Bibliography #2:

  Ignatius of Antioch & the Church of the Martyrs

 - New Testament
 - Early Christianity
 - Medieval Christianity
 - The Reformation
 - Spirituality & Mysticism
 - Sacraments
 - 20th-Century Theology






#1: Surveys, Intros
#2: Ignatius of Antioch
#3: Origen
#4: Athanasius
#5: Cyril of Alexandria
#6: Jerome & Ambrose
#7: Augustine of Hippo
#8: Antony
#9: Cyril of Jerusalem
#10: Melania the Elder

 compiled by William Harmless, S.J.

Creighton University


     1. Christianity & Classical Culture

     2. Persecution & Martyrdom

     3. Ignatius of Antioch: Texts, Translations & Studies

     4. Justin Martyr: Texts, Translations & Studies

     5. Gnosticism & Manichaeism

     6. Irenaeus of Lyons: Texts, Translations & Studies

     7. Other Apostolic Fathers & Apologists: Texts & Translations

     8. Other Apostolic Fathers & Apologists: Studies





Robert Wilken, The Christians as the Romans Saw Them, 2nd ed. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003).  We are so used to hearing how Christians viewed Christ and how Christians viewed themselves that we are liable not to understand why Christians were persecuted or disliked or simply ignored.  This book is good in the way it shows how outsiders viewed Christ, the Church, and Christian doctrines.


A.H. Armstrong, ed., Classical Mediterranean Spirituality: Egyptian, Greek, Roman, World Spirituality Series, vol. 15 (New York: Crossroad, 1986).

Polymnia Athanassiadi & Michael Frede, eds., Pagan Monotheism in Late Antiquity (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999).

Mary Beard, John North, & Simon Price, Religions of Rome, Vol. 1: A History & Vol 2: A Sourcebook (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998).

Robert M. Berchman, Porphyry Against the Christians, Ancient and Medieval Texts and Contexts 1 (Leiden / Boston: Brill, 2005).

Henry Chadwick, Early Christian Thought and the Classical Tradition Studies in Justin, Clement, and Origin (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1966).

Catherine M. Chin, Grammar and Christianity in the Late Roman World, Divinations: Rereading Late Ancient Religion (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007).

Gillian Clark, Christianity and Roman Society, Key Themes in Ancient History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004).

Kevin Corrigan, Reading Plotinus: A Practical Introduction to Neoplatonism (Purdue University Press, 2005).

E.R. Dodds, Pagans and Christians in an Age of Anxiety (1965; reprint: Cambridge University Press, 1991).  Dated, but a classic.

A.J. Droge, “Self-definition vis-a-vis the Graeco-Roman World,” in Cambridge History of Christianity, Vol. 1: Origins to Constantine, eds., Margaret M. Mitchell and Frances M. Young (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 230-244.

Everett Ferguson, ed., The Early Church and Greco-Roman Thought, Studies in Early Christianity
 8 (New York: Garland Publishing, 1993). 

John T. Fitzgerald, Thomas H. Oldbricht & L. Michael White, eds., Early Christianity and Classical Culture: Comparative Studies in Honor of Abraham J. Malherbe, Novum Testamentum Supplements 110 (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2003).

Robin Lane Fox, Pagans and Christians (New York: Knopf, 1987).

Anthony Grafton, Glenn W. Most, and Salvatore Settis, The Classical Tradition, Harvard University Press Reference Library (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010).

John Gregory, The Neoplatonists, 2nd ed. (New York: Routledge, 1999).

A.D. Lee, Pagans and Christians in Late Antiquity: A Sourcebook (New York: Routledge, 2000).

Judith Lieu, Christian Identity in the Jewish and Graeco-Roman World (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004).

Ramsay Macmullen, Christianity and Paganism in the Fourth to Eighth Centuries (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997).

Ramsay Macmullen, Paganism and Christianity, 100-425 C.E.: A Sourcebook (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992).

J.A. North and S.R.F. Price, eds., The Religious History of the Roman Empire: Pagans, Jews, and Christians, Oxford Readings in Classical Studies (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011).

Michael Bland Simmons, “Graeco-Roman Philosophical Opposition,” in Philip F. Esler, ed. The Early Christian World, 2 vol. (New York: Routledge, 2000), 2:840-868.

