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Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Volume XIII: Gregory the Great (Part II), Ephraim Syrus, Aphrahat.

The Early Church Fathers is one of the most important collections of historical, philosophical and theological writings available in English to the student of the Christian Church. These documents provide the most comprehensive witness to the development of Christianity and Christian thought during the period immediately following the Apostolic Era.

The Catholic edition of Early Church Fathers does not include the introductions, prolegomenae, and various interpretive comments made by the protestant editors of the Edinburgh edition. However, it retains all of the footnotes found in the printed editions.

Contents of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series XIII

Gregory the Great

Register of Epistles (Books 9–14)

Ephrem the Syrian

The Nisibene Hymns

Nineteen Hymns on the Nativity of Christ in the Flesh

Fifteen Hymns for the Feast of the Epiphany

The Pearl: Seven Hymns on the Faith

Three Homilies

Aphrahat

Select Demonstrations

Author Bios

Philip Schaff

Philip Schaff

Philip Schaff (1819–1893) was one of the most distinguished church historians who ever lived. He was educated at Tübingen, Halle, and Berlin, and was professor of church history and biblical literature at German Reformed Theological Seminary. When the Civil War forced the seminary to close, Schaff moved to Union Theological Seminary. Schaff had an enormous influence on German Reformed churches in America, and he wrote History of the Christian Church, Creeds of Christendom, and The Principal of Protestantism.

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Saint Gregory the Great

Saint Gregory the Great (AD 540–AD 604) was born into Roman nobility and was prefect of Rome before converting the family estate into a monastery dedicated to St. Andrew, where he remained until AD 579, when he was appointed as apocrisiarius to Constantinople. He began his papacy in AD 590 under the name Pope Gregory I.

Gregory was a great leader, with successful missionary campaigns that changed the reach of Christianity in Europe. He was also an able reformer, and was known as “the Father of Christian Worship” for his work in developing the liturgy of his day. Upon his death, he was immediately declared a saint by popular acclamation, and is venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican and some Lutheran churches. Much of Gregory’s abundant work has survived, including Morals on the Book of Job and Dialogues.

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Ephraim the Syrian

Ephraim the Syrian

Ephraim the Syrian (c. AD 306–373) was a fourth-century theologian and hymnographer, and is a doctor in the Catholic Church. Born in Nisibis, near Edessa, he was converted to Christianity by Bishop Jacob of Nisibis and appointed a teacher. He lived in Nisibis until AD 363, and then went to Edessa for eight years to teach at the School of Edessa. Over 400 hymns composed by Ephraim still exist, hymns which he used to teach doctrine and to warn of heresy. His poetry garnered him the titles of “Lyre of the Holy Ghost” and “Prophet of the Syrians.” Ephraim also wrote homilies and prose, of which far fewer manuscripts have survived.

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Aphrahat

Aphrahat was a Syriac-Christian author of the 4th century from the Adiabene region of Northern Mesopotamia, which was within the Persian Empire, who composed a series of twenty-three expositions or homilies on points of Christian doctrine and practice. He was born in Persia around 270, but all his known works, the Demonstrations, come from later on in his life. He was an ascetic and celibate, and was almost definitely a son of the covenant (an early Syriac form of communal monasticism).

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