Commentaries on St. Paul's Epistles to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon

978-1-58731-128-4c 978-1-58731-129-1p
Cloth $60; Paper $28
Translated and Introduced by Chrysostom Baer, O. Praem., 224 pages, 6" x 9", translator's introduction, notes, outline of Sacred Scripture, prologue, appendixes, indexes

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Commentaries on St. Paul's Epistles to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon

Aquinas, Thomas

The mid-1260s found St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome commenting on the epistles of the Apostle Paul. His overall schema of the Pauline corpus reveals a synoptic vision of the letters unified by the grace of Christ. This grace is present first and foremost in the Head of the Mystical Body, Christ Himself, and to this examination is Hebrews dedicated. It also informs the whole Mystical Body: in that Body itself, in its sacraments, and in its power of effecting ecclesial unity. This accounts for Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians. Third, and most apposite here, this grace is found in the principal members of this Mystical Body, both ecclesiastics and lay. Regarding the first we have I and II Timothy and Titus; for the second we have Philemon.

The commentaries on this last set of epistles are all literal expositions, only rarely if ever concerned with allegorical meaning. They come down to us in the form of the reportatio, effectively lecture notes taken by a student of St. Thomas. Rather than try to make the rhetoric of the text more interesting and less staccato, this translation has opted for fidelity to the original, realizing that doctrine shines the more clearly when translators remove themselves from the foreground.

This version also contains an outline of Sacred Scripture based on St. Thomas’s own thought in the matter, outlines of the individual commentaries, and endnotes marking those places in the works of St. Thomas where he discusses the same topic he treats in particular places in these commentaries. The time-honored Douay-Rheims version of the Bible was the staple source for Scriptural passages, being closer to the Latin used by the saintly commentator.

Fr. Chrysostom Baer is an order priest of the Norbertine Order at St. Michael’s Abbey in Orange County, California, and translator ofSt. Thomas Aquinas’s Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews (St. Augustine’s Press, 2006).