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Sunday, April 08, 2007

R.C. HILL (tr.), DIDYMUS the BLIND, Commentary on Zechariah

Didymus the Blind

Commentary On Zechariah

The Fathers of the Church: A New Translation (Patristic series), Vol. 111

The book of Zechariah is "the longest and most obscure" of the Twelve Minor Prophets, Jerome remarked. That may have been the reason why in 386 he visited the Alexandrian scholar Didymus the Blind and requested a work on this prophet. Though long thought to be lost, the work was rediscovered in 1941 at Tura outside Cairo along with some other biblical commentaries. As a result we have in our possession a commentary on Zechariah by Didymus that enjoys particular distinction as his only complete work on a biblical book extant in Greek whose authenticity is established, which comes to us by direct manuscript tradition, and has been critically edited. Thus it deserves this first appearance in English.

A disciple of Origen, whose work on Zechariah reached only to chapter five and is no longer extant, Didymus’s commentary on this apocalyptic book illustrates the typically allegorical approach to the biblical text that we associate with Alexandria. Even Cyril of Alexandria in the next generation will lean rather to the historical style of commentary found in the Antiochene scholars Theodore and Theodoret, whose works on the Twelve are also extant and who had Didymus open before them. Didymus alone offers his readers a wide range of spiritual meanings on the obscure verses of Zechariah, capitalizing on his extraordinary familiarity with Holy Writ (despite his disability), and proceeding on a process of interpretation-by-association, frequently invoking also etymology and number symbolism to plumb the meaning of the text. No wonder he remarks, "The reader who understands it is a seer"; such is the richness of the hermeneutical offering.


Robert C. Hill is honorary fellow and adjunct professor at the Australian Catholic University. He has translated many volumes in the Fathers of the Church Series, particularly those of the Old Testament commentaries of the Antioch Fathers, including John Chrysostom’s Commentary on Genesis, Theodoret’s Commentary on the Psalms, and Theodore of Mopsuestia’s Commentary on the Twelve Prophets.

View Front Matter (PDF)
1. Bible. O.T. Zechariah--Commentaries--Early works to 1800.
2. Bible. O.T. Zechariah--Allegorical interpretations.
03/2006 xi,372 pages
Cloth ISBN-10: 0-8132-0111-X ISBN-13: 978-0-8132-0111-5 Price: $ 39.95 Book Code: F111

Source: Worldcat

Cf. the appearance in 2005 of E. PRINZIVALLI,

Didimo il Cieco, Lezioni sui salmi. Il commento ai salmi scoperto a Tura, a cura di Emanuela Prinzivalli, Milano, Paoline, 2005 (Letture cristiane del primo millennio, 37) pp. 904, Euro 58,00 ISBN 8831528173.

One of the most venerated christian scholars of antiquity, Didymus the Blind, lived and taught in Alexandria during the fourth century. Having been associated with the condemnation of Origen in the sixth century, his great works were lost. Fortunately for history, some of these works were recovered in Egypt in 1941. Emanuela Prinzivalli, professor of Early Christian history at La Sapienza University of Rome, presents the Italian translation as well as the first specific analysis of Didymus'Commentary on the Psalms, possibly the most significant of all his writings found to date. These comments are in fact notes taken during Didymus' lessons. Thus, we come to hear not only his voice but also that of his students who, in posing questions, orient the flow of the lesson through their curiosity.


Abbreviazioni e sigle p. 5
Premessa, p. 9

Un maestro e i suoi discepoli fra ermeneutica biblica e ascesi spirituale

l. Testimonianze sulla vita di Didimo: dall'agiografia alla storia, p. 13
2. Una scoperta fortunata, p. 21

l. Le lezioni sui Salmi 20-44,4: estempo raneità e metodo didattico, p. 32
2. L'esegesi didimiana sui Salmi, p. 36

l. Dio, p. 45
2. Cristo e la redenzione, p. 53
3. L'uomo e il suo destino, p. 63

Avvertenze alla presente traduzione p. 80
Bibliografia, p. 83


Sul Salmo 20, p. 95
Sul Salmo 21, p. 147
Sul Salmo 22, p. 225
Sul Salmo 23, p. 246
Sul Salmo 24, p. 270
Sul Salmo 25, p. 308
Sul Salmo 26, p. 326
Sul Salmo 29, p. 362
Sul Salmo 30, p. 385
Sul Salmo 33, p. 439
Sul Salmo 34, p. 491
Sul Salmo 35, p. 555
Sul Salmo 36, p. 588
Sul Salmo 37, p. 626
Sul Salmo 38, p. 670
Sul Salmo 39, p. 700
Sul Salmo 40, p. 730
Sul Salmo 41, p. 748
Sul Salmo 42, p. 771
Sul Salmo 43, p. 784
Sul Salmo 44, p. 823

Indice scritturistico, p. 851

Indice onomastico, p. 881

Indice analitico, p. 892

ISR, Italian Portal on HIstorical Studies on Religion
and Worldcat