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Apostolic Fathers, The: Greek Texts and English Translations [Paperback]

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Item Number 145097  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   640
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.3" Width: 6.2" Height: 1.4"
Weight:   1.6 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 30, 1999
Publisher   Baker Academic
ISBN  0801022258  
EAN  9780801022258  

Availability  0 units.

Alternate Formats List Price Our Price Item Number Availability
Hardcover $ 44.99 $ 38.24 63743 In Stock
Paperback $ 34.99 $ 29.74 145097
Item Description...
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 Holmess 1992 Greek-English diglot edition of the Apostolic Fathers is arguably the best collection of these writings available.

In 1992 Michael Holmes systematically reviewed the Greek (and in a few instances the Latin) texts originally edited by J. B. Lightfoot and J. R. Harmer in 1891. While Lightfoot and Harmer produced a magnificent work for their time, advances in the past century, including new manuscript discoveries, dictate that their work be updated. Holmes provided that updated edition complete with a critical apparatus to substantiate his textual decisions.

Now a paperback edition with further refinements makes Holmess work available again to the scholarly community. This edition features updated introductions to the various writings, enhanced bibliographies with additional entries for the specialist, and in some cases additional textual witnesses.

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.

Review of the 1992 edition:

Clayton N. Jefford: The text, translation, and notes which Holmes has provided manage to transform the work of a previous generation of scholarship into a useful resource for the modern study of the Apostolic Fathers. I gladly welcome this second edition and believe it represents a worthy and contemporary revision of the old Lightfoot-Harmer volume. This text undoubtedly should be recognized as a superior collection of materials when placed in comparison with the commonly used edition of the Apostolic Fathers that was published by Kirsopp Lake. (Journal of Early Christian Studies)

Commendations of the English-only edition:

Gordon Fee: Baker Book House and Michael Holmes are to be congratulated. This new edition is a worthy successor to Lightfoot with new introductions that bring the discussions up to date and enough revision of the translations to make it readable for a large audience.

James D. G. Dunn: Michael Holmes has put a new generation of students in his debt. The value of The Apostolic Fathers is enhanced by new introductions, bibliographies, and notes. I welcome it warmly.

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More About Michael W. Holmes

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Michael W. Holmes (Ph.D., Princeton Theological Seminary) is professor of biblical studies and early Christianity at Bethel University. A leading scholar of the Apostolic Fathers, he is currently writing a major critical commentary on Polycarp's Letter to the Philippians and The Martyrdom of Polycarp.

Michael W. Holmes was born in 1950.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Very Nice  Apr 3, 2008
As others have mentioned, this latest print of the Apostolic Fathers is accessible, readable, and great as a tool for keeping up your koine. All of the standard works are included (1&2 Clement, the Shepherd, Barnabas, Martyrdom of Polycarp, the Didache, etc).

Reading the Fathers in the koine offers the reader extraordinary opportunities not only to gain an appreciation of the language, but also of the literary and vocabulary diversity of the various authors. The Greek print in this book is very clear and easy to follow. It's an outstanding reference work for patristic research, and is an affordable starting point in building a quality patristics library.

Holmes does a good job of addressing current patristic scholarship, though one wishes his engagement with it was more substantive than alternating between 'intriguing' and dismissively 'speculative'. In particular, Hill's recent work on Polycarp is commendably referred to by Holmes, but not as substantively as one might have hoped.

However, such wishes do not really detract from what this book gives us. This book keeps the focus on the actual patristic writings, rather than getting into the kind of scholarly back and forth that can take the focus off the writings themselves. The corpus given to us here is great stuff, and waters the mouth of the reader to delve further into the patristic history and engage the kind of scholarly works that Holmes cites. Highly recommended.
third edition gets it (almost) right!  Feb 23, 2008
Kudos to Holmes and Baker House for giving us a hard cover of texts New Testament Greek learners need! Nothing else in koine Greek, besides maybe the LXX, is as helpful to NT Greek students because the vocabulary and the syntax of most the Apostolic Fathers is extremely similar to the NT. This means if you know the NT vocab, you can read large blocks of this text without having to look up words. Of course, having the English on facing sides is essential since we want to be able to check our translation and not have to refer to other books. Hermes and Didache in this book are probably EASIER than say the Gospel of John, so this book is helpful even to beginners, while other texts like Ignatius and 2 Clement provide some challenges for advanced students.
And the format of this book is near perfect. I panned the second edition simply because my paperback fell apart and was hard to hold open. This edition lays flat and feels great in your hand. It uses thin paper so the book is small and portable and yet the font size is still fairly large. The only thing I don't like about the third edition is that the font is a little smaller than the second edition, whose font was perfect, and this font is a little different, not quite as pleasing on the eye Also, the second edition had pure white paper whereas this edition is somewhat yellow. Still, you can't have everything. The font on this text is probably bigger and nice than say the Loeb Classical Library, and here you get all the texts in one volume which is only a little bit bigger than Loeb. This is a must have for NT Greekers!
Perfect  Dec 13, 2007
This handsomely-bound hardback edition truly has everything you could desire. Despite it's light weight and manageable size (5.25 x 7.5"), it is eminently readable, due to the clear Greek and English font and thin but high-quality opaque paper. This newest edition includes all the writings of the earlier Lightfoot edition: 1 & 2 Clement, Ignatius (7 letters), Polycarp (to the Philippians & Martyrdom), the Didache, Epistle of Barnabas, Sherpherd of Hermas, Epistle to Diognetus, and fragments of Quadratus & Papias, as well as updates to notes and translation. Great for those interested in early church history, quotations of canonical New Testament literature, or a chance to practice reading Koine Greek outside the N.T.
Excellent Resource  May 18, 2007
I have only used small sections of this book so far but it is a fantastic resource. It contains up-to-date critical information about the texts themselves and any historical information about authorship, dating, etc. I did notice that the translator tends to make things gender inclusive that are definitely not so. I am generally in favor of this as many Greek words use masculine nouns to refer to a mixed gender grouping, but this translator translated gender specific words (such as aner)to include everyone. That makes the translations a little less useful for academic work. Nevertheless, it is an excellent resource for anyone with a working knowledge of Koine Greek and an interest in 1st and 2nd century Christianity.
The often overlooked founders of the early church  May 24, 2004
This book contains the works of the early church fathers who helped build the foundations of what would later become the world’s largest religion. The development of the church between the apostles and latter church fathers such as Augustine or Gregory of Nazianzus is often overlooked by those studying the early church. This collection focuses mainly upon writers that occurred within the first or second century after the apostles. The epistles and books range from the solid and orthodox works of Clement to the obscure and mystical Shepherd of Hermas. Many of these works were originally included in the canon of Scripture, and it is interesting when first exposed to them to try to discern why they didn’t make the cut later in church history. Another interesting question that arises from these readings is whether or not the writers were inspired, and also how much of this teaching can we take as true and authoritative. A prevalent theme in some of the works is apostolic succession, a theory that the Catholic church later latched onto in order to justify many of its questionable actions. Other theological disputes are discussed such as the allegorical interpretation of the Scriptures or the meanings of visions of the final judgement. Overall the book presents several primary sources of early theological doctrines from one of the most important (but often overlooked) eras in the history of the church.

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