"How can I understand, unless someone guides me?"
EARLY CHRISTIAN WRITINGS
65 - 80 A.D. THE DIDACHE, or Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, Translated by Charles H. Hoole. The Didache is also called the "Teaching of the Twelve Apostles." It was possibly written around 65 - 80 A.D. and is supposed to be what the twelve apostles taught to the Gentiles concerning life and death, church order, fasting, baptism, prayer, etc.
65 - 80 A.D. THE DIDACHE - Greek Edition
70 - 135 A.D.EPISTLE OF BARNABAS. (Alexandria) The Epistle of Barnabas is a theological tract (not an epistle) that discusses questions that have confronted the followers of Jesus since the earliest days of his ministry: How ought Christians to interpret the Jewish Scriptures? What is the nature of the relationship between Christianity and Judaism?
80 - 140 A.D. CLEMENT OF ROME, First Epistle. Clement was probably a Gentile and a Roman. He seems to have been at Philippi with St. Paul (a.d. 57) when that first-born of the Western churches was passing through great trials of faith.
70 - 155 A.D. FRAGMENTS OF PAPIAS. The principal information in regard to Papias is given in the extracts made among the fragments from the works of Irenaeus and Eusebius. He was bishop of the Church in Hierapolis, a city of Phrygia, in the first half of the second century. Later writers affirm that he suffered martyrdom about a.d. 163; some saying that Rome, others that Pergamus, was the scene of his death. He was a hearer of the Apostle John, and was on terms of intimate intercourse with many who had known the Lord and His apostles.
100 - 160 A.D. The Shepherd of Hermas.The Pastor of Hermas was one of the most popular books, if not the most popular book, in the Christian Church during the second, third, and fourth centuries. It occupied a position analogous in some respects to that of Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress in modern times; and critics have frequently compared the two works.
105 - 115 A.D. IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH. The epistles or letters of Ignatius are among the most famous documents of early Christianity, and have curiously complicated literary history. Eusebius in Historia Ecclesiastica iii. 36 tells the story of Ignatius. He was the third bishop of Antioch in Syria, and was condemned to be sent to Rome to be killed by the beasts in the ampitheatre.
THE MARTYRDOM OF IGNATIUS, presented by Richard Merrell 1989.
110 - 140 A.D. POLYCARP TO THE PHILIPPIANS. Of Polycarp's life little is known, but that little is highly interesting. Irenaeus was his disciple, and tells us that "Polycarp was instructed by the apostles, and was brought into contact with many who had seen Christ".
111 - 112 A.D. Pliny the Younger and Trajan on the Christians. Pliny the Younger was governor of Pontus and Bithynia from 111-113 CE. We have a whole set of exchanges of his letters with the emperor Trajan on a variety of administrative political matters. These two letters are the most famous, in which Pliny the Younger encounters Christianity for the first time.
120 - 130 A.D. Quadratus, Bishop of Athens, the author of an apology for the Christians, presented to the emperor Hadrian (regn. 117-138). Eusebius (H. E. iv. 3) says the work was still in circulation in his time and that he himself was acquainted with it.
120 - 130 A.D. Apology of Aristides.The Apology of Aristides, mentioned by Eusebius, St. Jerome, and other ancient writers and said to have been the inspiration for the great works of St. Justin Martyr, was considered lost until the late Nineteenth Century, when an Armenian fragment was discovered. Then in 1889 the full text in Syriac translation was found in the library of St. Catherine's in the Sinai.
130 - 160 A.D. THE SECOND EPISTLE OF CLEMENT.The second epistle differs from the first in several respects. The range of Scriptural quotation is wider, the quotations of the first epistle being taken mainly from the Septuagint version of the Old Testament.
140 - 150 A.D. Epistula Apostolorum. The Epistula Apostolorum is also known as the Epistle of the Apostles. Although originally written in Greek, it is preserved in translations of Coptic and Ethiopic. The Coptic manuscript comes from the late fourth to early fifth century CE. The Ethiopic manuscripts come from the eighteenth century but preserve the entire text. While the Coptic seems to be a direct translation of the Greek, the Ethiopic may be a translation of an existing translation into Arabic or Coptic.150 - 160 A.D. Justin Martyr. Justin was a Gentile, but born in Samaria, near Jacob's well. He must have been well educated: he had traveled extensively, and he seems to have been a person enjoying at least a competence. After trying all other systems, his elevated tastes and refined perceptions made him a disciple of Socrates and Plato.
150 - 160 A.D. THE MARTYRDOM OF POLYCARP, by Philip Schaff. The following letter purports to have been written by the Church at Smyrna to the Church at Philomelium, and through that Church to the whole Christian world, in order to give a succinct account of the circumstances attending the martyrdom of Polycarp.
