Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle Reading App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
I teach the Apostolic Fathers and have a number of scholarly works about these writings. I discovered Tugwell late and I regret it. I thought the size of the book was an indication that it was "AF Lite." I was wrong. Tugwell is very informed about the AF and all the issues related to them. But what makes this little volume so good is that Tugwell simply can write well. He knows how to capture a reader at the beginning to get us to keep reading. Consider his first sentence in the chapter about the so-called Letter of Barnabas.
"All we really know about the author of this book is that he liked blackberries (7:8)." Or try the first sentence about Polycarp. "Polycarp is much more interesting as a person and a martyr than he is as a writer."
Insightful gems like those abound. But Tugwell is not just clever with an expression. He knows his field and communicates it well. My guess is that he is (was) a good classroom teacher. I wish this book would stay in print so I can use it as a textbook and recommend it to laymen. My only criticism is that he does not treat the best literary creation among the AF, the Letter to Diognetus nor the Fragments of Papias. But other works on the AF may also sometimes leave out one or two of them for various reasons. My advice is to find a copy of this book in Amazon Marketplace and get it. I am writing to Tugwell to see if he can bring out a second edition.
Was this review helpful to you?