Reading the Apostolic Fathers

A Student's Introduction

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The Apostolic Fathers is a critically important collection of texts for studying the first century of Christian history. This introduction and companion to these fascinating writings has been updated throughout and includes a new chapter on the fragments of Papias.

"Clayton Jefford has a gift. Not once, but twice, he has taken a complicated, diverse, and hotly debated collection of ancient Christian texts and made them intelligible for a modern, uninitiated audience. But make no mistake. His revised and expanded handbook, a companion and tutor to have along as one reads the Apostolic Fathers, is not simplistic. Jefford condenses and construes the critical issues and literature in a manner that the beginning student will find advantageous, and the expert insightful. Every traveler needs a guide. For the Apostolic Fathers, your journey begins with Jefford."
--D. Jeffrey Bingham, associate dean of biblical and theological studies, Wheaton College

Praise for the First Edition

"Reading the Apostolic Fathers provides a succinct but comprehensive introduction to Christian literature of the 'sub-apostolic' age. It provides the basic background information needed to read these texts intelligently and provides bibliographical aids for further study. The work will be of special interest to students beginning their study of the history of early Christianity."
--Harold W. Attridge, Yale Divinity School

"This book, intended as a quick and simple guide to the Apostolic Fathers, achieves its goals admirably. The consistency of the format, the clarity of the organization and writing, and the inclusion of numerous tables, maps, and a handy glossary ensure that anyone encountering these documents for the first time will find here a reliable and user-friendly introduction to an often strange and mysterious world."
--Michael Holmes, Bethel College

"A welcome addition to the field of early Christian studies. . . . Particularly useful are the diagrams, tables, and maps which help the reader place the author/document in his/its literary and historical context. . . . This study represents a useful introduction to the Apostolic Fathers which can be used as a beginning for a further, deeper study of the literature of the early church."
--Roger S. Evans, Journal of Early Christian Studies


Clayton N. Jefford, Author

Clayton N. Jefford (PhD, Claremont Graduate School) is professor of scripture at Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in Saint Meinrad, Indiana. He is the author of several books, including The Apostolic Fathers and the New Testament and The Apostolic Fathers: An Essential Guide.

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