologies and denominations on Sunday morning.


Posts 2864
SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 19 2018 10:04 AM

Denise:

Marshall Harrison:

[I  probably should have worded my question slightly different. WE are where we are in our current thought. I had assumed that where we are was based on past church thinking and that as a lay person I could just take things somewhat at face value. I can see a good reason for scholars or theologians etc to study the ECF.

The Bereans had much more to work with. You have a couple thousand years of guesses (organized into hundreds of theologies and denominations on Sunday morning.

Oart of the trouble is that most recent Scripture scholarship has not paid attention to the Fathers (or the medievals). Of course, some Christian groups tend to pay more attention than others to the beliefs and teachings of the earliest Christians. When it comes to modern biblical scholarship, I would say that the Orthodox probably pay the most attention to the Fathers, followed by Catholics, followed by Protestants.

A significant part of the value to me of studying--as Verbum/Logos has allowed me to do easily--the theology of folks like Polycarp and Irenaeus is that these were people who either knew the Apostles or knew their students, so these are guys with a much better chance of correctly understanding any particular passage/issue than I do. The works of guys like Athanasius, who gives us the earliest record NT canon that has all and only the 27 books found in nearly all New Testaments published today, also give me good insights into the teachings of Scripture: if his theology and some part of the NT were in significant conflict, he wouldn't have proclaimed those books as canonical.

Posts 5215
Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 19 2018 10:05 AM

I read a blog by another software company I wanted to share it..... I did not believe sharing the link was appropriate as it would be verging on advertising another companies sale but I have left it untouched (other than a graphic removed and the end sniper leading to advertising) as posted hoping this may be somewhat helpful.

__________________________

Why Should You Read Books by Ancient Christians?

Posted by Cierra Klatt on 03/13/2018 in: Educational

Not too many people loved reading Hamlet or Wuthering Heights in high school. Why? The language was confusing! Older literature takes time to understand due to cultural nuances, idioms, and unfamiliar vocabulary. This can be a huge deterrent for reading the works of ancient Christians. Reading translations of Augustine’s or Origen’s work will take a lot more time and care than reading this blog—but it’s worth it! Here’s are two reasons why.

REASON #1: HERITAGE

There’s a reason websites like ancestry.com exist: we love knowing where we came from. Our ancestors shape us (for better or worse) and it can be fascinating to uncover their pasts. Learning about conquered trials is inspirational. Discovering habitual sins is insightful. Listening to their advice is respectful. Through the past we learn to not make the same mistakes and instead, utilize our God-given strengths to keep growing.

This is the same for the Church.

We are one family! Paul makes this extremely clear. We are adopted into God’s family, heirs of His promises, and one body with other believers—and that includes believers from thousands of years ago.

It would be foolish to neglect the rich history of Christianity, only studying works from the past 8-or-so decades. There is so much to be discovered by studying the thoughts of our Christian ancestors.

  • Have a fear, doubt, or concern? They probably did, too!
  • Is your Christian community going through a difficult time? You aren’t alone!
  • Wondering why there is so much evil and persecution? Past Christians can relate!

Reading the writings of ancient Christians can show you the global and eternal impact of Jesus. When you see the vastness of the Gospel, remember that you are invited to participate in God’s plan.

REASON #2: HISTORY

There is a tendency to think that new is better than old. For example, our children may not understand why we do what we do. They claim our ways are outdated (and maybe sometimes they are!) but we also make our decisions based on years of experience. We have walked through different events, catastrophes, and winning-moments than our children, thus shaping us differently.

What does this look like in Christianity? It can be easy to believe that we, today, have all the answers. You may look at the ancient Christian writings and think “they didn’t have science back then,” “they didn’t have the same global issues back then,” or “they didn’t have a high level of education back then.” All of these statements are quite biased!

We shouldn’t dismiss the ancient Christians because their writing can be hard to understand or because they appear “out-dated” or “out-of-touch.” This is no different than when our children dismiss our advice without remembering what we have walked through. Instead, think about the events that the ancient Christians experienced.

When we read the writings of the ancient Christians, we have the opportunity to hear from the founders of the early churches. We are able to learn from those who lived not too long after the time of Christ. These men and women were leading the way, making Jesus’ name known around the world. There is so much to learn from them, and they deserve our respect and attention.

New isn’t always better, especially when it comes to theology.

_________________________

-dan

Posts 2814
Michael Childs | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 19 2018 3:27 PM

Chi Shun Cheung:

Hey All,

I am considering buying the ACCS during March Madness. Has it ever been lower than $170?

