August 30, 2009

Recommended Patristic Studies on Saint John the Baptist

Below I am posting links to two texts from Google Books that will hopefully spark some interest in Patristic studies relating to Saint John the Baptist that I recently came across. Both are limited previews on their sites, so if the books interest you enough you may want to purchase them.

Since today we celebrate the Apodosis of the Feast of the Beheading of Saint John the Baptist, this first text is significantly appropriate. It is titled Homilies of Leo VI in which the profound and theologically astute homilies of Emperor Leo VI are analyzed. I am posting specifically pages 143-151 which deal with "Homily 13 on the Beheading of John the Baptist" and "Homily 42 on the Birth of John the Baptist". What I like about the information in these 8 pages is that author, Theodora Antonopoulou, reflects on the history of patristic homilies on these subjects that I find useful for further study.

The second text is a book titled The Diet of John the Baptist by James A. Kelhoffer. The author goes into quite a bit of detail concerning the interpretation of "locusts and wild honey" described in the Synoptic Gospels as the diet of St. John and asks whether or not this was in fact a vegetarian diet but misunderstood due to a faulty translation. What I especially found interesting was chapter 5 which goes into the patristic interpretation. I found the whole thing fascinating.