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06. The Didache: The Epistle of Barnabas, The Epistles and the Martyrdom of St. Polycarp, The Fragments of Papias, The Epistle to Diognetus (Ancient Christian Writers) [Hardcover]

By Michael Ed. Newman (Author), Didache (Author) & Walter J. Burghardt (Editor)
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Item description for 06. The Didache: The Epistle of Barnabas, The Epistles and the Martyrdom of St. Polycarp, The Fragments of Papias, The Epistle to Diognetus (Ancient Christian Writers) by Michael Ed. Newman, Didache & Walter J. Burghardt...

Overview
The Didache or The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, probably written before the end of the first century, purports to be an instruction based on sayings of the Lord and given by the Twelve Apostles to pagans who wished to become Christians. The Epistle of Barnabas is a homily on the mistaken Judaistic conception of the Old Testament. The Epistles consist of a covering note and a letter, which is an exhortation to the Philippians on Christian life in general. The Martyrdom of St. Polycarp is the story of this bishop of Smyrna's death at the hand of the Roman authorities in Asia for the defense of the Christian faith. The Fragments of Papias. Papias, bishop of Hierapolis in Asia Minor, was the author of five books, entitled Exegesis of the Lord's Gospel. The Epistle to Diognetus is an apology for Christianity, presented by an unknown writer to a pagan of high social or political rank.

Publishers Description
The Didache or The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, probably written before the end of the first century, purports to be an instruction based on sayings of the Lord and given by the Twelve Apostles to pagans who wished to become Christians.

The Epistle of Barnabas is a homily on the mistaken Judaistic conception of the Old Testament.

The Epistles consist of a covering note and a letter, which is an exhortation to the Philippians on Christian life in general. The Martyrdom of St. Polycarp is the story of this bishop of Smyrna's death at the hand of the Roman authorities in Asia for the defense of the Christian faith.

The Fragments of Papias. Papias, bishop of Hierapolis in Asia Minor, was the author of five books, entitled Exegesis of the Lord's Gospel.

The Epistle to Diognetus is an apology for Christianity, presented by an unknown writer to a pagan of high social or political rank.

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Item Specifications...


Studio: Paulist Press
Pages   248
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.76" Width: 5.7" Height: 0.92"
Weight:   0.92 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Dec 12, 1948
Publisher   Paulist Press
Series  Ancient Christian Writers  
Series Number  6  
ISBN  0809102471  
ISBN13  9780809102471  


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More About Michael Ed. Newman, Didache & Walter J. Burghardt


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Reviews - What do customers think about 06. The Didache: The Epistle of Barnabas, The Epistles and the Martyrdom of St. Polycarp, The Fragments of Papias, The Epistle to Diognetus (Ancient Christian Writers)?

Early Church Fathers  Jan 28, 2008
If you are Christian (especially Catholic) and are forever challenged by Fundamentalists, this book is one of many great resources. Reformers, in particular, try to discredit these documents but that is not new. The translation was tough for me and I did not find it an easy read. However, it held my interest and it turned out to be a quick read, considering the subject matter. I consider myself an amateur apologist of sorts for The Church and this resource is valuable when dealing with the ignorant (we will always have them with us, just like the poor).
 
Didache  Jan 10, 2008
Product arrived on time in perfect condition. The book is a valuable resource of extra-biblical information. The layout and translation is good, and for such an ancient book it is a good and informative read.
 
Very important text  Apr 9, 2007
I own many books from the "Ancient Christian Writers" series. I cannot think of a better edition of the Early Church Fathers out there. There may be cheaper collections, but these translations and notes are solid academically and theologically.

This specific volume, the Didache, is one of two volumes that come off my shelf most regularly. The Didache is essential reading for the Christian. For what little my opinion is worth, I believe that this little work is perhaps the most important early extra-biblical text there is.

This short work was written as a sort of pamphlet (or tract to use the modern jargon) designed to evangelize pagans. It begins with a bold statement. To paraphrase: "There are two ways, one of life and one of death." It then goes on to address the moral teachings of the Church.

After this opening section on Christian morality, there is a section on Christian worship, specifically regarding the Eucharistic celebration.