160 - 170 A.D. TATIAN THE ASSYRIAN. We learn from several sources that Tatian was an Assyrian, but know nothing very definite either as to the time or place of his birth. Epiphanius (Haer, xlvi.) declares that he was a native of Mesopotamia; and we infer from other ascertained facts regarding him, that he flourished about the middle of the second century. He was at first an eager student of heathen literature, and seems to have been especially devoted to researches in philosophy.
160 - 190 A.D. Claudius Apollinaris,1 Bishop of Hierapolis, and Apologist.This author, an early apologist, is chiefly interesting as a competent witness, who tells the story of the Thundering Legion2 in an artless manner, and gives it the simple character of an answer to prayer.
160 - 250 A.D. Minicius Felix. Though Tertullian is the founder of Latin Christianity, his contemporary Minucius Felix gives to Christian thought its earliest clothing in Latinity.
165 - 175 A.D. Melito of Sardis.Melito, bp. of Sardis, held in the middle of the 2nd cent. a foremost place among the bishops of Asia as regards personal influence and literary activity. Shortly before the end of that cent. his name is mentioned by Polycrates of Ephesus in his letter to Victor of Rome (Eus. H. E. v. 24.) as one of the luminaries of the Asiatic church
165 - 175 A.D. Hegesippus.One of the sub-Apostolic age, a contemporary of Justin and of the martyrs of "the good Aurelius," we must yet distinguish Hegesippus from the apologists. He is the earliest of the Church's chroniclers-we can hardly call him a historian.
165 - 175 A.D. Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth.Eusebius is almost diffuse in what he tells us of this Dionysius,1 "who was appointed over the church at Corinth, and imparted freely, not only to his own people, but to others, and those abroad also, the blessings of his divine labours."
170 - 200 A.D. Muratorian Canon. This precludes Muratori's own conjecture as to authorship, viz. that it was by Caius the presbyter, c. 196; and Bunsen's conjecture that Hegesippus wrote it has nothing to recommend it. It is generally agreed that it was written in Rome.
175 - 180 A.D. ATHENAGORAS of Athens. We know with certainty regarding Athenagoras, that he was an Athenian philosopher who had embraced Christianity, and that his Apology, or, as he styles it, "Embassy" (presbei/a), was presented to the Emperors Aurelius and Commodus about a.d. 177.
175 - 180 A.D. Irenaeus of Lyons. It is certain that Irenaeus was bishop of Lyons, in France, during the latter quarter of the second century. The exact period or circumstances of his ordination cannot be determined. Eusebius states (Hist. Eccl., v. 4) that he was, while yet a presbyter, sent with a letter, from certain members of the Church of Lyons awaiting martyrdom, to Eleutherus, bishop of Rome; and that (v. 5) he succeeded Pothinus as bishop of Lyons, probably about a.d. 177.
175 - 185 A.D. Rhodon. This Rhodon was supposed by St. Jerome to have been the author of the work against the Cataphrygians, ascribed to Asterius Urbanus more probably.
175 - 185 A.D. Theophilus Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine.The Palestinian bishops, after the Jewish downfall, seem to have been the first to comprehend the propriety of adopting the more Catholic usage; and our author presided over a council in Caesarea, of which he was bishop, assisted by Narcissus, bishop of Jerusalem, with Cassius of Tyre and Clarus of Ptolemais, which confirmed it.
178 A.D. The Letter of the Churches of Vienna and Lugdunum to the Churches of Asia and Phrygia. ".... gives a moving account of the sufferings of the martyrs who died in the sever persecution of the Church of Lyons in 177, or 178, and which is preserved by Eusebius (Hist. eccl. 5,1,1-2,8), is one of the most interesting documents of the persecutions.
180 A.D. THE PASSION OF THE SCILLITAN MARTYRS. The Scillitan Martyrs were condemned and executed at Carthage on the 17th July, a.d. 180. The martyrs belonged to Scili, a place in that part of Numidia which belonged to proconsular Africa. The proconsul at the time, who is said by Tertullian to have been the first to draw the sword against the Christians there, was P. Vigellius Saturninus.
180 - 185 A.D. THEOPHILUS OF ANTIOCH. Theophilus comes down to us only as an apologist intimately allied in spirit to Justin and Irenaeus; and he should have been placed with Tatian between these two, in our series, had not the inexorable laws of our compilation brought them into this volume.
180 - 220 A.D. Kerygmata Petrou.If R III 75, the so-called Table of Contents of the Kerygmata, is to be recognised (with Rehm) as a literary fiction, then in reconstructing the KP-source we must proceed only from the introductory writings, [which are] the Epistula Petri and the Contestatio, isolating on the basis of conceptual and material parallels those contexts in the Pseudo-Clementines which display the same trend or tendency.
