Early Christian Writings Question

Hey everybody,

I pray all is well with you! I have a question for everyone. I am doing some research on early Christians and early Christian writings in particular. Besides what’s in the Bible…what are some good resources, either books or online, that will give me some of the earliest Christian writings. I am trying to get as early as I can. Any links or recommendations would be awesome!

Thanks as always and God Bless!

PS This is the best site for Catholicism and Christianity in general. I know this is one man’s opinion but I would just like to thank everyone for always giving me such wonderful input!

You can get many of the writing of the Church Fathers online at New Advent:

newadvent.org/fathers/

You can find writings of the fathers according to subject referenced on Bob Stanley’s Catholic Treasure Chest web site:
home.inreach.com/~bstanley/ref.htm

Then there is ccel, which is a Protestant site:

ccel.org/fathers.html

Also, there are a number of books:

Four Witnesses by Rod Bennett:

amazon.com/Four-Witnesses-Early-Church-Words/dp/0898708478

The Fathers of the Church: by Mike Aquilina
amazon.com/Fathers-Church-Introduction-Christian-Teachers/dp/0879736895

Faith of the Early Church Fathers by Wm Jurgens (this is probably the book most commonly recommended by Catholic apologists.)
catholicfreeshipping.com/Products/cfs_gensym-43.html

Early Christian writings, you say?

Try

earlychristianwritings.com/ :smiley:

May God bless you too!

You may also try these articles and websites for further information concerning “the Early Church Fathers.”

apologeticspress.org/articles/1796

apologeticspress.org/articles/3268

But this one, it is very impressive with lots of references; it has a chart of the utmost interest:

bible.ca/b-canon-apostolic-fathers-apologists.htm

:thumbsup: Enjoy.

sripturecatholic.com has alot of quotes from the ECF’s pertaining to different topics.

Peace,

Ryan :slight_smile:

I’m doing the same thing myself and there are a ton of material you can just browse amazon. The books I recommend are the early christian writing by penguin books that has the letter of clement, several letters of Ignatius (key on his letter to the smyrnans), the Didache and the more spurios work of the letter of Barnabas. Then you might want to read Eusibius. Justin Martyr and Ireaneus. I’m currently working on his “On apostolic tradition”. On issues like the real presence in communion I’ve been enlightened that the ealiest fathers, the apostles them selves believe in this. So I’m reevaluating my stances. I’ve just picked up Born Fundamentalist Born again Catholic. Which hit on some issues that I’ve wanted to do more research on.

Thats a great book BTW :slight_smile: especially if you were raised fundamentalist, you will definitely identify with some of what he use to believe :slight_smile:

I would add that on Amazon there are some Hardback books as well in an Early Christian Writers series. I purchased these rather than the paperback because they have more notes, or at least they seem too from browsing the different copies and are reasonably priced for hardcover.

Joe

Greetings in the Lord,
Happy New year to all! I havent’t emailed in awhile. Been busy starting a business. By the grace of God it is going well. I love to read the input here. i am always amazed at what i learn. I recently like this past year did a study on the early church fathers. There are just some timelines that i am not so sure about, and I have so many questions about the TRUTH according to the word of God! See I believe that the bible is the word of God and actually Hebrews 4:16? says that it is the living breathing word of God. I am really stuck in this search. As to who has the truth according to the word of God. There is much tradition in the catholic church, and Jesus said that Tradition keeps His children from Him. Now let me explain what I mean by that. In anoher passsage Jesus says that tradition is only wrong when it keeps His children from Him. in my experience i have seen that happen.
in my own predominantly catholic family there are some who think that is ALL they need. And believe that is what the church teaches. It was when I left the church and I had a truly remarkable experience with Jesus, that I realized there is so much more to God than what we are taught. Now saying that I am drawn to the church again. My heart is so full of the love of God and I want that for catholcis and protestants alike. yes we are born and raised in the catholic church, tradition, but only when I had a real experience with Jesus did all of the scripture come to life for me. We box God in and we say, He doesnt do this or that anymore it was for then! Hebrews also says, Jesus is the same yesterday today and forever! He has not changed folks He still is!!! That being said, the early fathers spoke of the miracles of Jesus and guess what? They were filled with the Holy spirit, prayed in tongues, and they laid hands on the sick and they did what Jesus said to do Mark 16. Yes the early fathers did that.
be sure to dig deep my dear brother in Christ. Jesus said in Revelation that He wasnt coming for a luke warm church! He said He would spew them out of His mouth! Nothing has changed, and I praise God for that! I am healed delivered and whole because I BELIEVED what Jesus said. The early fathers will confirm what I am saying…keep looking! I have a priest friend who holds healing services…bless God for the Truth! may the Lord be your cloud by day andyour pillar of fire by night. shalom…

Deborah(remember our roots are Jewish!!) doesnt matter what Constantine set in motion…Jewish roots.

