Early Church Fathers VS Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture

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This post has 29 Replies | 3 Followers

Posts 24
Karl Hanschen | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Nov 30 2011 8:10 AM

In anticipation of spending some Christmas money on my library, I thought the wisdom of the forum might be helpful. I'm looking at the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (ACCS) for Logos. However, I've got the Scholars Platinum with the Early Church Fathers collection of ante-Nicene, Nicene, and post-Nicene writings. My question for those of you who have ACCS already is: what does ACCS do/provide that the ECF collection doesn't which makes it worth the ~$260?

Thanks in advance!

Karl

Karl Hanschen

Posts 611
Graham Owen | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 30 2011 8:53 AM

Karl Hanschen:
what does ACCS do/provide that the ECF collection doesn't

Hi Karl

For me the benefit is that I can find what various Church Fathers had to say about specific texts or passages quickly and easily. The results are better than trying to locate references using the Cited Tool or other search processes. It also acts as a good entry point to the writings of various Fathers as when I find an entry in ACCS interesting or helpful I can then go and read the source material in ECF.

The is it worth it question is a tough one to answer for someone else, my opinion is that if you see a real potential value in the Church Fathers and want to find an easier way to include them in your study then ACCS is a good buy.

God Bless

Graham

Pastor - NTCOG Basingstoke

Posts 11433
DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 30 2011 8:58 AM

The obvious 'one is a commentary' (and thus the price, requiring considerable time / effort) is probably the key reason. The early writings themselves are the 'go to' for more depth.

For several years I've held off getting the IVP resource, having moved a sizable internet site of early church fathers quotes by verse into a commentary for Laridian. I was thinking to move that one into Logos.

But maybe the IVP is even better; the advertising says it includes literal commentary over an above quotes from the church fathers.

Interesting that the source you're using has a 'Libronix page'. Quite a number of offerings.

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

Posts 453
Mike S. | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 30 2011 9:41 AM

Karl Hanschen:
what does ACCS do/provide that the ECF collection doesn't which makes it worth the ~$260?

I put together a screen shot that I think says it better then a few 1000 words. The short of it:  How often do you find yourself using the full extent of the ECF in your bible text and Passage Guide driven studies?

If rarely or never, or even if you typically only get to a couple per verse, then you'll gain great value from the ACCS. ACCS is like having a patristics professor research assistant do the work for you. It's quick and easy and can help you go deeper into the material in ECF when it might be relevant and keep you from spending hours deciding if something in the ECF is relevant or usable. 

(you'll need to view the full size image)

Posts 1883
Philana Crouch | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 30 2011 9:52 AM

I think this commentary set could be very valuable. But I am curious...I made an Early Church Father's Collection, and then searched for a passage I am studying (Matthew 28:16-20) and got a lot of hits. What would this not give me that is in the commentary set? Just curious if this would suffice.

Blessings, 

Philana

Posts 13428
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 30 2011 9:56 AM

Karl Hanschen:
what does ACCS do/provide that the ECF collection doesn't which makes it worth the ~$260?

There are several differences:

  • ECF is structured in such a way that makes it easy to find out what one Father says about a passage (so you'd need NPN1 vol 6 to find out Augstine's view of Matthew 12, and volume 10 to find John Chrysostum's view). ACCS is structured to make it easy to find out what many ancient commentators said about a passage (so all the comments on Matt 12 are on the same page).
  • ECF gives you complete documents (where they exist), ACCS gives you snippets.
  • ECF gives you a fairly narrow range of authors (upto about 600AD, I think), whilst ACCS gives you a broader range (up to about 1100 from memory).

To give you an example, I randomly chose Matthew 12. ACCS quotes from Hilary of Poitiers, Chrysostom, Theodore of Heraclea, Cyril of Alexahdria, Origen, Apollinaris, Epiphanius the Latin, Augustine of Hippo, Chromatius, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Severus, Jerome and an anonymous writer. Of those, only Chrysostom and Augustine are in ECF (although ECF has the entirety of the relevant sermons on Matthew 12, whilst ACCS just has snippets)..

Whilst there's some overlap, they're different works. If you're into ancient commentators it's well worth having both.

This is my personal Faithlife account. On 1 March 2022, I started working for Faithlife, and have a new 'official' user account. Posts on this account shouldn't be taken as official Faithlife views!

Posts 13428
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 30 2011 10:01 AM

In response to Mike's post and Philana's follow-up, it's worth pointing out an important distinction. In the custom PG in the screenshot, the ECF is in a Collections section, whilst the ACCS is in a Commentaries section. These two sections give different results. The Collections section searches though the entire resource and returns a hit every time a reference is mentioned. On the other hand, the Commentaries section simply returns hits when a passage is commented on.

So if a comment or sermon on John 3:16 happened to cross reference Galatians 2, then it would be returned in a Collections search, but not a Commentaries search - regardless of which resources were included.

Personally I therefore place ECF in a Commentaries section of the PG. This significantly reduces the number of hits, but increases their relevance. This method let me to seeing that both John Chrysostom and Augstine had sermons on Matthew 12 in the example above.

This is my personal Faithlife account. On 1 March 2022, I started working for Faithlife, and have a new 'official' user account. Posts on this account shouldn't be taken as official Faithlife views!

Posts 55
Doug Bullock | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 1 2011 6:12 AM

What do you mean by the Letters PG?

Posts 13428
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 1 2011 6:34 AM

Doug Bullock:

What do you mean by the Letters PG?

Sorry! PG=Passage Guide. You'll also often see the initials EG (Exegetical Guide), BWS (Bible Word Study), TC (Text Comparison), and CBV (Copy Bible Verses).

