Preview: First ever translation of St. John Chrysostom’s homily on Galatians 2:11

[What follows is a preview of a few pages of the first translation ever made of Chrysostom’s sermon on Galatians 2:11, where St. Paul declares he “resisted Cephus [Peter] to the face.” The translation was made from Greek by the scholarly Johnathan Arrington, an excellent Classicist. We look forward to getting this into print! – Editor]


A note about the sort of English that you will read in this translation.

There is a movement afoot in the rarified air wherein the translators of classical works move and breathe.  We are encouraged by some to translate all Latin and Greek as if they were the colloquial speech of the latest Tweet, a Facebook post, or even an article in Reader’s Digest.  This is the twenty-first century, so we’re told.

I’m not convinced: I’m not talking about the century, of course; rather, about this mode of reasoning (there’s an undisclosed and barely apparent enthymeme in their sorites, if you prefer an Aristotelian charge).  There is a gradation in Latin and Greek style, and Saint John Chrysostom’s eponym (in one sense, a nick-name or a name given on account of one’s [de]merits) is derived from his literary prowess; so, we do him justice when we render his original with English that is at least somewhat befitting his name and even his chronographical and geographical placement: he flourished during what some call a Third Sophistic – in Antioch and Constantinople, no less! – a period and two places known to posterity for their many glorious orators and authors.

PG 51 Preface: Monitum ad Homiliam in illud “In faciem ei restiti”

An admonition in regard to the Homily “I resisted him to his face”

Hanc concionem post peractam lectionem epistolae ad Galatas Antiochiae habuit Chrysostomus. Veritus enim ne tantilla, quae hic apparet inter Petrum et Paulum Ecclesiae, ait ille, columnas, dissensio, piorum animos interturbaret, longa locum illum oratione explanare nititur. Multis statim explicat, quanta hinc incommoda sequantur, si vere et objurgandi animo, plurimis praesentibus, apostolorum coryphaeum Paulus sit adortus. Hinc duas circa hunc locum sententias aperit, statimque refutat: quarum prior est, Petrum de quo hic agitur, non apostolorum principem, sed alium esse cognominem: altera veram statuit esse reprehensionem, sed simulate factam. Deinde vero suam profert ille opinionem: nempe apostolos Petrum et Paulum ad hanc piam simulationem paratos meditatosque venisse; exque pacto et convento inter ambos inito, cum se a gentibus segregasse Petrum, ne in Judaeorum offensionem incurreret, tum Paulum ei in faciem restitisse, illo non reluctante, quia amborum ea mens erat, ut legis jugum gentibus non imponeretur. Caeterum Chrysostomi opinio, quae ab Origene manasse creditur, ab Hieronymo primum propugnata, ab Augustino refutata est, asserente veram nec simulatam fuisse Pauli reprehensionem, ita ut ejus argumentis cederet vel ipse Hieronymus. Non desunt tamen, qui priorem sententiam, quae Petrum ab apostolo alium asserit, nec qui posteriorem a Chrysostomo propugnatam hodieque defendant.

Chrysostom preached this sermon after a reading from the Letter to the Galatians. He feared lest the seemingly ever so slight disagreement between Peter and Paul – the Church’s pillars, Chrysostom would say – should disturb the devout souls; he makes efforts to explain this passage with a lengthy sermon. He straightway makes it abundantly evident, by means of what troubles would follow is Paul truly insulted the head of the Apostles in a spirit of reproach and with many present. Hence, he puts on display two interpretative approaches to the passage – which he quickly refutes – the first of which is that the Peter of whom we here speak was not the prince of the Apostles but an homonymous someone; secondly, that there was a true reprimand but that it was simulated. Yet then he offers his own opinion, to wit, that the Apostles Peter and Paul had come prepared with forethought for this holy simulation – and from a commonly agreed upon plan: once Peter had kept himself from the Gentiles, lest he should offend the Jews, then Paul would resist him to his face, and Peter would not fight back, because their common accord was that the onus of the Law should not be imposed upon the Gentiles. Besides this, Chrysostom’s opinion is believed to have come from Origen, and was first promoted by Jerome and then impugned by Augustine, the latter of whom said that Paul’s rebuke was true and not simulated, such that Jerome himself would have seemed to accede to Augustine’s argumentation. Still, there is no lack of those who – even today – defend that earlier hypothesis, which would understand all this of another Peter; there are also those who support the latter stance, Chrysostom’s own.