I agree with some of what you said such as Jesus the Messiah was not real for me until I asked him to come into my life. I was raised a Catholic and none of the traditions really changed my life. The bible was only secondary. However, real repentance and belief in Jesus did. I know the bible a lot better now and I have a deep personal relationship to Jesus. As a Catholic I believed that only the nuns or priests were able to do this. I was expected to sin no matter what and confession covered it for the purposes of communion. However, generally accepted Catholic priciples of the laity does not accurately reflect the Church’s magesterium. I find bible verses in the New and Old testiment that show the real pressence of God in the Eucharist and the early church fathers helped me see that it definately was accepted in the early church. I find that there was a heavy reliance in the apocryphal works and Ireaneaus seemed to gather ideas from 1 Enoch a jewish apocolyptic work. I don’t expect the church fathers to have all the answers but we can glean what the apostles taught. The Eucharist is one. I believe that if I were to return to the church having been a protestant would have been an important factor. I have a relationship that I would not have had previously. However, I am certain with my study of the Early Church that Constantine was not soley responsible for how the Catholic church looks today. The church leaders were. Constantine favored the Arian heresy (that error the Jehovah Witness fall into). He was held at bay by his desire to bring peace to the empire. And don’t forget the Pentecostals sound a little too close to Montanus for my liking. I love Jesus. I want the truth even if it leads me back to the Catholic church. I can’t speak for those that don’t adhere to their faith in either facet of Christianity. Maybe the Catholic Church needs the Protestants to help it’s laity, who have accepted what I call the generally accepted Catholic principles, understand what a personal relationship is with our Savior. Please don’t take my statement to the extreme and believe that I don’t think there are Catholic lay members who don’t have this. I think there is a general problem though.

Greetings,

 I too was raised in the catholic church! Here is how catholic I was........I am a descendant of one of the first catholic families to settle in Kentucky.  Actually called the Holy lands of Ky!  Basil Hayden help to fund that trip and was big in politics and also establishing churches! (my great great great great grandfather)  Now once when i was about ten I had an awesome experience with God, that is I so sensed His presence! However the next encounter I had with Jesus wasnt until I received His work on the cross for my OWN!  I made Him my Lord and savior......I confessed Him and i so wanted to be free in my life!  What an awesome time that was and I am still living that time......I sense Him with me.....and i love Him so much. I have served in leadership in a full gospel church for about 13 years now. Prayer coordinator, youth teacher, hospitality minster,  yet I am drawn right now to the catholic church, not sure yet what that is about. So my search and journey has included the work of the early fathers! I agree with what you have said......and I believe we are entering a time of renewal with the whole body of Christ!  We changed the jewish calender to the gregorian, we changed much of the roots of our faith actually. According to my study Constantine was facinated with pagan worship, the statues he liked and this is why he incorporated that into the church.  I will say this, some o fthe catholic church is built upon paganism......Back from the time of king Nebecunazer?'s wife, the mother of Nimrod, as she claimed herself as the mother of a savior, and he claimed to be that savior.  
  I want so much to know what happen between the first church, book of acts chapter 1-4, and NOW!  Jesus meant for the church to be like the early church. HIs gospel has not changed! We are told in scripture, in Revelation , that anyone who changes the word or adds to it or takes away will be in major trouble!  anyway thank you for your insight and please tell me where you got your info about the church facts that you gave about what Constatine believed!  Thanks again and God Bless you dear brother in Yeshua! enjoy our dialect.

