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Greek Texts and English Translations

I am sure the section on the historical setting of the apostolic fathers will be especially helpful for the English reader of the translations. The translation of the Greek text is sound. The notes do help the English reader who has no knowledge of the Greek to gain insight into the Greek text. Holmes's new translation will become the standard reference source for both students and scholars who work on the apostolic fathers in the twenty-first century. A general introduction introduces the reader to the main questions surrounding the literature as a whole, while each writing in turn is provided with its own specialized preliminary remarks.

Students will appreciate the many insights into early Christianity that are provided by these introductions. The style is formal without being pedantic; idiomatic without being excessively free. Amid the many one-volume editions of the Apostolic Fathers available today, this handy, readable version of the texts deserves to be considered by students and merely curious readers alike. This third edition not only represents a thorough revision of the translation but also displays several changes aimed at making the volume more accessible to general readers and beginning students, such as prominent chapter and verse numbers, section subheadings, and convenient footnotes which provide explanatory details or references to other primary and secondary literature.

This will be a helpful book for those needing a very gentle introduction to these texts; clearly a very general readership is envisaged. By making available this third edition Holmes has provided an accessible and useful volume that will no doubt serve to introduce many interested readers to these important texts form Christianity's early history.

Keough, Toronto Journal of Theology "The essential component of a work like this is the translation of the texts themselves.

Apostolic Fathers

Certainly from the perspective of the English-speaking reader, Holmes has carried out this task masterfully. The translations read fluidly and accessibly as English text.

The Apostolic Fathers

Moreover, the quality and style of the original authors shine through the translations remarkably well. The introductions are well-written and useful for general orientation to the texts. Moreover, Holmes sketches for the reader the current state of scholarly debate surrounding each text. The refreshed layout and presentation in the third edition is a substantial help to the reader.

The Apostolic Fathers in English by Michael W. Holmes

Clearly displayed chapter and verse numbers make quick reference to the texts an easy task. The insertion of subheadings into the translation provides helpful orientation and guidance to the reader. The footnotes are clear and unobtrusive. The maps detailing the spread of early Christianity and the route of Ignatius are helpful for setting these documents in their geographical context.

Holmes significantly improves on his own second edition in a number of important ways. Overall, the English translation is updated and improved. Only a few translation decisions seem unnecessary or excessive, though the notes provide a satisfactory rationale.

This third edition makes an effort to reach scholars without abandoning popular appeal. Scholars will be pleased by the improved critical apparatus, for which Holmes has adopted the familiar symbols of the United Bible Society UBS critical text.

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The editor also presents the Fragments of Papias in Arabic, Armenian, and Syriac, whereas the second edition included only the Greek and Latin versions. And the introductions and bibliographies are appropriately updated to reflect the most recent important contributions. The revised design and typography of the third edition are perhaps the most obvious improvements.


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My personal favorites are Barnabas and Diognetus. Dec 13, Matthias rated it it was amazing. A must have for anyone interested in early church history or theology.

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