Τῇ προτέρᾳ συνάξει ἐν τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ τῇ καινῇ συναχθεὶς μετὰ τοῦ ἐπισκόπου, ταύτην ἐν τῇ παλαιᾷ εἶπεν εἰς τὴν περικοπὴν τοῦ Ἀποστόλου- Ὅτε δὲ ἦλθε Πέτρος εἰς Ἀντιόχειαν, κατὰ πρόσωπον αὐτῷ ἀντέστην- καὶ δείκνυσιν, ὅτι οὐκ ἀντίστασις ἦν, ἀλλ’ οἰκονομία τὰ γινόμενα.
After a prior liturgical con-celebration with the bishop in the new church, he [Chrysostom] gave this homily in the old church, on the excerpt from the Apostle [Paul, Galatians 2:11ff.] “But when Peter came to Antioch, I resisted him to his face”, and he shows that what transpired was not an opposition but an (arranged) dispensation.

Captatio benevolentiae

α – 1

Μίαν ὑμῶν ἀπελείφθην ἡμέραν, καὶ ὡς ἐνιαυτὸν ὁλόκληρον ὑμῶν χωρισθεὶς, οὕτως ἀσχάλλων καὶ ἀλύων διετέλουν. Καὶ ὅτι ἀληθῆ ταῦτα, ἴστε ἐξ ὧν καὶ ὑμεῖς ἐπάθετε.

Καθάπερ γὰρ παῖς ὑπομάζιος τῆς μητρικῆς θηλῆς ἀποσπασθεὶς, ὅπουπερ ἂν ἀπενεχθῇ, πυκνὰ περιστρέφεται, περιβλεπόμενος τὴν ἑαυτοῦ μητέρα· οὕτω δὴ κἀγὼ τῶν κόλπων τῶν μητρικῶν ἀπενεχθεὶς ποῤῥωτέρω, πυκνὰ περιεσκόπουν, πανταχοῦ τὴν ἁγίαν ὑμῶν ἐπιζητῶν σύνοδον.

Πλὴν ἀλλ’ εἶχον ἱκανὴν τούτων παραμυθίαν, τῷ πατρὶ φιλοστόργῳ πειθόμενος ταῦτα πάσχειν, καὶ ὁ τῆς ὑπακοῆς μισθὸς τὴν ἀκηδίαν τὴν ἐπὶ τῷ ξενισμῷ γινομένην ἀπεῖργε.

I was away from you all for one day and I was so distressed and distraught that it was as if I had been separated from you for an entire year. You, too, know that this is an accurate account, based on what befell you yourselves.

For, just like a babe who is being weaned from his mother’s breast, who is ever turning around – no matter where he is carried – in search of his mother; so, too, I myself had been carried far away from the maternal bosom: I looked about here and there, in earnest search of your holy company.

Albeit, I nevertheless had sufficient relief from all this, trusting as I did that I suffered such things out of obedience to a dearly affectionate father; and, that the recompense for obedience warded off the weariness attached to stranger-hardship[1] (hardship due to travel, Lampe).


Τοῦτο γὰρ ἐμοὶ καὶ διαδήματος παντὸς λαμπρότερον, καὶ στεφάνου σεμνότερον, τὸ πανταχοῦ μετὰ τοῦ γεγεννηκότος περιάγεσθαι· τοῦτο ἐμοὶ καὶ κόσμος, καὶ ἀσφάλεια·κόσμος μὲν, ὅτι οὕτως αὐτὸν ἐχειρωσάμην, καὶ πρὸς τὸν ἔρωτα ἐπεσπασάμην τὸν ἐμὸν, ὡς μηδαμοῦ μηδέποτε ἀνέχεσθαι χωρὶς τοῦ παιδὸς φαίνεσθαι· ἀσφάλεια δὲ, ὅτι παρὼν καὶ ἀγωνιζόμενον βλέπων, πάντως καὶ τὴν παρὰ τῶν εὐχῶν συμμαχίαν ἡμῖν παρέξει.