H. Gregory Snyder, Teachers and Texts in the Ancient World: Philosophers, Jews, and Christians, Religion in the First Christian Centuries (New York: Routledge, 2000).

Barbara Stanley Spaeth, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Mediterranean Religions (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013) paperback, $33. NEW.

Robert Turcan, The Cults of the Roman Empire, trans. Antonia Neville (Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 1996).

Craig de Vos, “Popular Graeco-Roman Responses to Christianity,” in Philip F. Esler, ed. The Early Christian World, 2 vol. (New York: Routledge, 2000), 2:869-889.





Texts & Translations:

Herbert Musurillo, ed., Acts of the Christian Martyrs (reprint: New York: Oxford University Press).  This is most comprehenive compilation of the accounts of the early martyrs.  It has the Greek and Latin texts, with translations on facing pages.



G.W. Bowersock, Martyrdom & Rome (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995).

Daniel Boyarin, Dying for God: Martyrdom and the Making of Christianity and Judaism, Figurae: Reading Medieval Culture (Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 1999).

Jan N. Bremmer and Marco Formisano, eds., Perpetua’s Passion: Multidisciplinary Approaches to the Passio Perpetuae et Felicitatis (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012) hardcover, $150.  NEW.

Stephanie Cobb, Dying to be Men: Gender and Language in Early Christian Martyr Texts (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008).

David L. Eastman, Paul the Martyr: The Cult of the Apostle in the Latin West (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2011).

Everett Ferguson, ed., Church and State in the Early Church, Studies in Early Christianity 7 (New York: Garland Publishing, 1993).

W.H.C. Frend, Martyrdom and Persecution in the Early Church: A Study of a Conflict from the Maccabees to Donatus (New York: Oxford University Press, 1965).  Despite the years, still the most thorough survey.

Thomas J. Heffernan, The Passion of Perpetua and Felicity (New York / Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012) hardcover, $99. NEW.

Jan Willem van Henten & Frederich Avemarie, Martyrdom & Noble Death: Selected Texts from Greco-Roman, Jewish, and Christian Antiquity, Context of Early Christianity (New York: Routledge, 2002).

Michael P. Jensen, Martyrdom and Identity: The Self on Trial (New York: T&T Clark International, 2012) paperback, $35. NEW.

Shelly Matthews, Perfect Martyr: The Stoning of Stephen and the Construction of Christian Identity (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010).

Jolyn Mitchell, Martyrdom: A Very Short Introduction, series: Very Short Introductions (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012) paperback, $12. NEW.

Candida Moss, Ancient Christian Martyrdom: Diverse Practices, Theologies, and Tradition, The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012) hardcover, $40.  NEW.

Candida R. Moss, The Other Christs: Imitating Jesus in Ancient Christian Ideologies of Martyrdom (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010).

R. Selinger, The Mid-Third Century Persecutions of Decius and Valerian (Frankfurt am Main: P. Lang, 2002).

Joyce E. Salisbury, The Blood of the Martyrs: Unintended Consequences of Ancient Violence (London; New York: Routledge, 2004).

Geoffrey de Ste. Croix, Christian Persecution, Martyrdom, and Orthodoxy, ed. Michael Whitby & Joseph Streeter (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006).

Geoffrey de Ste Croix, “Why were the Early Christians Persecuted?” Past and Present 26 (1963) 6-38.  A classic treatment of the question.





Ignatius, bishop of Antioch (d. ca. 110), dictated a set of seven letters while under arrest and en route to his martyrdom in Rome.  His letters offer fascinating glimpses of the 2nd-century church and its emerging leadership structures of bishop, presbyter, and deacon.  They also illustrate emerging disputes on christology, on eucharist, and the status of the martyr.


Texts & Translations:

P.T. Camelot, ed, Ignace d’Antioche: Lettres.  Lettres de Martyre de Polycarpe de Smyrne, 4th ed., Sources chrétiennes 10 (Paris: Éditions du Cerf, 1969), 9-155.

Bart D. Ehrman, ed., The Apostolic Fathers, Loeb Classical Library 24 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2003), 1: 218-320.  Has the Greek & English on facing pages.

