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Apostolic Fathers

APOSTOLIC FATHERS: A common designation for those writers of the ancient Church who were scholars of apostles, or supposed to be such; viz., Barnabas, Hermas, Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Polycarp, Papias, and the author of the epistle to Diognetus.

Bibliography: The first collection of the writings of these Fathers was by J. B. Cotelerius, Paris, 1672 (reedited with notes by J. Clericus, Antwerp, 1698, 2d ed., Amsterdam, 1724). Other editions are by L. T. Ittig, Leipsic, 1699; J. L. Frey, Basel, 1742; R. Russell, London, 1746; W. Jacobson, Oxford, 1838: C. J. Hefele, Tübingen, 1855; E. de Muralto, Barnabœ et Clementis epistolœ, vol. i., Zurich, 1847; A. R. M. Dressel, Leipsic, 1863; A. Hilgenfeld, ib. 1876-81; O. von Gebhardt, A. Harnack, and T. Zahn, ib. 1894; F. X. Funk, Tübingen, 1901; J. B. Lightfoot, London, 1869-90 (than which there is nothing finer). Eng. translations are by W. Wake, London, 1693 (rev. ed., Oxford, 1861); in vol. i. of ANF, Edinburgh, 1867, American ed., Buffalo, 1887; C. H. Hoole, London, 1872; and J. B. Lightfoot, in ed. mentioned above. Germ. transl. by H. Scholz, Gütersloh, 1865, and by J. C. Mayer in Bibliothek der Kirchenväter, 80 vols., Kempten, 1869-88. Consult A. Harnack, Litteratur (exhaustive); J. Donaldson, Critical History of Christian Literature and Doctrine, London, 1894; J. Nirschl, Lehrbuch der Patrologie und Patristik, 3 vols., Mainz, 1881-85; J. Alzog, Grundriss der Patrologie oder der älteren christlichen Literaturgeschichte, Freiburg, 1888; O. Zöckler, Geschichte der theologischen Litteratur, Gotha, 1890; C. T. Cruttwell, Literary History of Early Christianity, 2 vols., London, 1893; G. Krüger, Geschichte der altchristlichen Litteratur, Freiburg, 1895, Eng. transl., New York, 1897 (altogether the handiest book, and useful because of its notices of the literature on the separate subjects).

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