On Illustrious Men (The Fathers of the Church, Volume 100)
Catholic University of America Press, Jan 1, 2000 - Biography & Autobiography - 211 pages
This volume completes the Commentary on all the Psalms written by Theodoret, bishop of Cyrus, in the decade before the Council of Chalcedon held in 451, "a triumph of Antiochene theology", in the words of J. N. D. Kelly. The work thus bears the marks of the theological currents of those years, especially as Theodoret was instrumental in convening that Council and was involved in the Christological and trinitarian debates of the period.
Theodoret's work of commentary offers readers a great spiritual classic that has contributed to Christian spiritual formation and received the attention of eminent commentators from Antioch and Alexandria in the East, and from the likes of Augustine of Hippo in the West. As this volume closes, Theodoret claims modestly to have offered his readers the best of his predecessors' work (including Alexandrian commentators) together with his own insights into "the Spirit's hidden mysteries". He writes as a teacher, not a preacher in his pulpit, with the purpose simply of dispelling ignorance, concerned that "those singing [the Psalter] daily and uttering the words by mouth do not enquire about the force of the ideas underlying the words".
This translation respects the conciseness which the bishop sets as one aim for himself, his other principle being to let the text speak for itself. Theodoret emerges in this work as a measured commentator and balanced exponent of his school's hermeneutical and theological principles.