Michael W. Holmes, ed., The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts & English Translations, 2nd edition (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1999) 129-201

Maxwell Staniforth, trans., Early Christian Writings: The Apostolic Fathers, revised ed. by Andrew Louth (London: Penguin Books, 1987), 53-112.



Leslie W. Barnard, “The Background to Ignatius of Antioch,” Vigiliae Christianae 17 (1963): 193-206.

Allen Brent, “Ignatius of Antioch and the Imperial Cult,” Vigiliae Christianae 49 (1998): 111-138.

Allen Brent, “Ignatius of Antioch and Polycarp: The Transformation of New Testament Traditions in the Context of Mystery Cults,” in Andrew Gregory and Christopher Tuckett, eds., Trajectories through the New Testament and the Apostolic Fathers, Vol. 2 of The New Testament and The Apostolic Fathers (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006), 325-349.

Allen Brent, Ignatius of Antioch: A Martyr-Bishop and the Origin of Episcopacy (New York: Continuum / T&T Clark, 2007).

C. T. Brown, The Gospel and Ignatius of Antioch, Studies in Biblical Literature 12 (New York: Lang, 2000).

Henry Chadwick, “Ignatius of Antioch,” The Church in Ancient Society: From Galilee to Gregory the Great, Oxford History of the Christian Church (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002, 65-83.

Paul J. Donahue, “Jewish Christianity in the Letters of Ignatius of Antioch,” Vigiliae Christianae (1978): 81-93.

C.P. Hammond Bammel, “Ignatius Problems,” Journal of Theological Studies 33 (1982) 62-97.

P. A. Harland, “Christ-Bearers and Fellow-Initiates: Local Cultural Life and Christian Identity in Ignatius’ Letters,” Journal of Early Christian Studies 11 (2003) 481-499.

Albert J. Harrill, “Ignatius, Ad Polycarp 4.3 and the Corporate Manumission of Christian Slaves,” Journal of Early Christian Studies 1 (1993): 107-142.

Charles E. Hill, “Ignatius, “The Gospel,” and the Gospels,” in Andrew Gregory and Christopher Tuckett, eds., Trajectories through the New Testament and the Apostolic Fathers, Vol. 2 of The New Testament and The Apostolic Fathers (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006), 267-286.

H.O. Maier, “The Politics of the Silent Bishop: Silence and Persuasion in Ignatius of Antioch,” Journal of Theological Studies 55 (2004): 503-519.

H.O. Maier, “The Politics of Discord and Concord in Paul and Ignatius of Antioch,” in Andrew Gregory and Christopher Tuckett, eds., Trajectories through the New Testament and the Apostolic Fathers, Vol. 2 of The New Testament and The Apostolic Fathers (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006), 307-327.

Matthew W. Mitchell, “In the Footsteps of Paul: Steps Along the Road to Canon in Ignatius of Antioch,” Journal of Early Christian Studies 14.1 (2006): 27-46.

D.M. Reis, “Following in Paul’s Footsteps: Mimesis and Power in Ignatius of Antioch,” Andrew Gregory and Christopher Tuckett, eds., Trajectories through the New Testament and the Apostolic Fathers, Vol. 2 of The New Testament and The Apostolic Fathers (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006), 287-306.

Cyril Richardson, The Christianity of Ignatius of Antioch (New York: Columbia University Press, 1935).

Thomas A. Robinson, Ignatius of Antioch and the Parting of the Ways: Early Jewish-Christian Relations (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2009).

William R. Schoedel, Ignatius of Antioch: A Commentary on the Letters, Hermeneia (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1985).

Francis A. Sullivan, From Apostles to Bishops: The Development of the Episcopacy in the Early Church (New York: Paulist Press, 2001).

Christine Trevett (1992), A Study of Ignatius of Antioch in Syria and Asia, Studies in the Bible and Early Christianity 29 (Lewiston, NY: Mellen, 1992).





Justin (d.165), a native of Samaria, was a pioneer of early Christian apologetics and emblematic of the effort of early Christian intellectuals to bring the Christian message to the wider Roman world in a way that was intellectually coherent and that addressed an array of philosophical concerns and issues.  Justin portrayed Christianity as a "philosophy," both a wise way of thinking and a wise way of living.  In so doing, he carried on intriguing and hospitable dialogues with both Jews and pagans.  He would be martyred in Rome in the mid-2nd cent.



