I was looking on the internet to find the best place for the original sources of the early Church fathers and their writings. I found a place called Internet Christian Library (www.iclnet.org). It looks like a great site, but I’m worried about the manner that they translate the documents. Before I go too far with the reading of the documents, do you know of this site and would you recommend this one or another one. I looked at the Vatican site first, but could not find so many documents translate like the ICL site.
I believe these texts are from a large (24 or so volumes) collection of early Church writings assembled by Phillip Schaff with additional commentary (also by Schaff). The collection is old and out of copyright, so it is widely reproduced.
Schaff was definitely a protestant. This is reflected in the commentary, which sometimes boarders on amusing when it tries to “explain away” certain very Catholic passages.
However, I have never found that he tampered with the documents themselves.
I usually start out using William Jurgens’ (a Catholic) outstanding three-volume Faith of the Early Fathers, which provides thousands of excerpts from the Early Fathers (and includes a Doctrinal Index, so you can easily locate passages relevant to many Catholic doctrines). If I want more than the excerpts then I usually turn to Schaff.
Jurgen’s books (or, at least, Volume 1) are essential to any Catholic apologist’s bookshelf. It is one of the few reference books I own that will never be replaced by Google.
I believe you’ll find the Christian Classics Ethereal Library to go above and beyond your expectations.
The New Advent online version of the Catholic Encyclopedia has a section on their website with all of the writings of the all the Church Fathers. It is a very nice resource!!
May God bless you all abundantly and forever!
At the top of the page, to the right, are the pertinent tabs.
Humongous +1 on the Jurgens series. I use that, as well as Jimmy Akin’s “Fathers Know Best”. Akin give background details on each ECF as well as on the Councils. It’s priceless information to have at your fingertips when the need arises.
+1 for Akin’s Fathers Know Best.
This is a good website…
be careful when reading books not cannonized by the Church… I do enjoy reading some of it though
Have a look here: catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/