St. Athanasius on the Psalms

I’ve just finished On the Incarnation by St. Athanasius, translated by a sister of the CSMV and introduced by her correspondent and friend C.S. Lewis. I talked about Lewis’s introduction during Christmas, and mentioned how reading his reflections on old books in that introduction influenced my reading resolutions for this year. Added to the end of On the Incarnation is an appendix containing a translation of a letter written by St. Athanasius to someone called Marcellinus on reading and interpreting the Psalms. It is great.

I am interested in the history of interpretation of the Bible, particularly the Old Testament, so reading this appendix on the Psalter was almost better than the theological discourse on the incarnation. Both pieces of writing have their own charm and particular appeal. I preach the Psalms whenever I get a chance, so reading about their interpretation always fascinates me. This morning I heard an excellent exposition of Psalm 139 in the middle of a sermon on our identity in Christ. Then this afternoon I read St. Athanasius on interpreting the Psalms. The combination made my day.

I will post again on publishers and textbooks, but that’ll come tomorrow. Watch this space.


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