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The Apostolic Fathers

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The first volume of the Fathers of the Church series presents the Apostolic Fathers translated into English with introductions setting the background for each writing and the history of its manuscripts. The Apostolic Fathers includes the writings of St. Clement of Rome, St. Ignatius Antioch, St. Polycarp, the Didache, the Letter of Barnabas, the Shepherd of Hermas, the Letter to Diognetus, and the Fragments of Papias.

For The Fathers of the Church series in its entirety, see Fathers of the Church Series (127 vols.).

Key Features

  • Quality translation for modern scholarship
  • Introduction provides background on both the authors and the era in which they wrote
  • One of 127 published volumes in a well-respected series on the Church Fathers

Top Highlights

“You shall not kill an unborn child or murder a newborn infant.” (Page 172)

“Shun schisms, as the source of troubles. Let all follow the bishop as Jesus Christ did the Father, and the priests, as you would the Apostles. Reverence the deacons as you would the command of God. Apart from the bishop, let no one perform any of the functions that pertain to the Church. Let that Eucharist be held valid which is offered by the bishop or by one to whom the bishop has committed this charge. Wherever the bishop appears, there let the people be; as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.11 It is not lawful to baptize or give communion12 without the consent of the bishop. On the other hand, whatever has his approval is pleasing to God. Thus, whatever you do will be safe and valid.” (Page 121)

“Regarding baptism, baptize thus. After giving the foregoing instructions,1 ‘Baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit’2 in running water.3 2 But if you have no running water, baptize in any other;4 and, if you cannot in cold water, then in warm.5 3 But, if the one is lacking, pour the other three times on the head6 ‘in the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit.’ 4 But, before the baptism, let the one who baptizes and the one to be baptized fast, and any others who are able to do so. And you shall require the person being baptized to fast for one or two days.” (Page 177)

“Elect, therefore, for yourselves bishops and deacons worthy of the Lord, humble men and not covetous, and faithful and well tested; for they also serve you in the ministry of the prophets and teachers.” (Page 183)

About the Authors

Ignatius of Antioch (ca. 35 or 50-between 98 and 117) was among the Apostolic Fathers, the third Bishop of Antioch, and a student of John the Apostle.

Polycarp of Smyrna (69 – 155) was a second century Christian bishop. According to the Martyrdom of Polycarp, he died a martyr, bound and burned at the stake, then stabbed when the fire failed to touch him. Polycarp is regarded as a saint in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican, and Lutheran Churches. It is recorded by Irenaeus, who heard him speak in his youth, and by Tertullian, that he had been a disciple of John the Apostle.


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    Digital list price: $39.99
    Save $9.00 (22%)