The text presented here of the two Books of Homilies is that of John Griffiths published in 1859 by Oxford University Press. Griffiths meticulously compared previous editions of the Homilies and noted corrections and other variations that arose over the years. Gerald Bray has produced a critical edition that builds on Griffiths’ volume. These works should be eagerly engaged by any student conducting a serious study of the Homilies.
The purpose of this edition is to present the Homilies in an accessible form for modern readers, while preserving the integrity of the text. Formatting has been updated, but the language of the text has not been changed, and no explanatory notes or commentary have been added. It is the duty of the reader to interpret meaning, consulting other sources if necessary.
Three primary parts of Griffiths’ work are excluded here: the marginal descriptive notes; the footnotes on textual variations; and the footnotes of quotations from the Vulgate and other sources.
Bible references have been formatted for the modern reader. Some were relocated to places in the text that today’s readers would expect them to appear. For example, in the First Book, Second Homily, second paragraph, Griffiths’ marginal note β has been made into three footnotes to precisely delineate the respective Bible reference connected to each name.
Some Bible references have been adjusted for accuracy. For example, in the First Book, Second Homily, third paragraph, Griffiths’ second reference is Isaiah 40:6-7, but the quotation in the homily includes verse 8 of the Authorized Version, and this has been updated here.
— Daniel J. Sparks