Καὶ καθάπερ πλοῖον κυβερνητῶν χεῖρες, καὶ οἴακες, καὶ ζεφύρου πνοαὶ μετὰ ἀσφαλείας εἰς λιμένα παραπέμπουσιν·οὕτω δὴ καὶ ἡ εὔνοια τούτου, καὶ ἡ ἀγάπη, καὶ ἡ τῶν εὐχῶν βοήθεια, καὶ ζεφύρου καὶ κυβερνήτου κρεῖττον καὶ τῶν οἰάκων κατευθύνει τὸν λόγον ἡμῶν.

This, you see, is to me even more resplendent than any diadem, and more august than any crown: to travel around everywhere with the one who begot you; that is my adornment and my security. Adornment, I’ll explain: because I have so mastered him and caused him to love me, such that he never wishes to be seen without his child, anywhere; and then there’s security: because whenever he is present and sees [me] struggling in a contention, he especially offers to us his auxiliary forces from his prayers.

And just as the hands of the captain, the handle of the rudder, and the favorable westerly winds lead the ship to port with security; so, too, do his benevolence and charity, his aid by prayer – better than any westerly winds, helms, helmsman – guide and prosper our speech.

Ἐμὲ δὲ πρὸς τούτοις κἀκεῖνο παρεμυθεῖτο, τὸ λαμπρᾶς ὑμᾶς ἀπολαῦσαι τότε τραπέζης, καὶ φιλότιμον καὶ πολυτελῆ τὸν ἑστιάτορα σχεῖν.

Ἔγνωμεν δὲ τοῦτο οὐκ ἐξ ἀκοῆς μόνον, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐξ αὐτῆς τῆς πείρας.

Καὶ γὰρ ἦσαν οἱ διακομίζοντες ἡμῖν τὰ εἰρημένα, καὶ ἀπὸ τῶν λειψάνων ὁλόκληρον τὴν εὐωχίαν ἐστοχασάμεθα.

Ἐπῄνεσα μὲν οὖν τὸν ἑστιάσαντα, καὶ ἐθαύμασα τῆς πολυτελείας καὶ τοῦ πλούτου·

ἐμακά ρισα δὲ καὶ ὑμᾶς τῆς εὐνοίας, καὶ τῆς ἀκριβείας, ὅτι μετὰ τοσαύτης φυλακῆς τὰ εἰρημένα κατέχετε, ὡς καὶ ἑτέρῳ διακομίσαι.

∆ιὰ τοῦτο καὶ ἡμεῖς πρὸς τὴν ὑμετέραν ἀγάπην προθύμως διαλεγόμεθα.

Ὁ γὰρ καταβάλλων ἐνταῦθα τὰ σπέρματα, οὐ ῥίπτει αὐτὰ παρὰ τὴν ὁδὸν, οὐδὲ εἰς τὰς ἀκάνθας ἐκχεῖ, οὐδὲ ἐπὶ τὴν πέτραν σπείρει·

οὕτω λιπαρὰ καὶ βαθύγειος ὑμῶν ἐστιν ἡ ἄρουρα, καὶ πάντα εἰς τοὺς οἰκείους δεχομένη κόλπους, πολυπλασιάζει τὰ σπέρματα.

Furthermore, it consoled me that you were then able to delight in such a sumptuous table and to enjoy such a munificent and honorable liturgical host.

And we know this not only from what we have heard, but also from experience itself: for, there were those who carried the words to us, and from those remnants we made a conjecture about the entire feast.

Therefore, I have certainly praised your entertainer, and I marveled at his magnificence and treasure; but I also called you blessed for your goodwill and diligence because with such care you retain what was said so as to report this to someone else, too.