Dennis Minns and Paul Purvis, eds., Justin, Philosopher and Martyr: The Apologies, Oxford Early Christian Texts (New York / Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009).

Charles Munier, ed., Justin: Apologie pour les chrétiens, Sources chretiennes 507 (Paris: Éditions du Cerf, 2006).

M. Marcovich, Iustini Martyris Apologiae pro Christianis, Patristische Texte und Studien 38 (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1994).

M. Marcovich, ed., Diologus cum Tryphone, Patristische Texte und Studien 47 (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1997).



L.W. Barnard, trans., Justin Martyr: The First and Second Apologies, Ancient Christian Writers 56 (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1997).

A. C. Coxe, trans., “Dialogue of Justin, Philosopher and Martyr, with Trypho, a Jew,” in Ante-Nicene Fathers 1 (1885; repr.: Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1995), 1:194-270.



Craig D. Allert, Revelation, Truth, Canon, and Interpretation: Studies in Justin Martyr’s Dialogue with Trypho, Supplements to Vigiliae Christianae (Leiden: Brill, 2002).

Leslie W. Barnard, Justin Martyr: His Life and Thought (London: Cambridge University Press, 1967).

Daniel Boyarin, “Justin Invents Judaism,” Church History 70 (2001): 427-461.

Henry Chadwick, Early Christian Thought and the Classical Tradition: Studies in Justin, Clement, and Origen, 2nd ed. (Oxford: Clarendon / New York: Oxford University Press, 1984).

Henry Chadwick, “Justin Martyr’s Defense of Christianity,” BJRL 47 (1965): 275-297; repr. in The Early Church in Greco-Roman Thought, ed. E. Ferguson, Studies in Early Christianity 8 (New York: Garland, 1993), 23-45.

C.H. Cosgrove, “Justin Martyr and the Emerging Christian Canon: Observations on the Purpose and Destination of the Dialogue with Trypho,” Vigiliae Christianae 36 (1982): 209-232.

A. J. Droge, “Justin Martyr and the Restoration of Philosophy,” Church History 56 (1987): 303–19; repr. in The Early Church in Greco-Roman Thought, ed. E. Ferguson, Studies in Early Christianity 8 (New York: Garland, 1993), 65-81.

Mark J. Edwards, “On the Platonic Schooling of Justin Martyr,” Journal of Theological Studies n.s. 42 (1991): 17-34.

Mark J. Edwards, “Justin’s Logos and the Word of God,” Journal of Early Christian Studies 3 (1995): 261–80.

T. J. Horner, Listening to Trypho: Justin Martyr’s Dialogue with Trypho Reconsidered, Contributions to Biblical Exegesis and Theology 28 (Leuven: Peeters, 2001).

Peter Lampe, From Paul to Valentinus: Christians in Rome for the First Two Centuries (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2003).

G. W. Latrop, “Justin, Eucharist, and ‘Sacrifice’: A Case of Metaphor,” Worship 64 (1990): 30-48.

Rebecca Lyman, “The Politics of Passing: Justin Martyr’s Conversion as a Problem of ‘Hellenization’”.  In K. Mills and T. Grafton, eds, Conversion in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages: Seeing and Believing (Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2003), pp. 36-60.

Sara Parvis and Paul Foster, eds., Justin Martyr and His Worlds (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2007).

O. Skarsaune, The Proof from Prophecy: A Study in Justin Martyr’s Proof-Text Tradition: Text-Type, Provenance, Theological Profile, Novum Testamentum Supplements 56 (Leiden: Brill, 1987).

J. C. M. van Winden, An Early Christian Philosopher: Justin Martyr’s Dialogue with Trypho, Chapters One to Nine, Philosophia Patrum 1 (Leiden: Brill, 1971).






James H. Robinson, The Coptic Gnostic Library: A Complete Edition of the Nag Hammadi Codices, 5 Vol. (reprint: Brill, 2000). The critical edition with original Coptic text.



