by Jerome
translated by Thomas P. Scheck
Catholic University of America Press, 2023
Cloth: 978-0-8132-3713-8 | eISBN: 978-0-8132-3714-5
Library of Congress Classification BR65.J473C66175 2023
Dewey Decimal Classification 270.2

The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers series of the 19th century rendered into English many of Jerome’s treatises and letters while bypassing his biblical commentaries as well as some of his most important exegetical letters. This omission, which was not helpful to scholarship, was probably due to the great length of these works. Although the problem was partly remedied by some new English translations of the 20th century, the present volume fills a significant lacuna by translating into English the Scriptural exegesis that Jerome conveyed in his relatively unknown epistles, many of which were composed in response to queries he had received from various correspondents. Many of these letters are presented here for the first time in English.

Based on the Hilberg edition, this volume contains new translations, introduced and annotated, of Jerome’s Epistles 18-21, 25-30, 34-37, 42, 53, 55-56, 59, 64-65, 72-74, 78, 85, 106, 112, 119-121, 129, 130, and 140. Two newly translated letters from the famous exchange with Augustine over the meaning of Galatians 2:11-14 are included (Epp. 56 and 112), as well as a new rendering of Ep. 130 to Demetrias (which technically is not an “exegetical” letter but does present important information about the Pelagian controversy). Overall, this collection hopes to serve as a useful introduction to Jerome’s approach to biblical interpretation, of both the Old and the New Testament. Some letters focus on the historical meaning of Pauline and Gospel texts, while others contain allegorical expositions of Old Testament passages. Jerome’s competence as a Hebrew scholar will become evident to the reader of this volume as well as his thorough acquaintance with the antecedent Greek and Latin Christian exegetical traditions.