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The Faith of the Early Fathers: v. 1 [Paperback]

William A. Jurgens
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 11.89 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Paperback: 474 pages
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press (Aug 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814604323
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814604328
  • Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 16.2 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 69,502 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The Didache was first published in 1883, following its discovery by Philotheos Brynnios, the metropolitan of Nicomedia, in the 11th century manuscript, Codex Hierosolymitanus 1056. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars An Essential Reference Tool 4 July 2011
I bought these books as a further tool for quick reference to the Church Fathers. The only problem is that they are arranged chronologically rather than topically. There is a theological index in the back but it is, in my opinion, sorely lacking. The first topic I wanted to look up wasn't listed (I don't remember now what it was).

That said this is still an important work for those interested in the Church Fathers or early Christianity. Another resource I would recommend, though not without it's own biases, is David Bercot's Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs. It is arranged topically, but only deals with the Ante Nicene period. It does unfortunately leave out a few key verses on topics the author does not agree with (intercession of the saints).

Ultimately no one resource will meet all the needs of the reader, and the best thing yet is to read the writings of the Church Fathers for yourself. Though labour intensive it is.
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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  25 reviews
97 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Scholarly & good translation 23 Nov 2001
By "jamlaser" - Published on Amazon.com
This set of works is outstanding, many other works I have read pail in comparison. This set is most notable for:
* good translation (much of the Fathers is in ancient Greek)
* presenting the Fathers as themselves, thus the Truth can speak for itself (not relying on commentary to lead, or in some other books mislead)
*provides a relavant/broad sampling of a multitude of Fathers writings, without being overly shallow (the known writings of the fathers would take up at least a few library shelves)
*easy to use (some other works are hard to use, or have confusing lookup systems/layouts)
*there are many other minor points of interest, but I believe these are the most relevant
*my only complaint is that these are not hardcover, as this is preferred by scholars and others who use these books heavily, the publisher probably wanted to insure a low price to make this resource available to a broad readership
I can not stress the value of these books, I have seen them used by many scholars, Evangelical & Catholic alike (even at my University).
63 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!! 22 Dec 2004
By Tammy L. Schilling - Published on Amazon.com
For those with an interest in the history of the earliest Christians, this books is an awesome and enlighting read. It starts with the Didache, a writing that is contemporary to the New Testament and covers the first four hundred years of Christianity. If you want to know what to believe, then a logical person to ask (if you could) would be the people who were contemporaries of the apostles or who came immediately after. Well, we can't ask, but we can read what they wrote, which is the next best thing.

Jurgen's The Faith of the Early Fathers is a particularly useful collection of those writings. It is arranged first by authors, which is nice for those who want to study the writings of one early father at a time. Better, though, for the rest of us busy people is the doctrinal index. Each issue of doctrine (from the Bible, to the papacy, to Mary, etc.) has a section, and within that section it is broken down into specific points of doctrine, then each of the points has a paragraph number(s) showing where you can read what these early fathers wrote about that issue. So, when you need to, you can lay your hands on what (for examply) St. Justin Martyr wrote about the Eucharist in about one minute flat, without having to spend hours reading and searching his writings.

The Faith of the Early Fathers is the easiest to use compendium of early Christian writings I have ever seen. Anyone who gets this book is going to be just thrilled with what they can quickly and painlessly learn with this reference in their hands.
43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensible reference and study source 11 May 2004
By Edward M. Lopez - Published on Amazon.com
This three-volume series is an impressive work of scholarship and an indispensable reference for anyone who wishes to learn more about the writings and teachings of the Early Church Fathers. Volume 1 covers the earliest Christian writings of the Pre-Nicene and Nicene eras from the Didache to St John Damascene. Volume 2 covers the Post-Nicene era through St. Jerome. Volume 3 covers the writings of St. Augustine through the end of the patristic era.
The various selections are preceded by a short introduction to each writer and the work in question. For example, the introduction to the Didache or Teaching of the Twelve Apostles tells of its first publication in 1883 following its discovery in an 11th Century manuscript, and summarizes the best current scholarship on the work's origin and use in the instruction of early catechumens. Extensive footnotes and cross-references to an comprehensive Doctrinal Index make these books an indispensable research tool and reference work.
The Doctrinal Index sets forth a number of concise doctrinal statements arranged in both alphabetical and numerical order followed by a number reference to each writing in the volume that discusses or supports the statement in question. The patristic texts are not intended as "proofs" of a particular dogma, but are extremely useful to demonstrate what the Early Church believed and taught. There is a specific index for each volume and a cumulative index in Volume 3.
In addition, there is an Index of Scriptural References and Citations listing each reference in the patristic texts to specific Scriptural passages from Genesis to Revelations and a General Index.
My only complaint is that nearly all the selections are redacted, making the work less useful as an anthology of the writings of the Early Church Fathers. I can understand the need to edit longer works, but even relatively short works like The Martyrdom of Polycarp are redacted. However, citations to the best translations/editions of each text are given if you wish to read a particular selection in its entirety.
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great apologetics resource of the Patristic Fathers 18 Nov 1999
By Scott M. Windsor Sr. - Published on Amazon.com
This is a great resource with many, many primary sources. One criticism is that not all quotes contain entire context, but overall, many do include entire letters and enough context to see the relevance. Well worth the price!
76 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional 18 Jun 2003
By Mel - Published on Amazon.com
What can I say? Nothing I have ever read can compare to the collection and compilation of so many differnt church fathers, councils, and heretics. Anyone who wants to know about Christianity after the last verse of Acts of the Apostles needs to read this collection.
The first volume starts it all off. Have you ever wondered what went on in Christianity between the last verse of Acts of the Apostles and 1517? You'll want to read this one and when you do you'll find out that Luther, Calvin, and the rest of the "Reformers" weren't getting any closer to the original church and the teachings of Christ than the indulgence selling, mistress toting, warlord Popes of the time.
The Didache, Ignatius of Antioch, Clement of Rome, Justin Martyr, Polycarp of Smyrna, etc. are all featured in this collection as well as the decrees of Church synods and the Coucil of Nicea. After reading the first one, read the second and third, they're follow up on the church until the time of John of Damascus in the early 8th century
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