Bentley Layton, ed., The Gnostic Scriptures: A New Translation with Annotations and Introductions, Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library (New York: Doubleday, 1995).  In 1945, there was an extraordinary chance discovery of an ancient gnostic library at Nag Hammadi, at the bend of the Nile River.  For the first time, scholars could read the gnostics in their own words—as opposed to those of their opponents.  This discovery has helped transform our understanding of 2nd-century Christianity.  This fine volume by Layton contains good translations not only of key Nag Hammadi texts, but also of other gnostic texts.  His valuable introduction puts forth his distinctive views on Valentinus and his disciples and their contribution to shaping gnostic theology and disseminating gnostic views.


Bart D. Ehrman, ed. Lost Scriptures: Books That Did Make It into the New Testament (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003).

Iaian Gardner & Samuel N.C. Lieu, ed., Manichaean Texts from the Roman Empire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004).

Hans J. Klimkeit, Gnosis on the Silk Road (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1993). Manichaean texts from Central Asia.

James M. Robinson, ed., The Nag Hammadi Library, 3rd edition (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1988).  Complete translation of texts.



David Brakke, The Gnostics: Myth, Ritual and Diversity in Early Christianity (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University, 2011). This is a major study that brings together findings of the last 50 years that have revolutionized our understanding of the so-called "Gnostics", their diversity and their challenge to the 2nd-century Christian movement.  Brakke, the current editor of the Journal of Early Christian Studies is an unusually gifted, lucid writer and brings his considerable skills to sorting through contemporary scholarship on the Gnostics.


Kurt Rudolph, Gnosis: The Nature and History of Gnosticism (San Francisco: Harper San Francisco, 1987).  Rudolph helps the newcomer sort through the often bewildering complex of gnostic documents and gnostic ideas.  A clear introduction to a vast topic.


Nicholas J. Baker-Brian, Manichaeism: An Ancient Faith Rediscovered (New York: T&T Clark, 2011).

Jason David BeDuhn, The Manichaean Body: In Discipline and Ritual (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000).

Jason David BeDuhn, ed., New Light on Manichaeism, series: Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies (Boston / Leiden: Brill, 2009).

J.A. van der Berg, Biblical Argument in Manichaean Missionary Practice: The Case of Adimantus and Augustine, Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies 70 (Leiden / Boston: Brill, 2009).

J. Kevin Coyle, Manichaeism and Its Legacy, Nag Hammadi & Manichaean Studies (Leiden / Boston: Brill, 2009).

April D. DeConick, Recovering the Original Gospel of Thomas: A History of the Gospel and Its Growth, Library of New Testament Studies (London / New York: T&T Clark, 2005).

Bart D. Ehrman, Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003).

Bart D. Ehrman, The Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot: A New Look at Betrayer and Betrayed (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007).

Giovanni Filoramo, A History of Gnosticism (Cambridge: Blackwell, 1991).

James E. Goehring, “The Provenance of the Nag Hammadi Codices once more,” Studia Patristica 35 (2001) 234-256.  Surveys debate whether the library belonged to Pachomian monks.

Nicola Denzey Lewis, Introduction to ‘Gnosticism’: Ancient Voices, Christian Worlds (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012) paperback, $40. NEW.

A. H. B. Logan, “Gnosticism,” in The Early Christian World, ed. P. F. Esler (New York: Routledge, 2000), 2:907-928.

Samuel N.C. Lieu, Manichaeism in Mesopotamia and the Roman East, Religions in the Graeco-Roman World, Vol 118 (Leiden: Brill, 1997).

Samuel N.C. Lieu, Manichaeism in the Later Roman Empire and Medieval China: A Historical Survey, 2nd ed. (Tübingen: Mohr, 1992).

Samuel N.C. Lieu, “Manichaeism,” in The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Studies, ed. Susan Ashbrook Harvey and David G. Hunter (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), 221-236.

A.H.B. Logan, The Gnostics: Identifying an Ancient Christian Cult (New York: T&T Clark, 2006).

Majella Franzmann, Jesus in the Manichean Writings (London: T&T Clark, 2003).

Paul Mirecki & Jason BeDuhn, ed., Emerging from Darkness: Studies in the Recovery of Manichaean Sources, Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies 43 (Leiden: Brill, 1997).

Birger A. Pearson, ed., Gnosticism, Judaism, and Egyptian Christianity, Studies in Antiquity and Christianity (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1990).

