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The Ante-Nicene Fathers: The Writings of the Fathers Down to A.D. 325 Volume I - The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus: 1 [Paperback]

Reverend Alexander Roberts
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Book Description

1 May 2007
"One of the first great events in Christian history was the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD, convened to organize Christian sects and beliefs into a unified doctrine. The great Christian clergymen who wrote before this famous event are referred to as the Ante-Nicenes and the Apostolic Fathers, and their writings are collected here in a ten-volume set. The Ante-Nicenes lived so close to the time of Christ that their interpretations of the New Testament are considered more authentic than modern voices. But they are also real and flawed men, who are more like their fellow Christians than they are like the Apostles, making their words echo in the ears of spiritual seekers. In Volume I of the 10-volume collected works of the Ante-Nicenes first published between 1885 and 1896, readers will find the writings of: ¿ Clement of Rome, the fourth pope, who was supposedly martyred by being tied to an anchor and tossed overboard ¿ Mathetes, an anonymous writer considered the first Christian apologist ¿ Polycarp, a Christian bishop who was stabbed to death after he failed to burn at the stake ¿ Ignatius, a student of John the Apostle, who was Bishop of Antioch before he was killed ¿ Barnabas, an anonymous writer given the name of Saint Barnabas ¿ Papias, author of Interpretations of the Sayings of the Lord, a textbook on quotes from Jesus ¿ Justin Martyr, a Christian apologist and accomplished philosopher, and ¿ Irenaeus, disciple of Polycarp, apologist, and bishop of Lugdunum."

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Product details

  • Paperback: 616 pages
  • Publisher: Cosimo Classics (1 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1602064695
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602064690
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.6 x 3.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,104,573 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a key volume of the Ante-Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers series. It is a fascinating book for anyone interested in how the early church developed from the first century to the late second century. Its earliest writings may be extremely early. Some scholars hold that the first edition of the Didache (or 'Teaching' of the Twelve Apostles) was assembled in Syria around 50 AD which would make the Didache's first edition earlier than most of the New Testament (apart from 1 Thessalonians). Clement's first letter is usually dated 95, and Ignatius of Antioch's seven authenticated letters 107. Reading Ignatius's pastoral letters means to understand the stresses and triumphs of the churches of Asia Minor and Rome in that era. These writings, then, are extraordinary literature from the ancient Church which breathe the same atmosphere and register the same challenges as the New Testament writers confronted.

Along with such writings in this volume are also the works of two major Church thinkers, Justin Martyr (100-165) and Irenaeus (130-202). Justin Martyr (martyred 165) wrote two 'Apologies' (that is, court-room-style Defences of Christianity) to the Emperor, and also transcribed a Dialogue with a Judaic Jewish man called Trypho. These writings are priceless documents giving us insight into how these early Christians lived, thought, and prayed and worshipped, as well as how they perceived the world around them. Justin, for example, taught that God the eternal Word, who assumed humanity as Jesus Christ, had guided both ancient Israel and the pagans--he had taught the Law to the Jewish nation and guided pagans with the wisdom that led them to their highest ethical and philosophical aspirations.
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Amazon.com: 3.2 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Five stars for content; Two stars for presentation. 20 July 2010
By George Smith - Published on Amazon.com
This edition reprints in full the first volume of the ante-nicene fathers series. It is wonderful to see these texts made readily available. However, original book was nearly 8.5"x11", whereas this is closer to 6"x9", squeezing the text into so small an area as to make it very difficult to read. There are no margins in which for a student to take notes, while older readers may have to put on their glasses or squint to read the small letters. For those who are looking for Irenaeus's Against Heresies, a much better edition, using the same translation and retaining the original pagenumbers while completely (and beautifully) re-setting the text for great legibility, is available here: Irenaeus of Lyons: Against Heresies
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Better translations and notes can be found elsewhere 15 Oct 2011
By Jonathan (working on the humility thing) - Published on Amazon.com
This was a fantastic resource when it came out, and really brings together the available Christian writings of the 2nd (and potentially late 1st) century. However, both the translation and the attendant author/date notes are now quite dated. Much better translations of all the writings in this text can now be found in other publications, and our knowledge of the original authors has grown so much in the last century as to make these notes obsolete.

Still, I highly recommend hunting down all of the writings in this book in some form if you have the slightest interest in early Christian history. There is a lot of really good stuff in here.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Flawless 24 May 2010
By Pricilla L. Martinez - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Greatest compilation of Christian writers from those who knew the Apostles or were so close to their time that their writings are among the greatest outside of the New Testament.

With Justin Martyr arguably the Greatest Christian Philosopher of all time and Irenaeus a direct follow of the generations proceeding the Apostles what more needs to be said?
3.0 out of 5 stars Essential works in dated translations 18 July 2012
By John in Orlando - Published on Amazon.com
This volume presents the easily-accessible (because public domain) but very dated translation from the Ante-Nicene Fathers series. The texts themselves need little in the way of recommendation--we are dealing here with the earliest Christian writings aside from the New Testament documents themselves (the earliest are actually coterminous with the closing years of New Testament composition). Anyone who cares about the early development of Christian doctrine (Clement), polity (Ignatius), or worship (Justin) needs to be intimately and deeply familiar with these works.
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