The Apostolic Fathers

Question from a Site Viewer
Can you define what it is you mean when referring to the Apostolic fathers? Are there other writings of the original apostles that I could begin to read? And if so, how do I move on from there? There’s so much information on the Internet but as you well know, it’s not always the most accurate.

Tim’s Answer
The Apostolic Fathers are the church leaders who immediately followed the apostles in time. The earliest is Clement of Rome who may be the same Clement mentioned in Philippians 4. Several of them, such as Papias, Polycarp, and Ignatius knew the apostles personally. Their writings can be quite rich, although one must always compare what they say ultimately with Scripture. J. B. Lightfoot has a translation of them that is available. There are other translations as well. There are no other writings of the original apostles, but there are later leaders of the church that are pretty good as well.

I have not read nearly all of the them. Sometimes they can get on tangents that are not real meaningful. And sometimes I think they have departed from good sense and Scripture. But I still find them interesting. I am not much into the later leaders of the church, although I believe that the Holy Spirit has indwelt believers down through the ages and in every age you can find someone with something good to say. Nevertheless, sometimes it takes a lot of sifting.

What such reading has done for me, most of all, is drive me back to Scripture. The Bible is so rich and deep, and in it I always meet God, which I find to be an exciting encounter.

I wish you the best. I am sending this also to the webmaster. He may know of some internet resources where you can find some good access to the early church fathers and other good writings.

May the Lord Jesus continue to be ever dearer to you.

In His love,


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