Birger A. Pearson, Gnosticism and Christianity in Roman and Coptic Egypt, Studies in Antiquity & Christianity (T&T Clark, 2004).

Birger A. Pearson, Ancient Gnosticism: Traditions and Literature (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2007).

Nicholas Perrin, Thomas, The Other Gospel (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2007).

Simone Pétremont, A Separate God: The Origin and Teachings of Gnosticism (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1990).

David M. Scholer, ed., Gnosticism in Early Christianity, Studies in Early Christianity 5 (New York: Garland Publishing, 1993).

Michel Tardieu, Manichaeism, trans. Malcolm DeBevoise (University of Illinois Press, 2009).

John D. Turner & Anne McGuire, ed., The Nag Hammadi Library After Fifty Years: Proceedings of the 1995 Society of Biblical Literature Commemoration, Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies 44 (Leiden: Brill, 1997).

Richard Valantasis, The Gospel of Thomas, New Testament Readings (New York: Routledge, 1997).

Johannes Van Oort, Otto Wermelinger & Gregor Wurst, eds., Augustine and Manichaeism in the Latin West: Proceedings of the Fribourg-Utrecht Symposium of the International Association of Manichaean Studies (IAMS), Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies (Leiden: Brill, 2001).

Michael Allen Williams, Rethinking ‘Gnosticism’: An Argument for Dismantling a Dubious Category (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996).  An important revisionist argument.





Irenaeus of Lyons (ca. 130-200) formulated the classic Christian defense against the gnostics: that to be orthodox one must accept the tradition of teaching that has come to us from the apostles via public channels (the bishops, the books we now call the New Testament, and the "rule of faith" or Creed).



A. Rousseau, L. Doutreleau, C. Mercier, and B. Hemmerdinger, eds., Irénée de Lyons: Contre les hérésies, Sources chrétiennes 100, 152, 153, 210, 211, 263, 264, 293, 294 (Paris: Éditions du Cerf, 1965-1982).

A. Rousseau, ed., Irénée de Lyons: Démonstration de la prédication apostolique, Sources chrétiennes 406 (Paris: Éditions du Cerf, 1995).



Robert M. Grant, Irenaeus of Lyons, Early Church Fathers Series (London: Routledge, 1997).  Grant offers a 60-page introduction to Irenaeus’ life, work, and age as well as a good selection from his writings.


John Behr, trans., Irenaeus of Lyons: On the Apostolic Preaching (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1998).

David N. Power, Irenaeus of Lyons on Baptism and Eucharist: Selected Texts, Grove Liturgical Studies 65 (Bramcote, Nottingham: Grove, 1991).

D.J. Unger,  trans., St. Irenaeus of Lyons Against the Heresies, revised by J.J. Dillon, Ancient Christian Writers 55 (New York: Paulist, 1992) [Book1 only].



John Behr, Asceticism and Anthropology in Irenaeus and Clement, Oxford Early Christian Studies (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000).

Y.-M. Blanchard, Aux sources du canon: Le témoignage d’Irénée, Cogitatio fidei 175 (Paris: Éditions du Cerf, 1993).

Anthony Briggman, Irenaeus of Lyons and the Theology of the Holy Spirit, Oxford Early Christian Studies (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012) hardcover, $125.  NEW.

Mary Ann Donovan, One Right Reading? A Guide to Irenaeus (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1997).

J. Fantino, La théologie d’Irénée: Lecture des Écritures en réponse à l’exégèse gnostique: Une approche trinitaire (Paris: Éditions du Cerf, 1994).

Paul Foster and Sara Parvis, eds., Irenaeus: Life, Scripture, Legacy (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2012) hardcover, $40. NEW.

I.M. MacKenzie, Irenaeus’ Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching: A Theological Commentary and Translation (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004).

Denis Minns, Irenaeus (Washington: Georgetown University Press, 1994).

Eric F. Osborn, Irenaeus of Lyons (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001).

M.C. Steenberg, Of God and Man: Theology As Anthropology from Irenaeus to Athanasius (New York: T&T Clark / Continuum, 2009).

M.C. Steenberg, Irenaeus on Creation: The Cosmic Christ and the Saga of Redemption, Supplements to Vigilae Christianae (Boston / Leiden: Brill, 2008).





