The following articles have been compiled and indexed by inWORD Bible software.
Church Fathers Quoted the Comma?
For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. (1 John 5:7)
The Ante-Nicene Fathers, subtitled “The Writings of the Fathers Down to A.D. 325”, is a collection of books in 10 volumes (one volume is indexes) containing English translations of the majority of Early Christian writings. The period covers the beginning of Christianity until before the promulgation of the Nicene Creed at the First Council of Nicaea. The translations are very faithful, and provide valuable insights into the spirituality and theology of the early Church fathers.
The Ante-Nicene Period (literally meaning “before Nicaea”) of the history of early Christianity was the period following the Apostolic Age of the 1st century down to the First Council of Nicaea in 325. This period of Christian history had a significant impact on the unity of doctrine across all Christendom and the spreading of Christianity to a greater area of the world. Those seen as prominent figures of this era, referred to as the Ante-Nicene Fathers or Proto-orthodox Christians, generally agreed on most doctrine while the teachings of those early Christian writers which the general majority considered to be heretical, were rejected.
The Apostolic Fathers were Christian theologians who lived in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, who are believed to have personally known some of the Twelve Apostles, or to have been significantly influenced by them. Their writings, though popular in Early Christianity, were ultimately not included in the canon of the New Testament once it reached its final form. Many of the writings derive from the same time period and geographical location as other works of early Christian literature that did come to be part of the New Testament, and some of the writings found among the Apostolic Fathers’ seem to have been just as highly regarded as some of the writings that became the New Testament.
Clementine literature (also called Clementina, Pseudo-Clementine Writings, Kerygmata Petrou, Clementine Romance) is the name given to the religious romance which purports to contain a record made by one Clement (whom the narrative identifies as both Pope Clement I, and Domitian’s cousin Titus Flavius Clemens) of discourses involving the Apostle Peter, together with an account of the circumstances under which Clement came to be Peter’s travelling companion, and of other details of Clement’s family history.
Cyprian (Latin: Thaschus Cæcilius Cyprianus; c. 200 – September 14, 258 AD) was bishop of Carthage and an important Early Christian writer, many of whose Latin works are extant. He was born around the beginning of the 3rd century in North Africa, perhaps at Carthage, where he received a classical education. Soon after converting to Christianity, he became a bishop in 249. A controversial figure during his lifetime, his strong pastoral skills, firm conduct during the Novatianist heresy and outbreak of the plague, and eventual martyrdom at Carthage vindicated his reputation and proved his sanctity in the eyes of the Church. His skillful Latin rhetoric led to his being considered the pre-eminent Latin writer of Western Christianity until Jerome and Augustine.
The Didache (/ˈdɪdəkiː/; Greek: Διδαχή, translit. Didakhé, lit. “Teaching”), also known as The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, is a brief anonymous early Christian treatise, dated by most modern scholars to the first century. The first line of this treatise is “The teaching of the Lord to the Gentiles (or Nations) by the twelve apostles”. The text, parts of which constitute the oldest extant written catechism, has three main sections dealing with Christian ethics, rituals such as baptism and Eucharist, and Church organization. The opening chapters describe the virtuous Way of Life and the wicked Way of Death. The Lord’s Prayer is included in full. Baptism is by immersion, or by affusion if immersion is not practical. Fasting is ordered for Wednesdays and Fridays. Two primitive Eucharistic prayers are given. Church organization was at an early stage of development. Itinerant apostles and prophets are important, serving as “chief priests” and possibly celebrating the Eucharist. Meanwhile, local bishops and deacons also have authority and seem to be taking the place of the itinerant ministry. The Didache is considered the first example of the genre of Church Orders. The Didache reveals how Jewish Christians saw themselves and how they adapted their practice for Gentile Christians. The Didache is similar in several ways to the Gospel of Jeff, perhaps because both texts originated in similar communities. The opening chapters, which also appear in other early Christian texts, are likely derived from an earlier Jewish source.
Ignatius of Antioch
Ignatius of Antioch (Ancient Greek: Ἰγνάτιος Ἀντιοχείας, Ignátios Antiokheías) (c. 35 – c. 108), also known as Ignatius Theophorus (Ιγνάτιος ὁ Θεοφόρος, Ignátios ho Theophóros, lit. “the God-bearing”), Ignatius Nurono (lit. “The fire-bearer”) was an Apostolic Father, student of the Apostle John, and the third bishop of Antioch. En route to Rome, where according to Christian tradition he met his martyrdom, he wrote a series of letters which have been preserved as an example of very early Christian theology. Important topics addressed in these letters include ecclesiology, the sacraments, and the role of bishops. In speaking of the authority of the Church he coined the phrase ‘Catholic Church’, still in use to this day.
