Introductory Reading List for Second Century Christianity

In response to numerous requests for some suggestions on how to begin reading the primary sources for second century Christianity, I put together the following primary source reading list. I placed these writings in general chronological order, according to my conservative date ranges (in parentheses) and the “average” date for ordering purposes in brackets. In their corresponding footnotes I include my preferred English translation as well as the preferred original language edition—usually Greek, but sometimes Latin or other languages. Most of these texts are also available online through http://www.ccel.org/. I have hyperlinked the text to various easily-accessible public domain online resources when possible. You may also purchase more recent published translations, which I included with hyperlinks to amazon.com listings when possible.

Transition from First to Second Century:
2. 1 Clement (95–97 [96])—English and Greek: Holmes, The Apostolic Fathers.
4. Epistle of Barnabas (75–135 [105])— English and Greek: Holmes, The Apostolic Fathers.
B. Early Second Century:
5. Ignatius of Antioch, Ephesians, Magnesians, Trallians, Romans, Philadelphians, Smyrnaeans, Polycarp (110–117 [113])— English and Greek: Holmes, The Apostolic Fathers.
6. Polycarp, Philippians (110–117 [113])— English and Greek: Holmes, The Apostolic Fathers.
7. Shepherd of Hermas, Parables (100–150 [125])— English and Greek: Holmes, The Apostolic Fathers.
8. Gospel of Peter (125)— English and Greek: Thomas J. Kraus and Tobias Nicklas, eds., Neutestamentliche Apokryphen, vol. 1, Das Petrusevangelium und die Petrusapokalypse: Die griechischen Fragmente mit deutscher und englisher Übersetzung, Die Griechischen Christlichen Shriftsteller der ersten Jahrhunderte, vol. 11 (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2004), 1-77.
9. 2 Clement (100–150 [125])— English and Greek: Holmes, The Apostolic Fathers.
12. Fragments of Papias (125–155 [140])—English and Greek: Holmes, The Apostolic Fathers.
C. Late Second Century:
15. Martyrdom of Polycarp (155–165 [160])— English and Greek: Holmes, The Apostolic Fathers.
18. Epistle to Diognetus (150–200 [175])— English and Greek: Holmes, The Apostolic Fathers.
19. Theophilus of Antioch, To Autolycus (170–185 [177])—English: Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe, eds., Fathers of the Second Century: Hermas, Tatian, Athenagoras, Theophilus, and Clement of Alexandria, 1926 American ed., The Ante-nicene Fathers, vol. 2 (New York: Scribner’s, 1926). Greek: Miroslav Marcovich, ed., Theophili Antiocheni Ad Autolycum, ed. H. Christian Brennecke and E. Mühlenberg, Patristische Texte und Studien, vol. 44 (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1995).
21. Irenaeus, Against Heresies 1–5, Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching (180–190 [185])— English: Iain M. MacKenzie, Irenaeus’s Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching: A Theological Commentary and Translation, trans. J. Armitage Robinson (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2002); Dominic J. Unger and John J. Dillon, eds., St. Irenaeus of Lyons, Adversus haeresis 1/1, Ancient Christian Writers 53 (New York: Newman, 1992); Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, eds., The Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 1: The Apostolic Fathers, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus (Edinburgh: Christian Literature Publishing Company, 1885; reprint, New York: Scribner’s, 1899). Original languages: Adelin Rousseau, ed., Irénée de Lyon, Démonstration de la prédication apostoloque, Sources chrétiennes 46 (Paris: Cerf, 1995); Adelin Rousseau and L. Doutreleau, eds., Irénée de Lyon: Contre les hérésies, Livre 1, vol. 2: Texte et traduction, Sources chrétiennes 264 (Paris: Cerf, 1979); Adelin Rousseau and L. Doutreleau, eds., Irénée de Lyon: Contre les hérésies, Livre 2, vol. 2: Texte et traduction, Sources chrétiennes 294 (Paris: Cerf, 1982); Adelin Rousseau and L. Doutreleau, eds., Irénée de Lyon: Contre les hérésies, Livre 3, vol. 2: Texte et traduction, Sources chrétiennes 211 (Paris: Cerf, 1974); Adelin Rousseau et al., eds., Irénée de Lyon: Contre les hérésies, Livre 4, vol. 2: Texte et traduction, Sources chrétiennes 100 (Paris: Cerf, 1965); Adelin Rousseau, C. Mercier, and L. Doutreleau, eds., Irénée de Lyon: Contre les hérésies, Livre 5, vol. 2: Texte et traduction, Sources chrétiennes 153 (Paris: Cerf, 1969).

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