Hall is an associate professor of Biblical Studies at Eastern College and an associate editor, under Thomas Oden, of the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture
. In fact, this book might be read as a sort of prolegomena or companion to that series. Written primarily for an Evangelical audience (but valuable for all, considering the lack of familiarity of most Christians with the Fathers) it introduces readers to the Fathers and their ways of reading the Bible, contrasting them with the unconscious habits and limitations which modern readers, pious or critical, bring to the text. Hall's study focuses on the ''Doctors of the Church'' -- of the East, Athanasius, Greogory of Nazianzus, Basil the Great, and John Chrysostom; of the West Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine and Gregory the Great -- and concludes with a comparison of the Alexandrian and Antiochene schools of exegesis. This is a fine introduction to the biblical dimension of the Fathers for those who have not yet met them, and a good refresher course for those who have.
An Eighth Day View:
Many Christians today long to become reacquainted with their ancient ancestors in the faith. They see a deeper worship and devotion in the prayers and hymns of the early church. And they believe that the writings of the early church can shed new light on their understanding of Scripture. But where and how do we begin? Our first encounter with the writings of the church fathers may seem like visiting a far country where the language, assumptions, concerns and conclusions are completely unfamiliar to us. In Reading Scripture with the Church Fathers Christopher Hall helps us through this cultural confusion, introducing us to the early church, its unique world, and the sights and sounds of Scripture that are highlighted for them. As Hall points out, the ancient fathers hear music in Scripture where we remain tone-deaf. Despite their occasional eccentricities, theirs is a hearing refined through long listening in song, worship, teaching, meditation and oral reading. And like true masters they challenge and correct our modern assumptions as they invite us to tune our ears to hear the divine melodies of the Bible. Reading Scriptue with the Church Fathers is an exceptional guide. Hall provides a warm, winsome, informative and indispensable introcution to who these leaders and scholars were, how they read and interpreted Scripture, and how we might read Scripture with them for all its worth.