Revelation, Andrew of Caesarea and Patristic Authority

In this post, it is mentioned that Andrew of Caesarea drums home apostolic authorship (Of Revelation) through his own exegesis and Patristic citation.

Does Patristic Authority refer to the church fathers? In my ignorance i would assume that a bishop could have tons of information regarding the origin and legitimacy of scripture at his disposal due to his connections with the church.

Patristic = relating to the Church Fathers.

The Patristic Era = from approximately 100 AD to 750 AD - the period from St Clement of Rome in the West & St Ignatius of Antioch in the East, to the death of St Bede the Venerable in the West in 735, and of St John of Damascus in the East in about 750.

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The issue was more related to how one interprets the Church Fathers, who were often silent on topics that become controversial much later in time, and the Church Fathers often disagreed among themselves on many topics.

If you have the time, I would recommend skimming through some sections of Eugenia Constantinou’s PhD thesis on Andrew and his commentary (she includes a translation). You can read it here (click the ‘view/open’ button at the bottom of the page). Pages 49-62 offer an extensive overview of Revelation’s apostolicity.

Note that like all PhD theses, it’s very long, but Constantinou’s thesis is notable because she was the first ever to translate Andrew’s commentary into English (and this was in 2008!). In fact, I think it was the first time that Andrew’s commentary was translated into any modern language.


Thank you Bithynian. I did like to sidestep and ask why did St.Jerome have issues with the DC books?

(The sound of a can of worms being opened).

This has been discussed in previous threads concerning Jerome and/or LXX. @Bithynian will give a much more cogent reply than mine I’m sure, but the short of it was that his later translation efforts focused on translating the OT from the Hebrew (and Aramaic with assistance) since he came to believe the DC books were not canonical. His translation of Esther reflects this approach.

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@bpd_stl touches upon the main points well. To summarise Jerome’s approach slightly simplistically: ‘Jews = Hebrew language’ and ‘canonical OT = Hebrew language’ and therefore anything that isn’t in Hebrew could not be canonical. As most of the OT texts have no extant (or very limited evidence) of ever being written or translated into Hebrew, St Jerome denied their canonicity.

so did St.Jerome skip town on the LXX?

He did use it: he quoted from the LXX (even the deuterocanonicals), he consulted it for his translation work. He even made direct translations: the Psalter of Western Christianity has historically used Jerome’s LXX translation (the Gallican Psalter) rather than his Hebrew translation.

Note that the LXX was not a single, unified body of manuscripts. There were very many different Greek translations of the protocanonical and deuterocanonical texts that circulated, and it is common to speak of the different ‘layers’ of the LXX that characterise the different times and places of these translations. Some of these were completed after the time of Christ. For example, the Book of Daniel in most LXX manuscripts is one that was made by Theodotion, a 2nd century AD Jewish scholar. The first ‘Old Greek’ text of Daniel (that is, an early pre-Christian Greek translation) was only rediscovered in the 18th century.

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I want to add onto this to make a point that even I have to remind myself of constantly.

Here in my pile of books, I have two copies of the Rahlfs-Hanhart edition of the LXX: both the one volume edition as well as the massive 2-volume Reader’s Edition that includes a Greek-English lexicon. For me (and every other modern reader of biblical Greek)…the LXX is a single, unified text. However, it took literally centuries for that to happen, particularly the last 100 years of intensive scholarship to create it.

So, with “some” empathy, consider where Jerome was coming from. The Jews were meticulous (but not entirely so) in preserving their Scriptures…as compared to the jumbled mess that was to eventually become “the LXX” we take for granted today.

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