Thursday, March 5, 2015

ANF V: Cyprian Epistles Elucidations

Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 5

Cyprian: Epistles Elucidations

Well, finally at the end of it all! All the letters, at any rate. Cyprian's treatises are still to come... [sigh]

I don't have much to say about the Elucidations, they're worth skimming when the notes direct you to do so, but they're also pretty uneven. Overall they're trying to take what's good from Cyprian, note what's less good, and encourage us not to buy into the Catholic interpretation of his words. And that's actually a pretty fair summary of Cyprian's letters: when he's writing on persecution and martyrdom, he's excellent. When he's writing on baptism and church polity, he's much less excellent--but he's also not quite the champion of Papism that later interpreters would have him be or that a surface skimming would have a reader think. There is a vigorous independence here that can easily be missed in all the focus on the hierarchy of the (local) church and the centrality of the pastor in church life.

Here is my own "elucidation", these are the must-read epistles of Cyprian--both good theology and poor exegesis mixed together:

I, IV, VI, VII, VIII, X XIV, XV, XXIV, XXV, XXVI, XXXIII, XXXIX, XLIII, L, LI, LIII, LIV, LV, LVI, LIX, LX, LXI, LXII, LXVI, LXVII, LXVIII, LXIX, LXX, LXXII, LXXIII, LXXIV, LXXV, LXXVI, LXXX

No comments:

Post a Comment