On this account we too gladly converse in the presence of your charity.[2]

For, whoever throws his seeds here does not cast them beside the road, and neither does he pour them out among the thorns, nor is he seeding the rocks (cf. Lk. 8, Mk. 4, Mt. 13):  your tilled ground is so rich and productive, and all the seedlings that it welcomes into its bosom are multiplied many-fold!

Ἀλλ’ εἴπερ ποτὲ προθυμίαν μοι παρέσχετε καὶ πολλὴν σπουδὴν ἐπὶ τὴν ἀκρόασιν, ὥσπερ οὖν ἀεὶ παρεσχήκατε, ταύτην αἰτῶ καὶ τήμερον ἐμοὶ δοῦναι τὴν χάριν. Οὐδὲ μὲν ὑπὲρ τῶν τυχόντων ἡμῖν ἐστιν ὁ λόγος, ἀλλ’ ὑπὲρ μεγάλων πραγμάτων.

∆ιόπερ ὀφθαλμῶν δέομαι πανταχόθεν ὀξὺ βλεπόντων, διανοίας διεγηγερμένης, διανεστηκότος φρονήματος, συντεταμένων λογισμῶν, ψυχῆς ἀγρύπνου καὶ ἐγρηγορυίας. Καὶ γὰρ ἠκούσατε τοῦ ἀναγνώσματος πάντες τοῦ ἀποστολικοῦ καὶ εἴ τις ὀξέως προσέσχε τοῖς ἀναγνωσθεῖσιν, οἶδεν ὅτι μεγάλοι ἡμῖν ἀγῶνες καὶ ἱδρῶτες πρόκεινται τήμερον.

Ὅτε γὰρ ἦλθε Πέ τρος, φησὶν, εἰς Ἀντιόχειαν, κατὰ πρόσωπον αὐτῷ ἀντέστην.

Nevertheless, if you have ever shown me your studious alacrity of spirit to listen – as indeed you have shown perpetually – I ask that you grant me that same grace today as well.  And our discussion is not about some trifles, rather, about some weighty matters.

For this very reason, I have need of sharp eyes from all corners, an attentive intelligence, awakened senses, vigorous rational capacities, and roused and watchful souls.  Of course you too have listened to the reading from the Apostle, and if one paid close attention to what was read, he knows that a great contest confronts us and that what is prescribed for today will elicit the sweat of our brow.[3] The reading says: “For when Peter came to Antioch, I resisted him to his face”.


β – 2

Ἆρα οὖν οὐ θορυβεῖ ἕκαστον τῶν ἀκουόντων τοῦτο, ὅτι Παῦλος ἀντέστη τῷ Πέτρῳ, ὅτι οἱ στῦλοι τῆς Ἐκκλησίας συγκρούονται καὶ ἀλλήλοις προσπίπτουσι; Στῦλοι γὰρ ὄντως εἰσὶν οὗτοι, τὴν ὀροφὴν τῆς πίστεως ἀνέχοντες καὶ διαβαστάζοντες, καὶ στῦλοι, καὶ πρόβολοι, καὶ ὀφθαλμοὶ τοῦ σώματος τῆς Ἐκκλησίας, καὶ πηγαὶ τῶν ἀγαθῶν, καὶ θησαυροὶ, καὶ λιμένες, καὶ πᾶν ὅπερ ἂν εἴποι τις, οὐδέπω τῆς ἀξίας αὐτῶν ἐφίξεται· ἀλλ’ ὅσῳπερ ἂν ᾖ μεγάλα αὐτῶν τὰ ἐγκώμια, τοσούτῳ πλείων ἡμῖν ὁ ἀγών. ∆ιανάστητε τοίνυν· ὑπὲρ πατέρων γὰρ ἡμῖν ἐστιν ὁ λόγος, ὥστε ἀποκρούσασθαι τὰ κατ’ ἐκείνων φερόμενα ἐγκλήματα παρὰ τῶν ἔξωθεν, καὶ τῶν τῆς πίστεως ἀλλοτρίων.
Now, does it not trouble everyone who hears this, to wit, that Paul withstood Peter? that the Church’s columns collided and fell in with one other? That’s right, these two are truly columns which sustain and contain the summit of faith: columns, bulwarks, and the eyes of the Church’s body; of good things they are, too, founts, receptacles, and havens, and anything else one might say, he still won’t reach their merits; however, to the extent that their praises are lofty, so much greater then will our struggle be. Rouse your attention accordingly! You see, our reckoning is for the fathers’ sake, so that accusations brought against them by outsiders and those who are foreign to the faith might be refuted.[4]


