Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: Series I/Volume XIII/On Galatians and Ephesians/Preface
St. Chrysostom’s Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians is continuous, according to chapter and verse, instead of being arranged in Homilies, with a moral or practical application at their close, as in his exposition of other Epistles. It was written in Antioch, as Montfaucon infers from a reference which the Author, makes upon Chap. i., ver. 16 (p. 20) to other of his writings, which certainly were written about the same time in that city. Vid. Hom. de Mutal. Nom., Tom. III., p. 98, Ed. Ben. The year is uncertain, but seems not to have been earlier than a.d. 395.
The Homilies on the Epistle to the Ephesians have been by some critics assigned to the Episcopate at Constantinople, in consequence of certain imperfections in their composition, which seemed to argue absence of the comparative leisure which he enjoyed at Antioch. There is a passage too in Homily XI., pp. 231, 232, which certainly is very apposite to the Author’s circumstance in the court of Eudoxia. Yet there are strong reasons for deciding that they too were delivered at Antioch. St. Babylas and St. Julian, both saints at Antioch, are mentioned familiarly, the former in Homily IX., p. 205, the latter in Homily XXI., pp. 342, 343. Monastic establishments in mountains in the neighborhood are spoken of in Homily VI., p. 165, and XIII., p. 248; and those near Antioch are famous in St. Chrysostom’s history. A schism too is alluded to in Homily XI., p. 230, as existing in the community he was addressing, and that not about a question of doctrine; circumstances which are accurately fulfilled in the contemporary history of Antioch, and which are more or less noticed in the Homilies on 1 Corinthians, which were certainly delivered at Antioch.
Moreover, he makes mention of the prevalence of superstitions, Gentile and Jewish, among the people whom he was addressing, in Homily VI., fin., p. 166, Homily XII., fin., p. 240, which is a frequent ground of complaint in his other writings against the Christians of Antioch: vid. in Gal. p. 15; in 1 Cor., Homily XII., §§ 13, 14; in Col., Homily VIII., fin.; Contr. Jud. I., pp. 386–388.
Since Evagrius, the last Bishop of the Latin succession in the schism, died in a.d. 392, these Homilies must have been composed before that date.
As to the Translations, the Editors have been favored with the former by a friend who conceals his name; and with the latter, by the Rev. William John Copeland, M.A., Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford.
- Vid. also XXI., p. 338.
- Vid. also Preface to Translation of Homilies on 1 Cor., p. xiii.