This is my personal Faithlife account. On 1 March 2022, I started working for Faithlife, and have a new 'official' user account. Posts on this account shouldn't be taken as official Faithlife views!

Posts 856
Ron Corbett | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 1 2011 6:57 AM

Is Logos re-introducing Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture somewhere on this site? I just searched for it last week and didn't find it. I was under th impression that they were not going to be carrying it, but I am hoping that has changed.

Posts 611
Graham Owen | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 1 2011 7:09 AM

Ron Corbett:
Is Logos re-introducing Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture

Still available from the Publisher try searching for:

Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture CD-ROM Complete Set

God Bless

Graham

Pastor - NTCOG Basingstoke

Posts 2936
Mike Childs | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 1 2011 7:10 AM

Karl,

I would highly recommend the ACCS.  I also have the Early Church Fathers collection, and it serves a different purpose.  I use that collection when studying a particular Church Father.   But I don't have time to do that week in and week out.  If you want to know what the Church Fathers said about a particular verse, there is nothing like the ACCS - well Thomas Aquinas' Cantena Aurea on the gospels is somewhat like it.

Of course, any such work is selective and depends upon the quality of the editor.  Thomas Oden did a marvelous job of putting this together.  It is a great help for the study of scripture, church history, and for writing sermons.  It will also help you decide the most useful places to study in the Church Fathers collection if you want to dig deeper.

On the whole, I would say the ACCS is much more useful than the Church Fathers collection for pastors.  It is one of tthe most valuable resources I have after my exegetical tools.

Just my opinion.

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

Posts 1883
Philana Crouch | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 1 2011 8:18 AM

Mark Barnes:

In response to Mike's post and Philana's follow-up, it's worth pointing out an important distinction. In the custom PG in the screenshot, the ECF is in a Collections section, whilst the ACCS is in a Commentaries section. These two sections give different results. The Collections section searches though the entire resource and returns a hit every time a reference is mentioned. On the other hand, the Commentaries section simply returns hits when a passage is commented on.

So if a comment or sermon on John 3:16 happened to cross reference Galatians 2, then it would be returned in a Collections search, but not a Commentaries search - regardless of which resources were included.

Personally I therefore place ECF in a Commentaries section of the PG. This significantly reduces the number of hits, but increases their relevance. This method let me to seeing that both John Chrysostom and Augstine had sermons on Matthew 12 in the example above.

Thanks for explaining this, I didn't even catch the differences. One way to use the ECF might be to include both types in the PG.

Have the ECF in commentaries section, but then include them in a Collections section (which could be collapsed until needed).

Blessings,

Philana 

Posts 3917
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Friedrich | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 1 2011 11:17 AM

I echo Michael's recommendation of Aquinas' Catena Aurea

Most has been suggested and analyzed--with which I agree.  I especially agree with the observation that the ACC very easily allows you to see a decent representation of several different Fathers.  

To all the fine points made, let me add:

  • ACC quotes are linked with the various ECF books they are found in.  This is valuable to you: if you want to see more of the original context, you can link directly to it and read the sermon/teaching.
  • Catena Aurea is also linked, where possible, to the appropriate authors/sermons in the various ANF, NF etc volumes. 
  • What makes Catena nice, is that Aquinas has collected all that (he knew) the early fathers had to say about the Gospels, arranged by verse.  Often his sources extend beyond what we have in the ECF collections, I believe.

So, each has their value, and the nice thing about the Logos editions of the above is that they are linked to the ECF.  And I would check with sales about getting you a reduced price on Catena.  I got it for a super special Community Pricing price.  I think $40.  you probably won't get it that low, but they might knock a few off of their listed price for ya.  Wink

I like Apples.  Especially Honeycrisp.

Posts 55
Doug Bullock | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 5 2011 6:46 PM

how do you place a book that is listed as "monograph" in the commentary section of the passage guide?

Posts 13428
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 5 2011 11:31 PM

Doug Bullock:

how do you place a book that is listed as "monograph" in the commentary section of the passage guide?

You can't, I'm afraid. Only commentaries and Bible notes will show there. You can add it into a "Collections" section though.

This is my personal Faithlife account. On 1 March 2022, I started working for Faithlife, and have a new 'official' user account. Posts on this account shouldn't be taken as official Faithlife views!

Posts 55
Doug Bullock | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 6 2011 2:34 AM

So what does this mean "Personally I therefore place ECF in a Commentaries section of the PG."?  I get that using the PG reduces the hits, but ECF is monograph set of books. thanks for your patience

Posts 10886
Forum MVP
Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 6 2011 4:13 AM

Doug Bullock:
but ECF is monograph set of books

Not all of them. Some are type Bible Commentary (Schaff, First Series). Those can be placed in the commentary section of the PG

Posts 453
Mike S. | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 6 2011 6:45 AM

In another mac bible software product I'm able to narrow the search of ECF to specific parts of specific volumes so I can search, for example, all Augustine, or all Chrysostom, or just the apostolic fathers, a specific period (e.g. up through 200AD), etc... is such a thing possible with Logos? 

To put it another way: is there a way to search, or even better, get into a PG section, specific "chapters" within large, highly varied modules like we find in the ECF?

Posts 13428
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 6 2011 8:24 AM

Mike S.:
In another mac bible software product I'm able to narrow the search of ECF to specific parts of specific volumes so I can search, for example, all Augustine, or all Chrysostom, or just the apostolic fathers, a specific period (e.g. up through 200AD), etc... is such a thing possible with Logos? 

No, sorry. I know it's been mentioned here in the past, but it doesn't look like Logos are intending to add that feature in the near future.

This is my personal Faithlife account. On 1 March 2022, I started working for Faithlife, and have a new 'official' user account. Posts on this account shouldn't be taken as official Faithlife views!

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