Ὅτε δὲ ἦλθε Πέτρος εἰς Ἀντιόχειαν, κατὰ πρόσωπον αὐτῷ ἀντέστην, ὅτι κατεγνωσμένος ἦν. Εἶτα καὶ ἡ αἰτία τῆς καταγνώσεως· Πρὸ τοῦ γὰρ ἐλθεῖν τινας ἀπὸ Ἰακώβου, μετὰ τῶν ἐθνῶν συνήσθιεν· ὅτε δὲ ἦλθον, ὑπέστελλε καὶ ἀφώριζεν ἑαυτὸν, φοβούμενος τοὺς ἐκ περιτομῆς. Καὶ συνανεκρίθησαν αὐτῷ καὶ οἱ λοιποὶ Ἰουδαῖοι·

ὥστε καὶ Βαρνάβας συναπήχθη αὐτῶν τῇ ὑποκρίσει.

Ἀλλ’ ὅτε εἶδον, ὅτι οὐκ ὀρθοποδοῦσι πρὸς τὴν ἀλήθειαν τοῦ Εὐαγγελίου, εἶπον τῷ Πέτρῳ ἔμπροσθεν πάντων.

Καὶ ἄνω λέγει, ὅτι Κατὰ πρόσωπον·

καὶ ἐνταῦθα, Ἔμπροσθεν πάντων.

Παρατηρεῖτε τοῦτο, τὸ εἰπεῖν, Ἔμπροσθεν πάντων.

But when Peter came to Antioch, I withstood him openly to his face, because he was charged*.  And then what occasioned the accusation: because, before some people had come from James, he was eating with the gentiles; but when they had come, he started to withdraw and separate himself, fearing the circumcision-clan*. And the rest of the Jews even consented to the feigned show*,

so that Barnabas too was lead away by their outward show.

But when I saw that they were not proceeding in an upright way, in accord with Gospel’s truth, I said to Peter in the presence of everyone.

So, above he says, “openly, to his face”, and then, “in front of everyone”. Pay close attention to this statement: “in front of everyone”.


Εἰ σὺ, Ἰουδαῖος ὑπάρχων[5], ἐθνικῶς ζῇς, καὶ οὐχὶ Ἰουδαϊκῶς, τί καὶ τὰ ἔθνη ἀναγκάζεις ἰουδαΐζειν;
“If you – given that you are a Jew – live after the manner of the Gentiles – and not that of the Jews – why do you force the Gentiles too to live like Jews?”


