Irenaeus's Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching: A Theological Commentary and Translation (Hardback) book cover

Irenaeus's Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching

A Theological Commentary and Translation

By Iain M. MacKenzie

© 2002 – Routledge

250 pages

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This title was first published in 2002. The theology of Irenaeus, and the Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching in particular, is pivotal in showing the way in which the fathers of the church interpreted scripture and distilled doctrine. The Demonstration is an important hinge showing how the doctrine of the fourth century with its definitive councils and definitions of faith, opens out from the new testament apostolic and evangelical witness. Presenting the full translation of the Demonstration of Irenaeus by Dean Armitage Robinson, this book offers a detailed theological commentary by Canon Iain MacKenzie on this foundational doctrinal text. MacKenzie sets out the main theological themes throughout Irenaeus' work, and explores his method of systematic theology, Athanasius's dependence on Irenaeus, and Irenaeus' influence on doctrine in the fourth century - particularly the works of Athanasius, Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nazianzus and Gregory of Nyssa. Highlighting the importance of this second century theologian for theology today, this commentary and theological interpretation offers an incentive to study Irenaeus in the wider development of Christian doctrine as a cardinal figure in the appreciation of systematic theology.


'Irenaeus' Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching' is one of the most significant works on Christian theology between the Apostles themselves and the great Athanasius. The account of this work by Canon MacKenzie does it full justice, and supplies a very sensitive, theologically faithful, and enlightening exposition of a work that more than any other bridges the relation between the teaching of the Apostles themselves and that of Athanasius the Great. This book is very readable for those in the parish ministry and for theologians, and should be of particular help in initiating young scholars into Greek Patristic thought of the Early Church.' The Very Revd Professor T.F.Torrance '… a welcome addition to recent Irenaean scholarship… Unlike many other 'patristic' approaches to Irenaeus, MacKenzie takes Irenaeus seriously as a theologian in his own right - as one whose truth claims have stood the test of time, and thus as one who can be taken seriously as a contemporary dialogue partner. MacKenzie takes us forward in many ways…' International Journal of Systematic Theology '… this book is valuable because it offers a useful commentary and points to two major problems.' Journal of Ecclesiastical History

Table of Contents

Contents: The Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching: translation, J. Armitage Robinson; Introduction; The title - The Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching; The duty and dignity of humanity; Truth and faith; The deification of man: God the sole Lord of creation; God as spirit; the relation of humanity and creation to the triune God; The Heavens in the service of God: the background to the making of man; The substance and production of humanity; the image of God; The dominion, place and nature of humanity; The fall and its consequences; The history and fulfilment of the blessings of God: Adam's seed to Abraham's seed; The history and fulfilment of the blessings of God: Moses; The history and fulfilment of the blessings of God: The pre-eminence of the Word; The pre-existence of the Word; The names and places of the Word in His obedience; The sufferings of the Word in His obedience: The spirit and the nature of the obedience of the Word; The sufferings of the Word in His obedience: The nature of the sufferings of the Word made flesh; The resurrection and ascension of the Word made flesh; In newness of life; Bibliography; Index.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / General