Mike Aquilina

Apostolic Fathers, Again

Saturday July 11th 2009, 3:12 pm

BMCR reviews the third edition of Michael W. Holmes’ The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations, a handsome, durable, beautifully bound book that is never far from my reach.

This third edition of The Apostolic Fathers, edited and translated by Michael W. Holmes, traces its origins back to the bilingual edition of J. B. Lightfoot collected, edited, and published posthumously by J. R. Harmer in 1891. Holmes revised the Greek texts and English translations of this nineteenth-century work in 1992 and published an updated edition in 1999. The new edition under review here, however, has shed almost all vestiges of Lightfoot-Harmer and stands on its own as an independent critical edition of the Greek texts and English translations of the Apostolic Fathers.

The volume contains introductions to and editions and translations of the following works: First Clement, Second Clement, the Letters of Ignatius of Antioch, the Letter of Polycarp to the Philippians, the Martyrdom of Polycarp, the Didache, the Epistle of Barnabas, the Shepherd of Hermas, the Epistle to Diognetus, the Fragment of Quadratus, and Fragments of Papias.

The reviewer helpfully treats each ancient author individually. Read on.