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Those Apostolic Fathers: Where to go?

MWHolmes.jpgDuring my early graduate years in seminary I began to use the Loeb edition of the apostolic fathers, and then when Bart Ehrman brought out a whole new Loeb edition of the apostolic fathers, I bought that one. I enjoy Loeb volumes. But I have changed:

Michael W. Holmes (Bethel College), who has for decades been working on these texts and producing various editions and translations, now has brought it all together in his new Greek-English edition of the apostolic fathers. This new edition is now my first-to-go-to edition: The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations


Mike is an expert text critic, and he has plied his trade well in this new edition of his ongoing work on the apostolic fathers. The edition is a handy, one-volume edition with nice paper and a very readable crisp font. He has solid introductions and up-to-date bibliographies. I like Didache so I couldn’t resist reading through it again in this new edition: nice clear translation.

In short, this is the first volume to pull off your shelf if you want to read the apostolic fathers.

Comments read comments(7)
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Michael Bid

posted April 16, 2009 at 7:03 pm

Mike Holmes and David deSilva also have an Intro the AF coming out in the near future.

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Jeremy Berg

posted April 17, 2009 at 1:42 am

I enjoyed learning under Dr. Holmes at Bethel and serving him as TA in the BTS dept. He is a top-notch scholar and a very caring, warm-hearted man of God.
Scot or anybody: how does this new edition differ from his 1999 revised edition I have on my shelf of the AF? Do I need to upgrade?

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Mike Bird

posted April 17, 2009 at 8:22 am

This new addition is a Diglot with Greek/English on either page, a critical apparatus, useful introductions to each book, and it sits open like a UBS4.

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posted April 17, 2009 at 9:37 am

Hi Scott,
In a somewhat related question, I was wondering what one book you might recommend that gives a broad introductory overview of the early church (i.e., not simply beginning with the Reformation and moving forward)? I know very little about the period between Acts and the Reformation, and don’t know where I would begin (hence, I thought an overview intro book might be a good place to start).
Thanks Scott!!

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Scot McKnight

posted April 17, 2009 at 10:11 am

Lots of things to read here, but the standard today is by Gonzalez, The Story of Christianity.

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posted April 18, 2009 at 10:03 pm

Thanks Scot! You’re the best!

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James Ernest

posted April 23, 2009 at 3:53 pm

Further to Mike Bird’s reply to Jeremy Berg’s question: Over against the 1992/1999 editions, the English translation is identical or nearly identical to the English in the 2006 paperback, The Apostolic Fathers in English, which was revised throughout for clarity and style, and in a certain number of places to reflect revised text-critical judgments. The Greek in the 2007 diglot edition is also revised but is changed in relatively far fewer places–places where there was a little orthographic mistake of some sort or where Dr. Holmes, having been encouraged by the publisher to exercise his own critical judgment more freely, preferred a different textual variant than that used in the text of the previous editions. The 2007 Greek text exhibits the text-critical judgments underlying the substantial (rather than purely stylistic) changes to the English translation in 2006. Also, the introductions and bibliographies are brought up to date. But for most readers, the most striking differences between the older and newer editions will pertain to page design and physical package. The 2007 is hardcover, smaller trim size, half as thick (thinner paper, but still with good opacity). The fonts and interior design are much better. In 1992/1999, the designers had to line up the Greek to preexisting English pages; in 2007, they were able to reflow both text streams freely, and page breaks were carefully checked to that the English and Greek page breaks coincide as closely as possible given the differing word order within English and Greek sentences.

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