Τάχα ἐπῃνέσατε τὸν Παῦλον τῆς παῤῥησίας, ὅτι οὐκ ᾐδέσθη τὸ ἀξίωμα τοῦ προσώπου, διὰ τὴν ἀλήθειαν τοῦ Εὐαγγελίου οὐκ ἠρυθρίασε τοὺς παρόντας. Ἀλλ’ εἰ καὶ Παύλου ἐγκώμιον τοῦτο, ἡμετέρα δὲ αἰσχύνη γίνεται. Τί γὰρ, εἰ Παῦλος καλῶς ἐποίησεν, ἀλλ’ ὁ Πέτρος κακῶς, εἴγε οὐκ ὠρθοπόδει; Τί οὖν ἐμοὶ τὸ ὄφελος, ὅταν τῆς ξυνωρίδος θάτερος ἵππος χωλεύῃ; Οὐ γὰρ πρὸς Παῦλόν μοι νῦν ὁ λόγος, ἀλλὰ πρὸς τοὺς ἔξωθεν. ∆ιὰ τοῦτο καὶ παρακαλῶ προσέχειν. Καὶ γὰρ αὔξω τὴν κατηγορίαν, καὶ μείζονα ποιῶ, ἵνα ἐπιτείνω ὑμῶν τὴν σπουδήν. Ὁ γὰρ ἀγωνιῶν νήφει, καὶ ὁ δεδοικὼς ὑπὲρ πατρὸς, προσέχει· ὁ ἀκούων τῆς κατηγορίας, ἐπιθυμεῖ δέξασθαι τὴν ἀπολογίαν.
Perhaps you sang Paul’s praises for his frankness*, since he was not timid when faced with the person’s rank and reputation, that for the sake of Gospel Truth, he did not blush before those present. If this is Paul’s honor, however, then it’s our dishonor. What does it serve if Paul did well but Peter acted badly – if he was not walking aright? So, how does it benefit me when either one of a chariot’s horse is lame? My inquisition is not aimed at Paul, but at those outside* [the Church]. And for that reason, I am begging you to pay close attention. I shall even augment the accusation and make it broader, to stretch your studiosity to its maximum, since the one who is anxious is awake, and the one who is alarmed for his father’s sake is attentive. Whoever hears this accusation longs to receive the defense.
Ἂν τοίνυν ἄρξωμαι αὔξειν τὴν κατηγορίαν, μὴ ἀπὸ γνώμης τῆς ἐμῆς νομίσητε εἶναι τὰ λεγόμενα. Βαθύνω γὰρ ὑμῶν τῷ λόγῳ τὴν διάνοιαν, διασκάπτω τὸν νοῦν, ἵνα ἐν τῷ βάθει τὰ νοήματα καταθέμενος, ἄσυλον αὐτῶν ἐργάσωμαι τὴν φυλακήν. Ἀλλὰ καὶ τῆς πόλεως ὑμῶν ἐγκώμιον τὰ ῥηθησόμενα. Αὕτη γὰρ τὸν ἀγῶνα ἐδέξατο, αὕτη τὴν μάχην, μᾶλλον δὲ οὐ τὴν μάχην, ἀλλὰ τὴν δοκοῦσαν μὲν εἶναι μάχην, πάσης δὲ εἰρήνης γενομένην χρησιμωτέραν. Οὐ γὰρ οὕτως ἡμῶν τὰ μέλη πρὸς ἄλληλα συνέσφιγκται ταῖς τῶν νεύρων περιβολαῖς, ὡς οἱ ἀπόστολοι πρὸς ἀλλήλους ἦσαν συνδεδεμένοι τοῖς τῆς ἀγάπης δεσμοῖς.
Therefore, if I actually begin to raise the charges, do not begin thinking that these are my own thoughts on the matter!  Actually, I am raising your thoughts with my words, I am deepening your sentiments, so that once your understanding is deeply planted I may render it a guarded sanctuary. But what I am about to say is an encomium of your city, for the city herself received this action[6], she saw the combat – which, rather, was not combat, but what seemed to be a battle – a battle that became much more useful than any peace, because not even the members of our bodies are so intimately clothed with nerves as were the Apostles so strictly bound together by the bands of mutual charity.


[1] Bishop as Father of the Diocese/Eparchy: compare another Antiochian’s thoughts and words on the matter, viz., St. Ignatius of Antioch in Magn. 6:1; Smyrn. 8:2; Trall. 2:1-2; Eph. 3:2; Rom.

[2] Agape, or “charity”, is a word rich in meaning and with many connotations in regard to early Christian life and practice; it brings to mind the Eucharistic liturgy for love of which the congregants came together, from the time of the Apostles (cf. the few chapters of Acts; Jude 1:12; 1 Cor. 11), through St. Ignatius of Antioch (To the Smyrn. 8:2), Clement of Alexandria (Paedag. 2:1) and Origen (passim).

[3] Clearly, this is not primarily in regard to the legal sense of this idiom; however, there is, perhaps, a hint of the language characteristic of the Adamic curse.

