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The Apostolic Fathers: English Translations

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The Apostolic Fathers, the earliest extant Christian writings outside the New Testament, are a primary resource for the study of early Christianity. These writings provide significant and unparalleled insight into the Christian movement during a critical transitional stage in its history. This updated edition of Holmes's 1992 Greek-English diglot edition of The Apostolic Fathers is arguably the best collection of these writings available. The introductions to each ancient document, the bibliographies, and the textual notes make this volume essential for the serious study of early Christianity. Scholars, research libraries, and students of the Apostolic Fathers will welcome this updated edition.

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Top Highlights

“There is only one physician, who is both flesh and spirit, born and unborn, God in man,10 true life in death, both from Mary and from God, first subject to suffering and then beyond it, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Page 141)

“On the Lord’s own day gather together and break bread and give thanks, having first confessed your sins so that your sacrifice may be pure.” (Page 267)

“But Polycarp said: ‘You threaten with a fire that burns only briefly and after just a little while is extinguished, for you are ignorant of the fire of the coming judgment and eternal punishment, which is reserved for the ungodly. But why do you delay? Come, do what you wish.’” (Page 235)

“Now concerning baptism, baptize as follows: after you have reviewed22 all these things, baptize ‘in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’23 in running24 water. (2) But if you have no running water, then baptize in some other water; and if you are not able to baptize in cold water, then do so in warm.25 (3) But if you have neither, then pour water on the head three times ‘in the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit.’26 (4) And before the baptism, let the one baptizing and the one who is to be baptized fast, as well as any others who are able. Also, you must instruct the one who is to be baptized to fast for one or two days beforehand.” (Page 259)

“All, therefore, were glorified and magnified, not through themselves or their own works or the righteous actions which they did, but through his will. (4) And so we, having been called through his will in Christ Jesus, are not justified through ourselves or through our own wisdom or understanding or piety or works which we have done in holiness of heart, but through faith, by which the almighty God has justified all who have existed from the beginning; to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Pages 63–65)


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