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Ignatius of Antioch & Polycarp of Smyrna (Early Christian Fathers) Paperback – November 5, 2009


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Product Details

  • Series: Early Christian Fathers
  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: CH Resources (November 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0980006651
  • ISBN-13: 978-0980006650
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #592,490 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kenneth J. Howell is a seasoned scholar of ancient Greek whose translations of Ignatius and Polycarp are accurate, vivid, and illuminating. His commentary in the accompanying notes on each document draws out the connections between Ignatius, Polycarp, and the New Testament. The six introductory essays in this book explain the context and content of these eastern fathers in language accessible to moderns.

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Customer Reviews

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These are writings that can be prayed with as well as read.
Penny Shepherd
Although he is a Catholic author, his notes also provide the accounts commonly given by Protestant as well as variants in translation and edition.
Max Nightingale
Two that I particularly enjoyed included the one on "The Martyrdom of Ignatius".
Pete

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Penny Shepherd on June 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
Dr. Kenneth J. Howell's translation and commentary of the works of Ignatius of Antioch and Polycarp of Smyrna is an excellent resource both for those new to the works of these saints and to those knowledgeable in theology who would like to learn more about these saints and their writings. Above all, reading Ignatius and Polycarp is a great opportunity to grow in the faith these saints professed. One cannot help but admire these men whose love of Christ led them even to martyrdom.

The book begins with a series of introductory essays which provide overviews of Ignatius's and Polycarp's lives (and deaths) as well as their theology. Howell does an admirable job of putting their writings in context, both historically and theologically. He pays particular attention to how these writings influenced the later development of theology, showing the continuity between these early saints and the theological tradition which developed after them. For example, he examines how Ignatius's theology of the Church provides the seeds for the eventual description of the Church in the Nicene Creed as "one, holy, catholic, and apostolic."

The introductory essays also provide a synopsis of current debates on the interpretation of these two theologians; while Howell makes his own position very clear, he also acknowledges, briefly describes, and references alternative viewpoints. This allows the reader to make more informed judgments about the theology of Ignatius and of Polycarp, while giving the more serious student the information needed to study the different interpretations in more depth.

The translation and commentary comprises the seven letters of Ignatius, Polycarp's Letter to the Philippians, and The Martyrdom of Polycarp.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Pete on June 5, 2013
Format: Paperback
I first learned of Ken Howell and his Early Christian Fathers books when I interviewed Mike Aquilina in April. That interview can be found here. When Mike Aquilina, whom I consider an authority on the Early Church Fathers, recommends a book it's a good idea to check it out. You will not be disappointed with this one. There are actually two volumes in the series thus far. This review will concentrate on the first volume, Ignatius of Antioch and Polycarp of Smyrna. The book consists of two parts. The first being a collection of essays on Ignatius and Polycarp, the second part is Ken's translation of six letters by Ignatius, one by Polycarp and one about the Martyrdom of Polycarp. Starting with the essays, I was impressed with the amount of information Ken managed to squeeze into the 6 essays that lead the book off. The other thing of note is that the Kens writing is accessible to practically anyone. Sometimes when you pick up a book of this nature in can be filled with pretty deep theological writing but I did not find that to be the case here. Don't get me wrong the book is not a light weight read but it's not an extremely difficult one either. It sits right in the middle where I feel anyone can understand and benefit from it.

The essay chapters themselves cover a number of topics. Two that I particularly enjoyed included the one on "The Martyrdom of Ignatius". It explains the events leading up to Ignatius' martyrdom as well his viewpoints on it. Ignatius readily accepts martyrdom to the point of "desiring" it. He refers to it as a "sacrificial offering" and himself as a "substitute soul" as a sacrificial martyrdom for Christ and his church. The next was the one titled "The Church in the Ignatian Letters.
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Rf Rodgers on December 29, 2009
Format: Paperback
What an amazing and insightful work! To see the roots of our faith through the words of these man is inspiring. This book has opened me to the need to search out more works from the Early Fathers that I might better understand our faith. Ignatius of Antioch & Polycarp of Smyrna (Early Christian Fathers)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Max Nightingale on September 23, 2013
Format: Paperback
We're using this translation of the texts of Ignatius and Polycarp for class, and one of the best features are the translation notes. When it comes to key words such as "bishop" and "catholic", it's good to know exactly what the Greek says and the differences in how it is being translated through out. Howell makes sure the reader is aware of these things. Although he is a Catholic author, his notes also provide the accounts commonly given by Protestant as well as variants in translation and edition. Overall, this is an excellent text for studying these two early Fathers of the Church.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cal on November 25, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Every Catholic apologist should have this book in their book shelves. As Cardinal Newman once said "to be deep into history is to cease to be protestant".

These are the writings of two early fathers of the church that knew the apostles (St. Ignatius of Antioch). Through their writings we have a unique window into what the church look in its infancy. The Letters of Antioch are moving testimony of someone who was deeply in love with Christ and his Church.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By James O'Dell on January 23, 2013
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points well made and in a nice style and order ... helps one get a better understanding of the roots of Christianity...
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert L Mulcahy on June 26, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is another great book. Thanks again.
You are sure doing your best to bring good books to your membership

Bob mulcahy
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