Writings on the Old Testament

Cover image for

Writings on the Old Testament

Library Edition
introduction by
Joseph T. Lienhard, S.J.
edited by
Boniface Ramsey
translated by
Joseph T. Lienhard, Sean Doyle, Joseph T. Kelley, Joseph L. Farrell, O.S.A.
    About the book

    In the writings gathered here, Augustine clarifies difficult passages in the Old Testament, from the building of Noah’s ark to the struggles of Job, and addresses common questions from the members of his congregation. Each work is introduced and annotated by modern scholars who provide context for Augustine’s life and thought at the time of his writing.

    Augustine of Hippo’s intense study of the Scriptures compels us to share his reverence for them. The Bible is not meant to be memorized at face value, unquestioned and unexamined. It is a message from our God, meant to be pored over, wrestled with, and taken to heart—as Augustine did.

    This learned Church Father initially rejected the Scriptures out of hand as having no literary, theological, or personal value. But then he heard the Word of God proclaimed and explained by Ambrose, bishop of Milan. After his conversion, Augustine never stopped studying the Scriptures, and his notes and commentaries make clear his devotion to the Word of God.  

    In these works Augustine teaches us a way of approaching the text of Scripture: with trust, reverence and humility, struggling to find meaning in every word. For people of the 21st century who become more and more accustomed to fast-moving visual media, and risk unlearning the hard, but rewarding struggle to understand (ancient) literature, it is worth the effort to practice reading with ‘Augustine the reader’. Lienhard’s translation is very easy to read.

    Bart van Egmond
    Journal Augustiniana

    About the author

    Augustine of Hippo is one of the greatest thinkers and writers in the Western world. After becoming a Christian he was made bishop of Hippo in Africa, where he was influential in civil and church affairs. His more than 100 books, 200 letters, and 500 sermons have left a lasting impact on Western philosophy and culture. His classic and best-selling works include The Confessions, The Trinity, The City of God, and Teaching Christianity.