“From what has already been said, it becomes increasingly clear that the chief occupation of a novice in his cell should be the reading and study of the Gospel and of the whole New Testament. The whole New Testament can be called the Gospel, since it contains nothing but the Gospel teaching. But a novice should first of all study the Lord’s commandments in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. From the study of the commandments in these Evangelists combined with the actual practice of the commandments, the other Scriptures which constitute the New Testament also become more easily understandable.
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 aided 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.”
– St Ignatius Brianchaninov,
on Reading the Gospel and the Writings of the Fathers
The gold standard of Orthodox Bible commentaries – The Herald is also known as the Explanation of the Gospels according to the Blessed Theophylact of Ochrid and have only recently become available in English, they are not always easy to find. The Explanation of the Gospels may be found in hardcover (light blue) or soft cover (dark blue).
Explanation of the Gospels may still be available at St. Herman Press.