180 - 230 A.D. Hippolytus of Rome. The first great Christian Father whose history is Roman is, nevertheless, not a Roman, but a Greek. He is the disciple of Irenaeus, and the spirit of his life-work rejects that of his master. In his personal character he so much resembles Irenaeus risen again,1 that the great Bishop of Lyons must be well studied and understood if we would do full justice to the conduct of Hippolytus.
182 - 202 A.D. CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA. He became the successor of Pantaenus in the catechetical school, and had Origen for his pupil, with other eminent men. He was also ordained a presbyter. He seems to have compiled his Stromata in the reigns of Commodus and Severus. If, at this time, he was about forty years of age, as seems likely, we must conceive of his birth at Athens, while Antoninus Pius was emperor, while Polycarp was yet living, and while Justin and Irenaeus were in their prime.
185 - 195 A.D. Maximus Bishop of Jerusalem. He was a noted character among Christians, according to Eusebius; living, according to Jerome, under Commodus and Severus. He wrote on the inveterate question concerning the Origin of Evil; and the fragment here translated, as given by Eusebius, is also textually cited by Origen against the Marcionites,1 if that Dialogue be his.
185 - 195 A.D. Polycrates Bishop of Ephesus. Our author belonged to a family in which he was the eighth Christian bishop; and he presided over the church of Ephesus, in which the traditions of St. John were yet fresh in men's minds at the date of his birth. He had doubtless known Polycarp, and Irenaeus also.
193 A.D. Anonymous Anti-Montanist. This passage from Eusebius H. E. 5.16-17 quotes from an anonymous anti-Montanist treatise.
193 - 216 A.D. Inscription of Abercius.When I still supposed, as was then the universal opinion, that the Abercius of the epitaph was bishop of Hierapolis on the Maeander, I ventured to identify him, as others had done, with the Avircius Marcellus to whom an anonymous writer (Eus. H. E. v. 16) addresses a treatise in an early stage of the Montanist controversy.
197 - 220 A.D. TERTULLIAN - was born a heathen, and seems to have been educated at Rome, where he probably practiced as a jurisconsult. We may, perhaps, adopt most of the ideas of Allix, as conjecturally probable, and assign his birth to a.d. 145. He became a Christian about185, and a presbyter about 190. The period of his strict orthodoxy very nearly expires with the century. He lived to an extreme old age, and some suppose even till a.d. 240.
THE FIVE BOOKS AGAINST MARCION. WHEREIN IS DESCRIBED THE GOD OF MARCION. HE IS SHOWN TO BE UTTERLY WANTING IN ALL THE ATTRIBUTES OF THE TRUE GOD.
200 - 210 A.D. Serapion Bishop of Antioch. He was the eighth bishop of Antioch, a diligent writer and exemplary pastor. Little as we have of his remains, Lardner shows how very useful is that little. (1) He testifies to the Apostles as delivering the words of Christ Himself.
200 - 210 A.D. Apollonius. He was a most eloquent man, according to St. Jerome; and his writings against Montanism were so forcible as to call forth Tertullian himself, to confute him, if possible. He flourished under Commodus and Severus, and probably until the times of Caracalla.
200 - 220 A.D. CAIUS, Presbyter of Rome. During the episcopate of Zephyrinus, Caius, one of his presbyters, acquired much credit by his refutation of Proclus, a Montanist. He became known as an eloquent and erudite doctor, and to him has often been ascribed the Philosophumena of Hippolytus, and also The Labyrinth. He wrote in Greek, and finally seems to have been promoted to an episcopal See, possibly among the Easterns.
200 - 250 A.D. The Didascalia Apostolorum. Collection of pseudo-apostolic church laws, North Syria; 3rd cent. AD.The Didascalia is a treatise which pretends to have been written by the Apostles at the time of the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15), but which is in reality a pastoral treatise composed in the third century. (courtesy of www.womenpriests.org)
203 A.D. The Passion of the Holy Martyrs, Perpetua and Felicitas. Vibia Perpetua, was executed in the arena in Carthage on 7 March 203. The account of her martyrdom - technically a Passion -is apparently historical and has special interest as much of it was written [section 3-10], in Latin by Perpetua herself before her death. This makes it one of the earliest pieces of writing by a Christian woman.
203 - 250 A.D. ORIGEN,surnamed Adamantinus, was born in all probability at Alexandria, about the year 185 a.d.3 Notwithstanding that his name is derived from that of an Egyptian deity,4 there seems no reason to doubt that his parents were Christian at the time of his birth. His father Leonides was probably, as has been conjectured,5 one of the many teachers of rhetoric or grammar who abounded in that city of Grecian culture, and appears to have been a man of decided piety.
200 - 258 A.D. THAT IDOLS ARE NOT GODS, by St. Cyprian. Made available to the net by:Paul Halsall (Halsall@murray.fordham.edu)
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