[4] See in the following paragraph the clarification regarding the “aim” of this discourse.

[5] Τί οὖν Στωϊκὸν λέγεις σεαυτόν, τί ἐξαπατᾷς τοὺς πολλούς, τί ὑποκρίνῃ, [ Ἰουδαῖος ὤν, Ἕλληνας ] Ἰουδαῖον ὢν Ἕλλην; οὐχ ὁρᾷς, πῶς ἕκαστος λέγεται Ἰουδαῖος, πῶς Σύρος, πῶς Αἰγύπτιος; καὶ ὅταν τινὰ ἐπαμφοτερίζοντα ἴδωμεν, εἰώθαμεν λέγειν “οὐκ ἔστιν Ἰουδαῖος, ἀλλ’ὑποκρίνεται”.  Epicteti Ab Arriano Dissertationes ii, 9.19,20 ]

[6] In the sense of legal or military action.

The Public Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ (vol. 2)

The Public Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ vol. 2
An Inerpretation
Rev. Alban Goodier, S.J.


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The second volume continues where the first left off in Our Lord’s life and continues the same original commentary and discussion all the way to passion week. The wonderful thing of Bishop Goodier’s narrative is that it does not make use of secondary sources or copious quotes, rather he simply quotes the Scriptures and organizes the teaching of the Gospels into the sequential occurrence of events. If you want to know more about our Lord and understand the places he is going to, what he is doing and why, this is the perfect work. The new edition includes wonderful depictions of events from Renaissance art. We also have it available in hardcover:

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Bishop Alban Goodier, S.J.


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Public Life of Our Lord vol.1 Hardcover
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The Public Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ, by bishop Goodier, takes the subject of Christ’s life from the coming of John the Baptist until his last day before Palm Sunday and the beginning of His passion.

In this work Goodier sets out not merely to write another life of Christ or follow the mold of a devotional work or a scientific analysis but to transcend both to apply logic and reason combined with Catholic faith to understand who Jesus was, and what was the impact of his public life, what was it like for those there, what did his disciples and enemies think?

Goodier’s text is descriptive, lucid, and original, not being loaded up with quotes from other authors. Moreover, it is entirely faithful to the text of the Gospels and harmonizes the four narratives into one account spanning the three years of Christ’s public life before His passion.

In this text you will find Bishop Goodier faithful to the Gospel narrative unlike many writers in his time who applied the historical critical method to such lengths that they had rejected the gospels themselves as witnesses. Goodier notes in his introduction: “Hence in a work of this kind it has not seemed necessary to introduce any discussion concerning the four Evangelists, the authenticity of their work, or the special characteristics of each. These have been examined and proved by writers far more skilled and learned than the author and he is content to accept their decision referring readers who would examine these sources to them. On the other hand, when accepting the Gospels, he accepts them wholly and entirely. It seems to him a futile attitude of mind to take a source as authentic, and then, almost entirely from internal evidence, to proceed to whittle it away. For instance, let us take the miracles. Not only do the four Evangelists record them, but they record them as an essential part of their evidence; so essential, in every case, that if they are eliminated their whole concept of Jesus tumbles to ruins. There is scarcely any miracle which may be canceled without involving in its fall many other portions of the Gospel; eliminate them all and there is virtually nothing left. Far more fair to the facts, even from the point of view of the rationalist historian, does it seem to the author to take the evidence as he finds it, make of it the best he can, put faith in those whom he professes to acknowledge as his only safe guides, build up his picture of Jesus as they have built it up and with the same material. If he accepts some evidence and rejects the rest, this at least he must confess: that the conclusion he draws, whether true or not, cannot possibly be the picture drawn by the four Evangelists. In the present work the four Gospels have been taken simply as they are given to us; the question has been simply asked: What is the Jesus of the four Evangelists like?” (From the Introduction)

This reprint from the 1944 edition has been made faithful to the original in every detail, retaining UK spelling standards found in the original. The only changes made are the correction of errata in the original text.

Additionally, artwork from the Renaissance and Baroque periods has been added which is not in the original to aid the reader. This is not a facsimile copy.