St. John Chrysostom delivered his Homilies on Genesis sometime between A.D. 385 and A.D. 388, while yet a priest at Antioch. In the homilies in this volume, the last of three, Chrysostom concludes his examination of the lives and virtues of the Old Testament patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph as recounted in the last three chapters of Genesis.
Known for his eloquent preaching, Chrysostom delivered these final twenty-two homilies after Pentecost. His motive for examining the accounts of the lives of the patriarchs is to show how the just forebears of the Israelites, in a time when both the law and the Gospel were yet unpreached, were able to live Christian lives with only simple trust in God and the balanced, almost ingenuous manners of antiquity. His interest in the events and characters of Genesis is largely moral, even moralistic. His style of commentary, arises out of his deep conviction of the divine inspiration of Scripture—hence the habitual attention to detail, "not idly or to no purpose" being his frequent comment on the precision of the text.
This final volume of the homilies includes a general index and an index of biblical citations, the latter indicating the rich scriptural diet Chrysostom's congregation—who came daily for his homilies—enjoyed.
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