Hi all, I recently purchased a book with a collection of the Apostolic Father’s. The first book I read, and by far the longest in the collection is “The Shepard of Hermas”. I have to be honest, it was an intriguing book, and almost seems like it has many hidden messages in it, even when Hermas is constantly asking the Shepard what the visions mean, such as the tower and the stones, the mountains, the 12 virgins etc,and so much more. Really the whole book is about visions and interpreting what they mean, which I found fascinating, with many references which almost resembled the book of “Revelation”. I did some further research into it, because after I read it, I was just like really intrigued to put it simply. Found out that in early Christianity it was regarded very highly and some early Christians regarded it as scripture. I was just wondering if anyone else has read it? I actually want to go back and read it again, it really is an amazing book, I mean obviously there is a reason why, but I actually am surprised it didn’t ultimately make the NT. I assume because Hermas wasn’t in the first line of Apostles but generally thought of as a follower of Clement of Rome or some sort. Regardless I would recommend it to anyone who hasn’t read it. Also does anyone know if any of our traditions come from it? I actually have heard that the Church does regard the Apostolic Fathers very highly, only second to the Canonical Books ( not including the CCC and Canon of the Church that is). Thanks!
I’ve read Book I of the Shepherd of Hermas, I believe. I’m not sure of any other reading I’ve done there, but it is an interesting book with a lot of symbolism or allegory. As for any traditions coming from there, it was a divisive book at times (hence why it was not accepted into the canon, despite how it’s less theology and more morality).
Started to read it, put it down for a bit…working on Acts of Peter now. I felt like that was a book I needed to read with some kind of guide, or key. Just Iike you say so heavily symbolic that I felt the meanings were being lost on me.
I have read the Acts of Peter. It is a very anti Gnostic book, especially regarding followers of Simon Magus, who we know from Acts ch 9 or 10? I can’t remember exactly. It is where the tradition of Peter being crucified upside comes from. The difference between these two are that the Acts of Peter is New Testament Apocrypha, it is generally thought to have been written pseudonomously by someone who was most likely concerned about the Gnostic movement, and most likely written 150-200 A.D. Apostolic Fathers however are for the most part genuine letters and many were written at the same time as some New Testament letters.
I thought your thread is supposed to be about The Shepherd of Hermas. You have now moved to a completely different topic. We try here to stick to one topic per thread.
I am talking about the Shepard of Hermas, I was just responding to the person above me that said they put it down to read the Acts of Peter.