“. . . the finest works of their sort after St. John Chrysostom . . . “
Orthodox Christians have long held the New Testament commentaries of Blessed Theophylact, Archbishop of Bulgaria (born ca. 1050, died after 1126), in the highest esteem. St. Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain so valued these commentaries that he translated them into modern Greek for the Christians of his day. St. Ignatius Brianchaninov in his book The Arena, writes,
While reading the Evangelists, the novice should also read The Herald; that is, the explanation of the Gospel by Blessed Theophylact, Archbishop of Bulgaria. The reading of The Herald is indispensable. It is an aid to the right understanding of the Gospel and consequently to the most exact practice of it. Moreover, the rules of the Church require that Scripture should be understood as the holy Fathers explain it, and not at all arbitrarily. By being guided in our understanding of the Gospel by the explanation of the holy Father, by the explanation received and used by the Church, we keep the tradition of holy Church.
In his Prologue entry for December 31st St. Nikolai Velimirovich writes, “[Blessed Theophylact] wrote commentaries on the Four Gospels and on other books of the New Testament. These are the finest works of their sort after St. John Chrysostom, and are read to this day with great benefit.”
Blessed Theophylact’s exegetical work holds a very important place in the traditions of Western Christendom as well. Thomas Aquinas, who had the commentaries translated into Latin, cites Blessed Theophylact 1,033 times in the Catena Aurea. Erasmus of Roterdam, who cites the commentaries frequently in his Annotationes in Novum Testamentum, “made considerable use of Theophylact manuscripts at Basle, whereby the work of Theophylact became a major ingredient of the Textus Receptus.” Martin Luther asserted that, of the Fathers, “Theophylact is the best expounder and interpreter of St. Paul.” Blessed Theophylact’s commentaries were consulted by the translators of the King James Version as well (in fact, they cite him by name at Mark 7:3). Philip Schaff writes of Blessed Theophylact’s exegetical work that “it is drawn from the older writers, especially from Chrysostom, but Theophylact shows true exegetical insight, explaining the text clearly and making many original remarks of great value.”
It is our fervent hope that you will find these commentaries a valuable provision for your journey along the narrow way which leadeth unto life.
 Bishop Ignatius Brianchaninov, The Arena: An Offering to Contemporary Monasticism, trans. from the Russian by Archimandrite Lazarus (Jordanville: Holy Trinity Monastery, 1983), p. 21.
 Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich, The Prologue from Ochrid: Lives of the Saints and Homilies for Every Day in the Year, trans. from the Serbian by Mother Maria (Birmingham: Lazarica Press, 1986), p.393.
 Marcus Plested, Orthodox Readings of Aquinas (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), p. 18.
 Andrew J. Brown, “The Gospel Commentary of Theophylact, and a Neglected Manuscript in Oxford.” Novum Testamentum 49 (2007): 185.
 Henry Bell, Luther’s Table Talk; or, Some Choice Fragments from the Familiar Discourse of that Godly, Learned Man, and Famous Champion of God’s Truth, Dr. Martin Luther (London: Longman, 1832) p. 280.
 Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, Volume IV: Medieval Christianity from Gregory I to Gregory VII A.D 590-1073 (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1890), p. 644.