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The Ante-Nicene Fathers (10 Volume Set) [Hardcover]

by A. Cleveland Coxe, Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, Philip Schaff, Henry Wace
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

February 1996 1565630823 978-1565630826
The Ante-Nicene Fathers ranges from the Apostolic Fathers to various third and fourth century sources including the liturgies and ancient Syriac documents. It was intended to comprise translations into English of all the extant works of the Fathers (with the exception of the more bulky works of Origen) down to the date of the first General Council held at Nicaea in 325 A.D. This American edition by Arthur Cleveland Coxe is a revision of the original series edited by Alexander Roberts and Sir James Donaldson and published in Edinburgh. The revision involves a major rearrangement to conform to the historical sequence, the addition of brief introductions and notes indicating variances in readings, specifying references to scripture or literature, clarifying obscure passages, and noting corruptions or distortions of patristic testimony (as forged in the Decretals). The basic aim of the translations has been to strive for literary exactness, placing the English reader as nearly as possible on an equal footing with those who are able to read the original.

Volume Titles:
Volume 1: Apostolic Fathers, Justin Martyr, Inrenaeus
Volume 2: Hermas, Tatian, Athenagoras, Theophilus, Clement of Alexandria
Volume 3: Tertullian
Volume 4: Tertullian (IV), Minucius Felix, Commodian, Origen
Volume 5: Hippolytus, Cyprian, Caius, Novatian, Appendix
Volume 6: Gregory Thaumaturgus, Dionysius the Great, Julius Africanus, Anatolius and Minor Writers, Methodius, Arnobius
Volume 7: Lactantius, Venantius, Asterius, Victorinus, Dionysius, Apostolic Teaching and Constitutions, Homily, and Liturgies
Volume 8: Twelve Patriarchs, Excerpts and Epistles, The Clementina, Aprocryphal Gospels and Acts, Syriac Documents
Volume 9: Gospel of Peter, Diatessaron, Testament of Abraham, Epistles of Clement, Origen and Miscellaneous Works
Volume 10: Bibliography, General Index, Annotated Index of Authors and Works


Frequently Bought Together

The Ante-Nicene Fathers (10 Volume Set) + Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: Second Series (The Early Church Fathers, Second Series , So14) + History of the Christian Church, 8 vols.
Price for all three: $737.02

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 6448 pages
  • Publisher: Hendrickson Pub (February 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565630823
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565630826
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 10 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 23 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #908,397 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every Christian should read this January 29, 2000
This is the (basically) complete set of the Early church writings up until 325 A.D. These 10 volumes contain quite a lot of material. Volume 10 is actually an index of all of the earlier books. The complete works of Justin, Clement, Athenagoras, Ignatius, etc are found within. I agree with the other poster that there are some problems. The issue of new texts discovered is a big one. Since the time this series was published many new texts have been found, such as the Gospel of Thomas and 2 works by Origen. So that is an issue. Also the way they put Clement of Alexandria's third book in Latin is silly today. Luckily I managed to find another translation that had it. The third problem is the English is pretty stagnant at times. Its very stiff and complex at times, but I actually have come to like it (don't ask me why!). But I am still giving this 5 stars because the set is fairly affordable, and there is a lot of great stuff in here for the price. Virtually every pre-Nicene writing, from the Didache to Alexander of Alexandria's letters to Arius, is in here. I would never be without this set.
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I would sell all of my literature to buy this pearl. April 28, 2005
This is an excellent (and, in my opinion, the best) collection of early Christian writings, for many reasons. First of all, it's a very reliable, widely accepted, critically praised, and relatively literal translation (compared to others that I've seen). Secondly, the writings contained in it are complete, unlike many other publications that only contain fragments or portions of these early writings. And finally, it's currently the only large collection that's reasonably affordable. For all of these reasons, I give it full marks.