Oxford Apostolic Fathers series, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011-    ).  This new series offers critical editions of the Greek texts of the Apostolic Fathers, with a facing English translation, together with detailed introductions and commentary.  These should serve as the starting point for any study.  There are three volumes to date:

  • Paul Hartog, ed., Polycarp’s Epistle to the Philippians and the Martyrdom of Polycarp: Introduction, Text, and Commentary (2013) hardcover, $275.  NEW.

  • Clayton N. Jefford, ed., The Epistle to Diognetus (with the Fragment of Quadratus): Introduction, Text and Commentary (2013) hardcover, $185. NEW.

  • Christopher Tuckett, ed., 2 Clement: Introduction, Text and Commentary (2012) hardcover, $230.  NEW.

Paul Bradshaw, Maxwell E. Johnson, & L. Edward Phillips, ed., The Apostolic Tradition: A Commentary, Hermeneia Series (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2002).  The most exhaustive treatment to date; they offer a very serious to challenge to the widespread attribution of this document to Hippolytus.

J.H. Crehan, ed., Athenagoras: Embassy for the Christians, The Resurrection of the Dead, Anicent Christian Writers 23 (Westminster: Newman, 1956).

Bart D. Ehrman, ed., The Apostolic Fathers, Loeb Classical Library (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2003).  Greek and English on facing pages.

Bart D. Ehrman, ed., After the New Testament: A Reader in Early Christianity (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998).

Michael W. Holmes, ed., The Apostolic Fathers: The Greek Texts & English Translations (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007).  Greek text & English on facing pages.

Aaron Milavec, The Didache: Text, Translation, Analysis and Commentary (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2004).

Kurt Niederwimmer, The Didache: A Commentary, Hermeneia, trans. Linda M. Maloney (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1998).

Carolyn Osiek, The Shepherd of Hermas: A Commentary, Hermeneia (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1999).

W.R. Schoedel, ed., Athenagoras: Legatio and De resurrectione, Oxford Early Christian Texts (Oxford: Clarendon, 1972).

Maxwell Staniforth, ed., Early Christian Writings: The Apostolic Fathers, revised ed. by Andrew Louth (London: Penguin Books, 1987).

Alistair Stewart-Sykes, ed., Hippolytus: On the Apostolic Tradition (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir Seminary Press, 2001).  Includes a lengthy commentary on this vital (and influential) text. Be alert to his disagreement with the Bradshaw-Johnson views on authorship.

Alistair Stewart-Sykes, ed., On Pascha: Melito of Sardis, Popular Patristics Series (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir Seminary Press, 2001).




Andrew Gregory & Christopher Tuckett, eds., The New Testament and The Apostolic Fathers, 2 vol. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006).  This is an excellent collection of studies examining the intersections between the Apostolic Fathers and emerging New Testament canon.  See especially: Andrew Gregory, “1Clement and the Writings that Later Formed the New Testament,” 1:129-157; Michael W. Holmes, “Polycarp’s Letter to the Philippians and the Writings that Later Formed the New Testament,” 1:187-227.


O. M. Bakke, “Concord and Peace”: A Rhetorical Analysis of the First Letter of Clement with an Emphasis on the Language of Unity and Sedition, Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 143 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2001).

John F. Baldovin, “Hippolytus and the Apostolic Tradition: Recent Research and Commentary,” Theological Studies 64 (2003): 520-542.

L. W. Barnard, Athenagoras: A Study in Second-Century Christian Apologetic, Théologie Historique 18 (Paris: Beauchesne, 1972).

K. Berding, Polycarp and Paul: An Analysis of Their Literary and Theological Relationship in Light of Polycarp’s Use of Biblical and Extra-biblical Literature, Supplements to Vigiliae Christianae 62 (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2002).

Allen Brent, Hippolytus and the Roman Church in the Third Century: Communities in Tension Before the Emergence of a Monarch Bishop, Supplements to the Vigiliae Christianae 31 (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1995).

C. Breytenback and L. L. Welborn, eds., Encounters with Hellenism: Studies on the First Letter of Clement, Arbeiten zur Geschichte des antiken Judentums und Urchristentums 53 (Leiden / Boston: Brill, 2004).

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