Comprehensive book on Church Tradition/Fathers

I hope I posted this in the right section.

Just wondering, are there any scholars, priests, bishops, etc. that have written comprehensive defenses of Church Tradition & Fathers?

Basically, against the claims of forgery, or ‘Chinese whispers/Telephone game’, or in-authenticity from the likes of Joseph Wheless, Protestants & Muslims.

Thanks in advance and God Bless.

Perhaps not totally comprehensive, but this is a great place to start.
Four Witnesses: The Early Church in Her Own Words
Amazon
I just finished reading it myself and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Also along the lines of showing the Church was never lost, is The Apostasy that Wasn’t, by the same author.

Bump. Anymore?

Final bump.

Try the Fathers themselves! Augustine, for instance…

They were there and closer to the matters they wrote about.
:cool:

I don’t think you understood my question. I’m talking about the the reliability of the Fathers, on the transmission of what they received.

Just start with Four Witnesses. It’s probably what you’re looking for. If nothing else, it’s a great read and will point you in the right direction for continuing with the early Church. There’s plenty of discussion in it about why you should trust the Early Church Fathers, and there’s a nice appendix comparing some current teachings with that of the first 600 years of the Church. It’s a great book defending apostolic succession and authority. :slight_smile:

Oh I know, I didn’t say I wasn’t going to check it. I was just seeing if there are anymore.

St. Augustine’s On Christian Doctrine is what I will recommend. Remember that he himself was a saint, bishop, theologian and philosopher during the fifth century in North Africa. It deals with how one should look at the world (and so, it’s more worldview than anything in Book I, I didn’t get to much else).

A genuine enquirer should always prefer the ‘source’ rather than opinion or assessments of other enquirers!

By that I mean, I read Augustine about the matters he writes about of his time. Examination of his ‘environment’ and laterally in any direction to include church material and secular history to verify or corroborate what he asserts or concludes. Where he appeals or cites someone from previous to his time, he would be ‘closer’ to that ‘witness’ than more centuries later.

Then you shift your examination ‘back’ to the previous witness or witnesses and repeat the process…until you ‘touch’ The Apostles…to Peter…to Christ.

That is how an enquirer satisfies reliability and credibility. Moreover, all assertions for and against thereafter from all quarters can be addressed or ‘examined’ against such a balanced and comprehensive body of intell and knowledge.

But perhaps, I did misunderstand your question.

In the spirit of inquiry though, WELCOME to the Forum

:cool:

If you tell a Protestant or Muslim or whoever to read the Church Fathers themselves to see the Antiquity of the Catholic faith, they may respond by using the Chinese Whispers/Telephone Game analogy for example. That’s what I’m getting at. Basically, why should they trust that the teachings handed down to the Fathers were the teachings of the Apostles, who in turn were taught by Christ?

If you examine this carefully, “….read Augustine about the matters he writes about of his time. Examination of his ‘environment’ and laterally in any direction to include church material and secular history to verify or corroborate what he asserts or concludes. Where he appeals or cites someone from previous to his time, he would be ‘closer’ to that ‘witness’ than more centuries later…” etc, et cetera…

…then you will find it doesn’t matter what ‘filter’ you bring! (Protestant, Muslim, Bhuddist, Atheist, Catholic, anti-everything, et al…)

The ‘filter’ is only relevant when the enquirer’s conclusions from the material is to be weighed for any…umm…contaminating bend.

Facts remain ‘historical’ then as 5minutes ago!

:cool:

Alright, so which work specifically then?

I believe that the earliest Christian writers after the Apostles would be a reliable source of what the Apostles taught. Of course these writings are not inspired by the Holy Spirit the way that Scripture is, and are not on the same level as inerrant Scripture. However they offer valuable insight to what the earliest Christians believed. I would tend to be skeptical of a teaching from ‘Tradition’ that is not apparent in the records of early Christianity - kind of like what you are referring to I believe.

This website provides a chronological list of the writings and sometimes provides a few details about the writings and their authenticity or the doubts about the authenticity of the writings: earlychristianwritings.com/churchfathers.html

I use the above website and other websites like www.newadvent.org to find the complete writing when I see a snippet quoted in support of a particular position within Christianity. It helps add a little context to what the original author was referring to.

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