The documents of church history that are less technical, and for the ordinary layman or laywoman if interested. Augustine, Origen, and the ‘heavy-hitters’ of theology have been omitted. Though not authoritative, these documents are good examples of early Christianity. In red are some of my favorites.
- The Epistles of Clement to the Corinthians 1. (c. 96) 2. (c. 150 A.D.).
- The Epistle of Barnabas (c. 130) Probably not written by Barnabas, but named in his honor.
- The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians (c. 130) Interested in practical aspects of daily life.
- The Didache (c. 150) ‘Two Ways of Life’, it is a Christian handbook of sorts.
- The Shepherd of Hermas (c. 150): Claims to be revealed (like Revelation); disregarding that claim, it is concerned with church purity and good to see how early Christians thought.
- The Martyrdom of Polycarp (c. 155) Earliest recorded story of a C. martyr beyond the N.T.
- The Epistles of Ignatius (c. 250): Claimed to be written by him in 110 A.D., but may not be legitimate, yet describe the events of his martyrdom and offer Christian encouragement.