Debbie

I must ask you where you got your information on statues and Babylon. There was a debate long after Constantine between the Iconoclast and Iconodules. As far as Constantine falling towards the Arians we have historical knowledge that Constantine was baptised on his death bed by a disciple of Arius. There is speculation on whether the emperor was in reality a Sun-god worshiper but it is all conjecture. I suggest you read Eusibius. And other christian history writers. I don’t think the Catholic church has as much peganism as you state. There maybe some Jewish traditions and what I call the generally accepted Catholic principles that some of the laity believe but the church does not necissarily teach.

Good morning!

I am up early as to work on our business. I always check my other emails as well. The info I received about constantine is that which I obtained from a bibliography about Constantine. I googled history of constantine and his religious beliefs. there was quite a bit of info about him and what he believed. Also have you ever heard of dr. scott hahn? he has some great inof as well and he is a catholic professor and teacher of teh scripture. Truly I have come to know…that writings , research and all may produce some facts as they see them but the bottom line of all of this is…Jesus…and have we personally made Him our Lord and savior. His work is complete and all He has for us. It is up to us…Amen?
I do not believe that we can pray to dead saints for their intervention. Scripture is clear that Jesus is the only mediator between God and man. Hebrews I believe. That is literal! anyway I appreciate your input sir, however on my spiritual journey I still need some answers to some major issues. and I am quite sure that God will enlighten me, as his word promises. I will stuyd the writings of Eusibus? asI had just heard that reference as well. I read the writings of Ignatius, St Clements, and such.
I will share an interesting fact from a documentary i recently watched. It was an archeologist in the city of Coritn and Ephesus. The camera crew were entering a synagogue, liketemple. It was to believed to be the place where Paul taught and held services if you will. It was gorgeous! Old and looked like a cathedral! there were no statues remaining they say, however to the right of the entrance of the doorway stood a baptismal font. carved out of marble it appeared, and it so beautiful. Now either already in the first century they were baptizing this way as supposedly some were already concerned in the church about that, or…this is the way Paul taught baptism to all. Did Paul immerse some? I beleive so…however this proves that it was also done over the font, child or adult!
anyway I am still searching and I am trusting God for the truth! thank you again and may God Bless you! Look forward to our conversations in this forum!

Deborah

Do some more reading ! That Garbage about Nimrod is some nonsense some rabid anti-catholic wrote in a book in around 1911. It is so full of poo-poo as to stink to high heaven
. actually i believe there is a rebuttal to this crud by a Protestant Minister who actually had the guts to check out this nonsense and found it totally bogus…Besides Nimrod is in Genesis-Nebuchanezzar is babylonian and a whole lot of years later.Don’t tell me you believe nonsense that the THe miter the bishop wears is really the Fish hat the priest of Dagon used-(that’s another buggaboo):eek: ? Actually the bishop’s miter stands for the old and new testament.Calendars change because there inaccurate not for some nefarious purpose. Actually the church changed the Julian calendar-There are different calendars for different cultures-west used Julian then gregorian. I teach scripture study so I have a great love of the word. but It has to be fully understood. Many layers of meaning lie within - surface reading will not suffice.Lectio Divina is great way to get scripture int.o your heart and soul& to get Your heart and soul into the scripture.As far as quote from revelations about adding or subtracting -is overused to squash biblical arguements. actually it was a common ending in Apocalyptic works that is used to reinforce the importance of the work they have just read. I believe 1 enoch may use that same phrase at the end of the book… If you want to know more about NT church follow Sambo671 trail and hit the Early church Fathers- read the Didache- it’s easy to the point and authentic apostolic teaching.Puts a lot to rest especially criteria for baptizing.Didache basically says the sacrament is more important than the form. There are over 1 billion Catholics and I know from experience that there are many more then you think that are a blaze with the Holy spirit.I am also charismatic so I’ve done a lot of hand raising and praising-so i know how it is to be on fire for the lord.I just go around saying to other folks there beliefs are wrong or you’re not saved until you say the “jesus Prayer”. My life and how I conduct it is my evangelizing tool. Marantha:cool:

