Responding to Disparaging Critics of One’s Commentary

jeromeSt. Jerome, that greatest of all the Church Fathers (and the only one with any sense at all), wrote

I pay little heed to the ravings of disparaging critics who revile not only my words, but the very syllables of my words, and suppose they give evidence of some little knowledge if they discredit another man’s work, as was exemplified in that ignorant traducer [Pelagius] who lately broke out, and thought it worth his while to censure my commentaries on Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians.

He does not understand the rules of commenting (for he is more asleep than awake and seems utterly dazed), and is not aware that in our books we give the opinions of many different writers, the authors’ names being either expressed or understood, so that it is open to the reader to decide which he may prefer to adopt; although I must add that, in my Preface to the First Book of that work, I gave fair notice that my remarks would be partly my own, partly those of other commentators, and that thus the commentary would be the work conjointly of the ancient writers and of myself.

And that, my friends, is how you respond to people who wish to criticize (in a not helpful but merely demeaning way) your work.

Speaking of commentaries… you should get this one!