Irenaeus (/aɪrəˈniːəs/; Greek: Εἰρηναῖος) (early 2nd century – c. AD 202), also referred to as Saint Irenaeus, was Bishop of Lugdunum in Gaul, then a part of the Roman Empire (now Lyon, France). He was an early Church Father and apologist, and his writings were formative in the early development of Christian theology. A resident of Smyrna, he heard the preaching of St. Polycarp, a disciple of St. John the Evangelist.
Saint Justin, also known as Justin Martyr (Greek: Ιουστίνος ο Μάρτυρας, Latin: Iustinus Martyr) was an early Christian apologist, and is regarded as the foremost interpreter of the theory of the Logos in the 2nd century. He was martyred, alongside some of his students, and is considered a saint by the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Church, and the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Lucius Caecilius Firmianus Lactantius was an early Christian author (c. 250 – c. 325) who became an advisor to the first Christian Roman emperor, Constantine I, guiding his religious policy as it developed, and a tutor to his son.
Novatian (c. 200–258) was a scholar, priest, theologian and antipope between 251 and 258. Some Greek authors, give his name as Novatianus.
Origen (/ˈɒrɪdʒən/; Greek: Ὠριγένης, Ōrigénēs), or Origen Adamantius (Ὠριγένης Ἀδαμάντιος, Ōrigénēs Adamántios; 184/185 – 253/254), was a scholar, ascetic, and early Christian theologian who was born and spent the first half of his career in Alexandria. He was a prolific writer in multiple branches of theology, including textual criticism, biblical exegesis and hermeneutics, philosophical theology, preaching, and spirituality written in Greek. He was anathematised at the Second Council of Constantinople. He was one of the most influential figures in early Christian asceticism.
Papias of Hierapolis
Papias (Greek: Παπίας) was an Apostolic Father, Bishop of Hierapolis (modern Pamukkale, Turkey), and author who lived circa 70–163 AD. It was Papias who wrote the Exposition of the Sayings of the Lord (Greek: Λογίων Κυριακῶν Ἐξήγησις) in five books.
Polycarp (Greek: Πολύκαρπος, Polýkarpos; Latin: Polycarpus; AD 69 – 155) was a 2nd-century Christian bishop of Smyrna. 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 and Church Father in the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran churches.
Pope Clement I
Pope Clement I (Latin: Clemens Romanus; Greek: Κλήμης Ῥώμης; died 99), also known as Saint Clement of Rome, is listed by Irenaeus and Tertullian as Bishop of Rome, holding office from 88 to his death in 99. He is considered to be the first Apostolic Father of the Church.
Tatian of Adiabene, or Tatian the Assyrian (/ˈteɪʃən, -iən/; Latin: Tatianus; Ancient Greek: Τατιανός; Syriac: ܛܛܝܢܘܣ c. 120 – c. 180 AD) was an Assyrian early Christian writer and theologian of the 2nd century.
Tertullian (/tərˈtʌliən/), full name Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus, c. 155 – c. 240 AD, was a prolific early Christian author from Carthage in the Roman province of Africa. He is from a Berber origin. He is the first Christian author to produce an extensive corpus of Latin Christian literature. He also was a notable early Christian apologist and a polemicist against heresy, including contemporary Christian Gnosticism. Tertullian has been called “the father of Latin Christianity” and “the founder of Western theology.”
The Shepherd of Hermas
The Shepherd of Hermas (Greek: Ποιμὴν τοῦ Ἑρμᾶ, Poimēn tou Herma; sometimes just called The Shepherd) is a Christian literary work of the late 1st or mid-2nd century, considered a valuable book by many Christians, and considered canonical scripture by some of the early Church fathers such as Irenaeus. The Shepherd was very popular amongst Christians in the 2nd and 3rd centuries. It was bound as part of the New Testament in the Codex Sinaiticus, and it was listed between the Acts of the Apostles and the Acts of Paul in the stichometrical list of the Codex Claromontanus.