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Patristics / Patrology -- The Early Church Fathers & Their Writings: Primary Sources -- English Translations

Grounded in the teachings and passion of Jesus Christ, early Christian theologians studied Jewish thought, Greek philosophy, and Greek and Latin vocabulary in their endeavor to explain complex Christian theological concepts.

Introduction

The Church Fathers are generally divided into the Ante-Nicene Fathers, those who lived and wrote before the Council of Nicaea (325 CE) and the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, those who lived and wrote after 325 CE. In addition, the division of the fathers into Greek and Latin writers is also common. Some of the most prominent Greek Fathers are Justin Martyr, John Chrysostom, and Cyril of Alexandria. Among the Latin Fathers are Tertullian, Cyprian, Jerome, Ambrose of Milan, Gregory the Great and Augustine of Hippo.

Patrology (Church Fathers)

Quasten’s Patrology is immensely useful, along with Kelly’s Early Christian Doctrines and Ferguson’s Encyclopedia of Early Christianity.

Good Anglo-Catholic Source

Guide to Early Christian Writings

English Editions - One

The Ancient Christian Writers, Classics of Western Spirituality and The Fathers of the Church provide good English translations of primary material with accompanying scholarly introductions and notes. 

English Editions - Two

A classic resource for the scholar, student, or minister, the thirty-eight volume Early Church Fathers, which includes the Ante-Nicene Fathers, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First and Second Series. An invaluable primary resource, each of the three sets features introductions, helpful notes, references to Scripture citations, and indices of key persons, places, and theological issues. From the Apostolic Fathers to the Seven Ecumenical Councils, from the apocryphal gospels to the Arian controversy, this work is one of the most complete collections of the writing in the Christian churchÂ’s first 800 years available today. Both the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers and Ante-Nicene Fathers are dated translations but are still useful.

The Church Fathers are generally divided into the Ante-Nicene Fathers, those who lived and wrote before the Council of Nicaea (325 CE) and the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, those who lived and wrote after 325 CE.

Works of these fathers may be found in: Ante-Nicene Fathers  (10 v.) and Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers  (28 v.) A 38 volume set containing most of the major works of the first 800 years of Christian patristic writings.

English Editions - Three

Free Web Versions

A free web version of the Ante-Nicene Fathers is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library website, available as part of the Early Church Fathers database. Other web sites providing access to the Ante-Nicene Fathers are included below as well.

English Editions - Four

Both the Library of Christian Classics and The Faith of the Early Fathers are selections from full length works and carry the limitations of such excerpts.

Abbreviations for Major Patristic Series

Abbreviations for Major Patristic Series used in Library Indexes

Ancient Christian Writers (ACW) 

The Ante-Nicene Fathers (ANF)

The Apostolic Fathers

The Classics of Western Spirituality (CWS)

Corpus Christianorum, Series Latina (CCSL)

The Faith of the Early Fathers, 3 volumes

The Fathers of the Church

Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers-Series I (NPNF)

Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers Series II (NPNF)

Patrologia Cursus Completus, Series Graeca (PG)

Patrologia Cursus Completus, Series Latina (PL)

Library of Christian Classics, (volumes 1-13)

 

Original Language with English Translations