Ok—to continue where we left off on Patristics, there have been a lot of comments about the lack of Augustine’s On Christian Doctrine. That’s because I wouldn’t include it in a first pass—the Enchiridion gives a better sense of his basic approach to faith, I think. Instead I’d include it here… This is my short list for Patristic hermeneutics (rules/guides for reading Scripture).
- Augustine, On Christian Doctrine
- Origen, Philocalia. This one may come as a surprise to some folks… This is an ancient set of extracts that the Cappadocian Fathers made out of Origen’s works that collect his principle thoughts on biblical interp. In my formal coursework they assigned us book 4 of De Principiis but this is a much better and more succinct work imo. You can find it by following the “More Ftahers” link off CCEL’s Fathers page. I am unclear on its connection to the other Philocalia—the great collection of Eastern spiritual wisdom.
- Bede, On Schemes and Tropes. Yeah, I know Bede falls outside of Andrewes’s official definition but he’s widely considered the last of the Western Fathers.
- Cassiodorus on the Psalms. I’d recommend him above Augustine partly because he is still doing basic/remedial education as he presents his commentary.
- Augustine’s Tractates on John
- Chrysostom on Paul
I hate to give too many here because, to a degree, even creating a category like this reinforces modern genre biases. That is, some of the best hermeneutical bits in the Fathers are imbedded in what we modern types think of as “doctrinal” or “moral” treatises, not “biblical” ones.