Is the ACCS worth it?

If I did not already own it, I would jump at the chance to pay that price for it.

"In all cases, the Church is to be judged by the Scripture, not the Scripture by the Church," John Wesley

Posts 80
Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 19 2018 4:15 PM

I recently read the following from a recent commentary on Psalms by Bruce Watlke and James Houston. They were explaining why we need to pay attention to historical commentaries. Both taught at Regent College, Canada. 

-----

Psalms were and are of key importance in the daily life of the Christian and in Christian community worship. Both were the basic features of early Christianity, since it was believed by the early Christians that Jesus Christ himself lived within the Psalms. The early fathers of the church, in contrast to much modern scholarship, rightly believed in the maxim that “Scripture interprets Scripture.” The incident of the risen Christ asserting to the two disciples on the Emmaus way the hermeneutical principle that all the Scriptures, including the Psalms, speak of Christ set a basis for the early church thinkers to interpret the Bible as the book about Christ (Luke 24:13–49). The radical power of “the Spirit” over “the letter” introduced the centrality of Christ into apostolic exegesis of the Old Testament—especially in the Psalms—in a totally new way.

Around this new hermeneutical principle of “interpreting Scripture by Scripture” the early Fathers developed “The Rule of Faith,” which now determined how exegesis should be done. Augustine in his De doctrina christiana demarcates clearly that the principles of theological enquiry and the claims for truth are distinctive, when they are “Christian.” Christian scholarship is now contrasted with classical scholarship in important ways, even when classical procedures for rhetoric are still imitated, and then modified.

So we deplore the confessional reductionism in much contemporary Biblical scholarship, which overlooks two thousand years of Christian devotion and orthodoxy or “right worship,” in the use of the Book of Psalms. It ignores the historical continuity of tradition in the communion of saints. It is like studying the activities of a seaport, and yet ignoring the existence of its hinterland. Such liberal scholarship is expressive of the skeptical culture of “postmodernism,” which rejects all “absolutes” and denies “truth claims.” It reinterprets “the historical” as a series of events subjectively selected according to the interest of the investigator, with no sense of a divinely ordered past or of any sovereign guidance and providence. Such randomness brings about “the death of the past,” as J. H. Plumb warned us at the waning of modernism in 1969.

With the loss of their continuity and “historical hinterland,” the psalms then lose their spirituality, and the whole heritage of devotion becomes ignored for both Jews and Christians. As the Jewish scholar James L. Kugel, Harvard professor of Hebrew, has observed: “it would not be unfair to say that research into the Psalms in this century has had a largely negative effect on the Psalter’s reputation as the natural focus of Israelite spirituality, and much that was heretofore prized in this domain has undergone a somewhat reluctant reevaluation.” Rather than being inspired by the spirituality of the Psalter, critical “moderns” despiritualize the Psalms. Scholarly questions about authorship, psalm classifications, pagan origins of Canaanite and Ugaritic sources, cultic or non-cultic sources of worship, the changing roles of the psalms, all tend to detract, indeed as Kugel argues, to “despiritualize” them for their use today, by secular scholars whether “Jews” or “Christians.”

 Waltke, B. K., Houston, J. M., & Moore, E. (2010). The Psalms as Christian Worship: A Historical Commentary (pp. 2–3). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

---

One of their colleagues, who happens to be a famous NT textual critic and commentary author, did not think we need historical commentaries, because we can analyze the text just as well as the ancient readers. So there is certainly a diversity of opinions.

Posts 1366
Forum MVP
Veli Voipio | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 19 2018 11:48 PM

Marshall Harrison:
I am just a retired software engineer

I am in similar position. I bought ACCS once it became available in Logos. I use it to give some wider view. The early Christians were closer to the NT times, culture and geography than I am. I follow the Lutheran theology, but that is based on the middle ages Catholic views and that is based on the early church views. It is good to see the continuity and discontinuities.

Gold package, and original language material and ancient text material, SIL and UBS books, discourse Hebrew OT and Greek NT. PC with Windows 8.1

Posts 215
Joshua Tan | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 20 2018 2:00 AM

DAL:

 I can’t believe they haven’t fix this ”only some resources are included” thing. It’s confusing and a little misleading in a way. It’s been aproximately 2 years since L7 was released.

I hope they don’t do this when L8 comes out.

DAL

I don't follow... may I know if all ACCS resources included in the Gold package?

Page 2 of 3 (47 items) < Previous 1 2 3 Next > | RSS