You sound kind of angry. I understand you’re fed up with things that people make up like Jack Chick. However, patience is a virtue. Understand that there are many Catholics of faith. Those of us who questioned the teachings and maybe coming back to the church are sincerly looking for the truth. In my case I was raised catholic. Baptised, 1st Communion, Confirmed and even attended some perochial schools (though you couldn’t tell by my spelling). However, every catholic I knew didn’t live by the teachings of the church. I wasn’t close enough to the clergy or laity who actually were involved in bible study. So. A personal relationship with Jesus was pretty much relegated to attending mass on sunday going to confession at least once a month where as a kid I didn’t know enough about sin that I made stuff up for the priest. My father, trained at a Jesuit College, is twice divorsed and purposely married his second wife at a court house so that in the event of divorse he would not be restricted by the church. I’ve heard all sorts of old wives tails by catholic church members that the church would not teach. So, there is enough blame to go around. Until hearing about a personal relationship through prayer and the study of scripture I couldn’t care less. Honestly! I went to mass and that was good enough. I don’t believe Our Lord is calling us to nominal lives of faith. I went looking for the truth and developed a strong understanding of scripture to include the apocryphal writing in the LLX. And now the Early fathers have shed more light on area’s I did not understand before. I think the Catholic Church is improving on passing on the faith to the laity but when I was raised it was nothing like that. Everyone assumed that if I was interested in spiritual matter I should be a priest. Not So. I like being married! My early experience in the Catholic Church is more closely related to the last scene in the Godfather where the gangster is having his child baptised but is totally ok with having people murdered. Again don’t take this to the extreem. I do not believe everyone in the Catholic church has the same experience and some had beter examples than I. I’m just making a case for people who have serious misunderstandings.

By the way I was typing too fast I meant LXX (Septuigent).

Read the letters of IgnatiusOfAntioch, one of my favorites. Also, The History of the Church, but Eusibius. It is the first modern style history ever written and it was written in the 200’s.

Dear Sambos671!

  Wow! You say it sounds like I am a little angry.......I never thought of it that way, not now......at one time I was very angry.  Years ago before I fell in love with Jesus! and that transformation changed my life, .... Your credentials on the upbringing in the catholic church I can relate!  I too went to a catholic school and I actually DID hang out with the sisters.  I spent several days a week with them, helping them, having a blast with them, learning scripture at a young age. Until I met my husband I had every intention of becoming a sister. Education? I am a devoted scripture teacher.....and I do not take everyones opinions as my own about the word of God. I allow the word to speak to me when I study, by the way with several translations, a hebrew text and a dictionary of Greek and hebrew words.
 Why do you think there are so many denominations?  People didnt like or agree with a certain aspect of scripture or doctrine! yes you are correct in the fact that i am seeking Truth.....Gods.  I found that In Jesus!  I love the catholic church and at the same time I am confused by it.  i long to go and sit in the church the way I did when I was young. I felt the peace of God so strongly and I never wanted to leave that place.  I DID see a lot of abuse within the church, mostly in the way I saw my catholic christian family live, like uncles and cousins.  alcoholism, gambling and other things that the church contributes to.  I dont need to be a theologion to figure that out!(scripture is sepcific about drunkenness) 
 I have pursued several avenues of education in my life. BY the way I am a mother and grandmother.  Though you may have more knowledge in the catholic doctrine, or so it appears,  that is I have lost touch of much of it. but I am relearning....... I believe I am on target about some of what I have said.  Please know I am no longer angry .....just highly disappointed in what has happened to the church. However I am aware that there are many charismatic catholics!  Actually I had a specific number written down however I am not quoting it because i dont know off hand.  It is large.  I do beleive that the church as we know it is changing forever......and knowing Jesus and believing what He has said is all that matters.  So though you sound rather aggravated with me......I have taken down in notes , what you have said.  Thank you for your honesty.....patience?  Oh my have I got patience.......to be able to take correction and teaching like you seem to be able to give requires much patience from the listener!!!  I am a  mature christina therefore i can take correction and actually desire it when it is necessary. I want to know only the truth!  God's!
   Catholic catechism, I have also begun to learn again.  Its amazing how much I have been able to recall.  Thanks again and I will study what you have suggested.  Food for thoguht....It is really most difficult to know what to read, remember they are all wirtten by men, some of stature and some not.....so are your quotes anymore accurate that what I am saying?  dont you think that is a good question?  Who has the correct interpretation? what I know.....I have put to practice what I have learned in scripture and my life has changed dramatically for the better! whole, healed and knowing my purpose in life.....the life he has for me.  Isnt that what Jesus said about fruit or letting our light shine? Putting to practcie what He says>  actually didnt He say His disciples were those who keep His word?  Thanks again and God bless you for your honesty and your wisdom.....Look forward to your teaching......

