I wanted to share with you a few of the features of this commentary set. While this volume is specifically about the Apocrypha, the features are generally the same throughout the series.
Billing itself as a ‘Christian Talmud’ (Oden, Introduction xii), it contains passages of scripture (pericopes) with commentary by the patristic writers. The passages are given in the Revised Standard Version (unless textual variants require the use of the Latin), following the order and the versification of the RSV. Further, the arrangement of the books in this volume follow the RSV as well.
With each pericope, the editors give an overview of the commentary. As they not, however, nothing is done in chronological order, which, frankly, doesn’t matter. The commentaries, instead of being arranged chronologically are arranged according to topics for the passage, clearly set out in the headings for each passage. Each author is stated as well as the work used. Footnotes for further investigation is provided as well.
Provided for this volume is an introduction to the Apocrypha, going through the history of it from Alexandria which gave rise to several of the books, if not the thoughts within others. Continuing on, the editors note the Letter of Aristeas which gave rise to the Septuagint (at least in name and tradition, remarkably similar to that of the modern King James Only movement) and even explore what the LXX meant to the early Christians. The editors also give a brief overview of ancient acceptance and controversy of the books as well as an overview of the books in the Apocrypha. Not all of them are included in the commentary because they simply weren’t quoted.
All in all, it is a great volume for those who would like to explore the ancient use of the Apocrypha, rather, the Deuterocanon.