Early Church Fathers vs Ancient Christian Commentary

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Judson s | Forum Activity | Posted: Sat, Dec 22 2018 8:04 PM

So I'm looking at purchasing either Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture or Early Church Fathers (37 vols.) 

Ultimately, I want to have the sources of what the early church wrote. Regarding doctrine or any particular book of the Bible I'm teaching. 

Does the Early Church Fathers 37 vols cover everything in the Ancient Christian Commentary?

And if so, is it usable? 

Posts 80
Kevin Wang | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 22 2018 8:41 PM

In my experience with the ACC and the reformation version of the series, there are times when certain writings are referenced, but are not available in the ECF volumes (or Logos in general, yet). However, ACC is able to highlight thoughts and ideas that may not be tagged in the ECF series, so there are advantages and weaknesses to both options.

if I were to go with one, I would go with the ECF still, since Logos does a great job tagging and organizing searches, especially their “ancient texts” modules. You can do a guide search on a passage, and it’ll list for you the times the Church fathers mention the passage. You therefore can potentially have more “hits” than the ACC Might give. 

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 22 2018 9:12 PM

Judson s:
Ancient Christian Commentary

The is a useful selection of short excerpts chosen because they serve as a commentary on some scripture. They are very useful as commentary excerpts in the tradition of Catena Aurea and other catenas. These excerpts are not representative of the early church fathers.

Judson s:

Generally complete works although many are edited for length - a fact that is not obvious reading the texts. The Ancient Christian Commentaries use church fathers  up to the 12th century considerable later than the Early Church Father's series. But a number of authors and works are completely omitted. And the translations are of a style I find rather annoying to read.

I would suggest that you consider The Church's Bible as a resource that has learned from the weaknesses of the ground-breaking Ancient Christian Commentary for selections based on Biblical books.

I would suggest the five series of Popular Patristics as the place to start for full works on doctrines ... these are chosen to be read by the average (Orthodox) person - very readable and usually quite understandable. Once you are familiar with these, you'll be able to make an educated choice among the translations and works available.

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

Posts 338
Liam Maguire | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 24 2018 2:53 PM

MJ. Smith:

I would suggest that you consider The Church's Bible as a resource that has learned from the weaknesses of the ground-breaking Ancient Christian Commentary for selections based on Biblical books.

I would suggest the five series of Popular Patristics as the place to start for full works on doctrines ... these are chosen to be read by the average (Orthodox) person - very readable and usually quite understandable. Once you are familiar with these, you'll be able to make an educated choice among the translations and works available.

Thank you for sharing your advice and experience, MJ. I simply would never have found these books if you hadn't shared them here.

To the OP: I have both the ECF collection and the ACCS and enjoy using them both at different times and for different jobs (NB: I am a hobbyist dabbler in the early church and certainly not as read as other here!). I'd say if you are interested in reading the Church Fathers then, heeding MJs caveats, the ECF is the way to go. If you are interested in getting some stellar quotes from the fathers on certain passages of scripture but are unlikely to go much deep than that then ACCS is the way to go. Hope that helps.

Check out my blog 'For Fathers'

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