Exegetic Homilies

Exegetic Homilies

Exegetic Homilies

Exegetic Homilies

Excerpt

The exegetic writings usually attributed to St. Basil include the nine homilies on the Hexaemeron, seventeen on the Psalms, and the Commentary on Isaia in sixteen chapters. These are all found in the 'Opera Sancti Basilii' of the Patrologia Graeca, Vols. 29-32. Four of the homilies on the psalms, the first, On Psalm 14, a second one On Psalm 28, one On Psalm 37, and that On Psalm 115, as well as the Commentary on Isaia, are placed by the Benedictine editors in the Appendix of Volume 1 of St. Basil's works, Patrologia Graeca, Vol. 30, as doubtful or clearly spurious works of St. Basil. Two other exegetic homilies, On the Form of Man, are included by the Benedictine editors among St. Basil's doubtful works and are also found in the works of St. Gregory of Nyssa, who says that at the request of his brother, Peter, he had finished the Hexaemeron of St. Basil. Since these two homilies are contained also in St. Gregory's works and since we do not find the works which St. Basil had promised at the end of homily nine on the Hexaemeron on 'Man as the Image of God,' it is quite possible that St. Gregory added these two homilies to his brother's commentary in place of the two which St. Basil had promised. They are usually attributed to St. Gregory. In my translation I am including only those exegetic homilies generally acknowledged to be genuine.

The high esteem with which the ancients regarded the homilies of St. Basil, especially those on the Hexaemeron, is well known. St. Gregory of Nazianzus says: 'When I take his Hexaemeron in my hand and read it aloud, I am with my . . .

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