The Fathers of the Church - Vol. 11

The Fathers of the Church - Vol. 11

The Fathers of the Church - Vol. 11

The Fathers of the Church - Vol. 11

Excerpt

The commentary presented in translation in this volume is one of fourteen works composed by St. Augustine during the period of four or five years which elapsed between the dates of his ordination to the priesthood in 391 and his elevation to the episcopate in 395 or 396. He himself tells us that he composed this work within the years 393-394, but he gives no information regarding any special circumstances which may have occasioned its composition. His purpose in composing it may have been to give a more elaborate and complete treatment to a whole section of the Gospel which he had already expounded piecemeal in several of his earliest sermons in the cathedral at -Hippo. For, as he expressly states in another work, he believed that an oral discourse ought not ordinarily deal with difficult or complicated questions, but that all such questions ought to be fully discussed in a written treatise. He may therefore have intended this Commentary to serve as the complement . . .

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