Studying Matthew with the Church Fathers
CATENA AUREA- MATTHEW
Welcome to the study of the Gospel of Matthew based on St. Thomas Aquinas’ systematic compilation of Patristic commentary on this first book of the New Testament. The CATENA AUREA
(Latin for “Golden Chain”) provides readers with a wealth of the theology and teaching of the Early Church Fathers and their views on the Church and Her doctrines as well as the life, ministry and passion of Christ, the Bible, the Kingdom of God, and the people of God. The medieval Church was not limited with the division and confusion of doctrine brought about by the Reformation and so Her thought on God and Christ was clear, unified and coherent. Many of the fundamental teachings that we hold today as Christians were formulated and established in this period. Aquinas himself was unrivalled in his day as a theologian, Doctor of the Church and Biblical scholar. This commentary on Matthew is well organized and consistent in thought and approach. The ideas of Augustine, Origen, Chrysostom, Bede, Ambrose, Anselm and Jerome among others are represented and when the text cites “Gloss”, these are the additions of the editor Aquinas. By reading, studying and discussing this commentary, we will gain an in depth look at the Gospel and grow in our wisdom, understanding and knowledge of the Faith.
A few words on practical matters are needed. First, above all, please be polite, respectful and civil when interacting with others in discussion. In my experience on the Internet, there are what are known as trolls. Trolls are people who seek to dominate, act like they know everything about the Bible and are here to inform you, cause dissension, insult and bully others, and otherwise disrupt, undermine or sabotage the harmony of the group. If you want to behave like a troll, then do not join this group. Troll behavior will not be tolerated. I will not hesitate to edit or entirely delete posts that I believe are not on topic, inappropriate content for the study or offensive in any way. Two or three comments like this and you will be removed from the group member list or blocked.
When you want to post a comment, either click “add comment” at the top of the thread page or click “reply” to a previous post. Remember the extra step of entering the ‘captcha’ code at the bottom of the comment box to prevent spammers. When you subscribe to the group, the email notifications are automatically set up and you will receive each posted comment as an email in your inbox. If you do not wish to receive such emails, then go to your account page and deactivate your settings by clicking “administer your subscriptions” under the notifications tab.
There will be an introduction thread as well as threads for each discreet chapter of Matthew. Sign up will begin in late July and posting on the text has begun. My expectations will be that all members of the group participate in the discussion, engage with the teachings and study questions I post, and complete any assignments or exams I may think are necessary. Thank you all so much for your cooperation and contribution to what promises to be a positive and worthwhile experience for everyone involved.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. TOM G.