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Early Christian Fathers (Library of Christian Classics) Paperback – December 1, 1995
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About the Author
Shepherd is Professor of Church History in the Episcopal Theological School, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Hardy is Professor of Church History in the Berkeley Divinity School, New Haven.
Fairweather is Professor of Divinity in Trinity College, Toronto.
Top Customer Reviews
The translations are very readable and the footnotes, while sometimes distracting, help to keep the context in mind. For me, however, the introductions to each writing is almost worth as much as the actual translated letters as it provides the whole theme of the letter in concise and simple treatment. So whether it is the background or the actual letters you desire to read this book has it.
Richardson and company take the earliest and best non-canonical Christian literature and present it, edited, in a handy volume that contains not only preforatory material for each letter, but also helpful footnotes and study aids.
Many people don't know that before the close of the age of the Apostles that Clement of Rome was penning a letter to the Corinthians (AD 95 or so), the same group that had given Paul so many headaches 40 years earlier. This letter starts of this work. Next, we move on to the kind, gentle Bishop Ignatius of Antioch. About AD 110, as he was being transported to Rome for his execution as a Christian, he wrote letters to Churches along the way exhorting them to continue in faithfulness. About the middle of the second century, Bishop Polycarp of Smyrna - a disciple of John the Apostle - wrote a letter to the Phillipians. That letter is in here. Next, his martyrdom is recounted in another early Christian document.
And on it goes. The Didache (or The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles) probably contains material from both the first and second centuries AD. It's a sort of manual on what Christian worship, procedure and organization should be. The so-called Second Letter of Clement follows that in which second century Christian living is described.Read more ›
He has laid out the book in a nice, easy format that consists of each chapter with an:
Introduction that gives the historical and theological backdrop of the letter.
A list of books used as resources.
The letter by the early author.
The different chapters cover such items as the "Letters in Crises", "The Way of Martyrdom", "In Defense of the Faith" and so on. Letters are written by some of Christians greatests men such as Ignatius, Polycarp, and Clement.
This is a great book for all Christians - a must read!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I originally purchased this for a college course. As usual, I expected it to be only informative. This was much more. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Brian
This is not a book for a casual reader; rather it is a compendium of the earliest documents written by the early Christians, other than the New Testament. Read morePublished 3 months ago by James Kenney
The content is wonderful with excellent notes. But the Kindle version lacks a table of contents and/or page numbers.Published 3 months ago by Judi Magnus
This was the first time I have read any of these documents, so it was a wonderful discovery for me to find several all in one short book. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Beverly Jones
I chose this rating because the writings of these early Christian Fathers are so like reading from the Apostles themselves. Read morePublished on February 4, 2014 by Kathlyn Fauchon