Volume 21, Issue 1, 2021

Aleksandar Danilović
Pages 26-44

The Ruddy Boy in the Words of the Golden Mouth
Patristic Reception of the Narrative of David and Goliath in the Works of Saint John Chrysostom

There is almost no Christian who has never heard about John Chrysostom, one of the greatest preachers since the Apostle Paul himself. He is honored as a saint, and his Liturgy is the most celebrated one in the Byzantine Rite even today. On the other hand, the story about the Gittite Goliath and a young boy named David, the future king of Israel and the one from whose royal line Christ will be borne, is one of the most read and used biblical stories. Art, music, popular culture, even sports, and politics – all of them, in their own way, used this story to tell how a tiny ruddy boy can win the giant. But how was it in the time of Saint Chrysostom? How did he read this story? If one knows the difference between the Greek and Hebrew version, which one did John read and preach to his community? Can his approach to this biblical text help us better understand Church Fathers’ exegesis and the Bible itself?