Patristic Study of Genesis

I haven’t posted much to this website in the past year because I’ve been busy with the parish I’m assigned to. One exciting thing that I’ve been doing there is educational classes. This summer, I embarked on a deep-dive into Genesis and got six lessons deep, which included introductory materials and the first two chapters of Genesis.

I invite you all to watch/listen to these lectures I did.

Some lectures were filmed while others only have audio. The “filming” was simply setting up a phone and hoping it would capture most of my movements. Hopefully you’ll find these edifying.

Rumble Video Links:

  • Lecture 1 – Day 1 (Introductory material for about the first half (setting the stage for how to read the Bible and ancient cosmogonies of Mesopotamian cultures); then we dive into the first day of creation)
  • Lecture 2 – Days 2-6 (Continuation of the commentary on Genesis chapter 1, covering days 2-6 of the creation. The lecture largely follows St. Basil the Great’s Hexameron while incorporating other Church Fathers)
  • Lecture 3 – Origen (We begin by exploring the controversial topic of the age of the earth. After that, we discuss the life of Origen, controversies surrounding him, and his commentary on Genesis. While St. Anastasius of Sinai also provided an allegorical commentary on Genesis – as well as Ven. Bede and St. Augustine to some degree – there wasn’t sufficient time to cover all these Church Fathers. So, we mostly focused on Origen.)
  • Lecture 4 – Gregory of Nyssa’s “On the Making of Man” (Topics include the human soul, animal souls, gender, and others. This covers chapters 1-16 of his work.)
  • Lecture 5 – Gregory of Nyssa and Ephrem the Syrian (Here we wrap up St. Gregory of Nyssa’s “On the Making of Man” and move into chapter 2 (verses 1-8) of Genesis, utilizing St. Ephrem the Syrian’s “Hymns on Paradise” as our main patristic text.)
  • Lecture 6 – Gen. 2:9-24 (We continue looking at commentary and lessons in the second chapter of Genesis, relying mostly upon St. Ephrem the Syrian’s Hymns on Paradise as our main patristic text.)

YouTube Video Links:

Same videos as above but on YouTube:

Some of the Printed Sources Used and/or Recommended

  • Hexameron – St. Basil the Great (NPNF, public domain)
  • The Anglo-Saxon HexameronAelfric of Eynsham (public domain)
  • Hexameron, Paradise, Cain & Abel – St. Ambrose of Milan (Fathers of the Church Series, Catholic University of America Press)
  • HexaemeronSt. Anastasius of Sinai (Pontificio Istituto Orientale, sadly out of print)
  • Hymns on ParadiseSt. Ephrem the Syrian (SVS Press)
  • Selected Prose WorksSt. Ephrem the Syrian (Fathers of the Church Series, Catholic University of America Press)
  • Nisibene HymnsSt. Ephraim the Syrian (NPNF Series, public domain)
  • Commentary on GenesisVen. Bede (Translated Texts for Historians)
  • Homilies on Genesis (three volumes)St. John Chrysostom (Fathers of the Church Series, Catholic University of America Press)
  • Glaphyra on the Pentateuch, Vol. 1 GenesisSt. Cyril of Alexandria (Fathers of the Church Series, Catholic University of America Press)
  • The First Created ManSt. Symeon the New Theologian (St. Herman Press)
  • Homilies on GenesisOrigen (Fathers of the Church Series, Catholic University of America Press)
  • Catechetical DiscourseSt. Gregory of Nyssa (SVS Press)
  • On the Making of ManSt. Gregory of Nyssa (NFNP, public domain)
  • On the Cosmic Mystery of Jesus ChristSt. Maximus the Confessor (SVS Press)
  • Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, Vol. 1-2, GenesisVarious Fathers – Edited by Thomas C Oden (Intervarsity Press)
  • Beginnings: Ancient Christian Readings of the Biblical Creation NarrativesPeter C. Bouteneff (Baker Academic)
  • The Language of Creation: Cosmic Symbolism in GenesisMatthieu Pageau

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