It is not, however, perfect. There are several more recently discovered writings that are not found in these volumes. For Irenaeus' "Proof of the Apostolic Preaching," you'll have to try and get your hands on volume 16 of the "Ancient Christian Writers" series. While the "Popular Patristics" series provides us with Melito of Sardis' "On Pascha" and Hippolytus' "On the Apostolic Tradition." And then there are the many other writings of Origen that aren't in the "Ante-Nicene Fathers" (hereafter referred to simply as "the ANF"): His "Homilies on Genesis" and "Homilies on Exodus" can be found in volume 71 of the "Fathers of the Church" series; "Homilies on Leviticus 1-16" in volume 83; "Homilies on Joshua" in volume 105; "Homilies on Jeremiah" and "Homily on 1 Kings 28" in volume 97; "Homilies on Luke" in volume 94; and his lengthy "Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans" in volumes 103 & 104. Also, volume 19 of the "Ancient Christian Writers" series has Origen's "On Prayer" and "Exhortation to Martyrdom," while volume 26 has both his "Commentary on The Song of Solomon" and "Homilies on The Song of Solomon," and finally volume 54 has his "Treatise on the Passover" and "Dialogue with Heraclides." (Yes, Origen was the single most prolific early Christian writer.
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49 of 60 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best collection, but needs to be updated. September 21, 1999
This 10-volume set is a treasure trove of the writings of the early church translated into English, from the Apostolic Fathers to the Nicene Council. The problem with it is that it is only a reprint of a collection originally published in 1885. Because of this it carries over many of the pruderies Alexandria's Miscellanies (in volume 2 of this set) is printed only in enters upon the refutation of the false-Gnostics and their licentious tenets. Professing a stricter rule to begin with, and despising the ordinances of the Creator, their result was the grossest immorality in practice. The melancholy consequences of an enforced celibacy are, here, all forseen and foreshown; and this Book, though necessarily offensive to our Christian tastes, is most useful as a commentary upon the history of monasticism, and the celibacy of priests, in the Western churches. The resolution of the Edinburgh editors to give this Book to scholars _only_, in the Latin, is probably wise." In other words, because it may corrupt our Christian morals, we won't print it in the venacular, but instead keep it only in the hands of professors. This editorial decision was disgustingly illiberal; a scholar should make all information accessible. Besides, Clement of Alexandria isn't considered a heretic; he's one of the official Church Fathers. Now a decision like that may have been acceptable in 1885, but it can scarcely be defended today. I do not see what could have kept this set's reprinters from providing a translation of Book III, if only as an appendix. I have not noticed any other example of suppression in these volumes, although the fact that there is even one instance is disturbing. This only serves to convince me that a new, fresh edition of these writers is needed. Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best we will ever have June 19, 2008
While I agree that this set has various faults, as the other reviewers have rightly pointed out, we must also accept it for what it is. It is an 1885 edition of this material, and nothing else like this has been attempted in the 120 years since, nor is it likley to be.

And, yes, while it may be nice to have newer versions and translations which take newer findings into account, it must also be recognised that if a newer edition was produced, we would not be able to purchase it for the price of this older - and out of copyright - set. The cost to produce a newer edition would be prohibitive for the average person, and these great documents of church history would be confined to libraries and the offices of university professors - far from the reach of us "ordinary" people. It is in fact the cost which prevents a newer edition being undertaken.

So, let us not complain too loudly, but enjoy what we have, and make the best use of it that we can - all the while recognising that while this set is not "perfect", it is the best we will ever have.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Gift for my husband
He is delighted with the books and started reading them immediately. Has added to his library. Have ordered other books.
Published 3 months ago by Shirley J Campbell
5.0 out of 5 stars Book review
I can say that I am happy with the collection. it came at a reasonable time, especially with how big the shipment was. Books came in great quality.
Published 14 months ago by Peter Gendi
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice collection, skip the introductions...
I bought this some time ago and just started reading volume one cover to cover after occasionally consulting the individual writers. Read more
Published 15 months ago by A customer
5.0 out of 5 stars how awesome
this is what it is all about right next to the Bible. what better way to know and learn the meaning behind the scriptures then with the early Christian fathers. Read more
Published 15 months ago by John Stetzer
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading
Every Christian should have this set of books. This is only the first ten volumes of a 38 volume set. This ten volume set shows contimues where the Book of Acts leaves off. Read more
Published 16 months ago by rcngrunt
5.0 out of 5 stars MichaelB
I have found these texts a wonderful addition to my library. There is so much information here for the individual interested in Christianity, its affordability, and breadth of... Read more
Published on August 28, 2010 by M. Barnes
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic of Christian Literature -- a must for every Christian scholar
Frankly, it is grossly presumptuous of me to write a review on this work -- it's like a backwoods pastor writing a review on the New Testament. Read more
Published on August 22, 2008 by David M. Dougherty
4.0 out of 5 stars Adequate edition
This is a reprint of the 19th century version. It's not typeset with modern quality, but it's far from unreadable. Read more
Published on April 3, 2006 by Adam Baker
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