This text is VERY early, probably written around 90AD. As a believer, what is remarkable for me is the consistency with which the truth has been preached by the Church for 2000 years. Under the section "the way of life" we find the following instruction: "Do not kill a fetus by abortion." It would not be overstating the case to say that all John Paul II did with his pontificate is reiterate, in new and beautiful ways, the constant teaching of the Church, which has not changed drastically in 2000 years. Certainly the Didache, while a short easy read in pamphlet form, speaks volumes about Christian morality and the "culture of life" the successors of Peter would have us build.

This is a monumental (and short!) work that should be in the library of every serious Christian. It is impossible to see how one can advocate new and novel Christian "morality" in light of texts like the Didache, which so clearly point out the differences between Christian and Pagan thought, ethics, and morality.
 
I Recommended People to read this Book  Sep 22, 2006
An edifying first century work, probably written or compiled somewhere between the last part of the first century and probably the first part of the second I like this version I Give this The Didache 5 star Good translation Like this book fantastic
 
Indispensible First and Second Century Christian Literature  Nov 30, 2005
This handsome volume six of the Ancient Christian Writers series is one of the half dozen "must have" volumes (along with #1 - Clement and Ignatius, #55 - Ireneaus, #56 - Justin Martyr, and a few others). I have about two dozen of these great books. This particular volume was one of the ones edited by the legendary Patristic scholar Johannes Quasten (the translator, James Kliest) and contains "The Didache," or The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, "The Epistle of Barnabas," "The Epistles and Martyrdom of St. Polycarp," "The Fragments of Papias" and the "Epistle to Diognetus." Each work is prefaced by scholarly expository material. The translations are modern and annotated, and the endnotes provide a wealth of detailed study information.

"The Didache" (first to third century, AD) is a document discovered in the 19th century that solved many mysteries. A number of ancient Christian documents that appeared to have a common source appear to have that source in the Didache which probably has elements that were composed as early as the first century. This work purports to contain apostolic teachings for Christian living and worship procedures and includes specific instructions on baptism and the celebration of the Lord's Supper.

"Barnabas" (2nd century, AD) is an ancient Christian letter by an unknown yet probably authoritative author. It was held in very high regard by early Christianity and is an exhortation to persistence in the Christian way. It contains specific admonitions against "Judaizing," the major error of the writer's day and contrasts the Christian understanding of religious history with that of Judaism. This is polemical literature and must be read in that light.

The letters (one fragment and a second, fuller epistle) of Bishop Polycarp of Smyrna to the Philippians (about AD 135) is also an important early Christian document. Polycarp is believed to have been a disciple of St. John who lived to an old age before his martyrdom in the middle of the second century. This letter of his is a warm, fatherly letter to fellow Christians (similar to the spirit of Ignatius of Antioch) who were probably struggling with the doctrines of Marcion. Polycarp relies heavily on the writings of Paul and Peter as he exhorts his readers.

"The Martyrdom of Polycarp" is a mid-second century writing that purports to tell the story of how the beloved Polycarp died. The tension between the Christians and Jews of the day is described and there are mythic elements to the manner in which the fire consumes the holy man. With this writing, the cult of the martyrs begins in earnest as Christians begin to rely more on the memories of those who had died for the cause.

The "Fragments of Papias" (bishop of Hierapolis, disciple of John, friend of Polycarp) are taken from the writings of Irenaeus (late 2nd century) and Eusebius' "History of the Church" (early 4th century), and date to the middle of the 2nd century. Papias is highly esteemed as having experienced apostolic teaching. He is important for observing the importance of the "rule of faith" received authoritatively, in addition to sacred writings. His themes would be carried on by Irenaeus and others in succeeding generations.

Finally, the epistle of "Mathetes" (Greek for "Disciple") to "Diognetus" is Greek Christian apologetic material that attempts to convince a friendly pagan ("Diognetus") of the truth of the Christian way. This intelligent, moving letter probably dates from the 2nd century and refers to the growth of the Churches in spite of the martyrdoms that God is behind the young Christian movement.

These are necessary source documents for students of Christian history and doctrine and, in my opinion, can't be found in a more accessible yet scholarly English translation.
 

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