Deborah

To sambos671…

I have another question…If the Eucaharist is truly the body and blood of Jesus…why arent more people healed and delivered when this occurs? I have often thought…the living body and blood of Jesus…Matthew thru John…everywhere that Jesus went…people were healed and made whole by His touch or His words!(except in HIs homewtown where there was much disbelief) what is your take on this? I am NOT trying to be sarcarstic or disrespectful? Actually touching Him and nothing supernatural happens? would love to know your take on this…

Thanks and god Bless.

Deborah

I’m sorry deborahsong I wasn’t referring to you when I said “you were angry” I was replying to a reply on your post. I’m kind of new to this posting thing so I thought my post would be understood at the time I submitted it. I don’t claim to have more knowledge than anyone on catholic doctine. I’m just familiar with it. I know this will sound strange but my father (the same one who was divorsed twice) is a staunch supporter of the Catholic Church. When I started to show an interest in the bible, my father convinced the pronuncio or nuncio of the country I was then living in to confirm me in the catholic church. Through example of protestant missionaries life style and their insistance on study of scripture, I saw that I needed more than just attending mass. I really could develop a relationship with the lord and be properly lead by scripture. However, it was their values in practice compared to what I had seen in the catholic church. Sermons at mass (only 15 minutes not necisarrily a bad thing) were watered down social commentary but very vague on the faith. When my father saw that I had been unduly influenced by protestant missionaries began an argument that has lasted for years about the benefits of Catholicism. I’ve never seen it benefit his life morally. Now I know this is not true for every catholic but it was for me and why I was very sceptical on the church from the begining. I would have to say my father gave me undue influence on the Catholic church but that is besides the point. My arguments with him led me to study the church in greater detail and there is how my knowledge of it developed. My knowledge is still flawed but I research trusted sources. I actually read the Catachism of the Church (not entirely I’m still working through it).

As far as the many denominations of christianity. The reason for it is that we miss a point that Clement in his letter to the Corinthians emphasised. (Paul as well by the way) That we should humble ourselves and submit to church authority. When people have disagreements they generally just pull away rather than work at a peacable resolution like the early church counsils. With Protestants we have this issue. Our authority lies heavily on our understanding of the scripture. In otherwords, how we interpet scripture is how we perceive it. I may view passages one way and you view the same passages another way. We disagree and I leave you.or the fellowship since my authority is on scripture alone (my interpretation) rather than established truths passed on by tradition or clergy as well as scripture. This is why catholics say that we make ourselves our own Popes. I have more to say on the Eucharist you make a good point. But I must away.

Dear Sambos671,

   Thank you so much for your help with this.  You are so informed in ways I am not yet!  My study for the past year has been with the original Hebrew text of scripture and we must never foregt that Jesus as man, was Jewish!  He never insisted that we lose that about Him!  So that has helped me see things from a  whole different perspective.  what I have learned this year?  we sure have lost the richness of words in the translation effort. and yes, actually transferring changed some meanings!
  Now I am well aware that the mass has some old and new testament tradiiton in it.  I do love the reverance that is given to the alter and the Eucahrist.  However until someone makes the Lord Jesus their very own.......it is all religion!  My life became whole when I developed a relationshisp with the living Jesus!  and I might add changed forever.  A priest said recently that his grief with the church has been that we have been poor witnesses of the word and our faith. However he said he believed that is changing!  
  The word of God is suppose to be for all men........God speaks to us thru it and we are ususally the ones to cloud things up.  As I understood Jewish traditon more and their faith as well I began to see scripture much different.  God is so serious about us, He loves us and He desires His best for us........He has laid everything out already......it is up to us to receive this.  My favorite passage if there can be, is Mark 11.  The issue of faith.....the lesson of the fig tree.  How many times did Jesus have to rebuke the disicples and teach them about faith!   Will we ever get this. He means what He says........I have not because I do not receive.  James says it best plus we ask with the wrong intentions of the heart!  AHHH, there it is the heart.......this is where it all takes place......
  Please take a look at the question again about the Eucharist, and get back with me when you can. I am interested in knowing what you think sir.  Thank you so much for a new enlightment......God Bless you dear brother in Yeshua!

Debbie

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