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Lightfoot's Apostolic Fathers In English - J. B. Lightfoot, D. D., D.C. L., LL. D.

THE text of the Epistles of Clement, Ignatius and Polycarp and of the Martyrdom of Polycarp is taken from Bishop Lightfoot’s larger work The Apostolic Fathers, Part I. S. Clement of Rome (2 vols., Macmillan & Co., 1890); Part II. S. Ignatius, S. Polycarp (2nd edition, 3 vols., Macmillan & Co., 1889). That of the Teaching of the Apostles was revised by him for this work. Mr Harmer contributes the text of the Epistle of Barnabas, the Shepherd of Hermas, and the Epistle to Diognetus. The Fragments of Papias and the Reliques of the Elders are taken from the printed editions referred to in each case.

No attempt has been made to give any apparatus criticus; but in passages where the reading of all the Greek authorities has been set aside for that of a version or patristic quotation, or for a conjectural emendation, the fact is stated in a footnote, and the authorities given.

The introductions throughout (with the exceptions of those which deal with the text, and the short prefatory note to the Fragments of Papias) were either written by Dr Lightfoot for this work, or are derived from his larger work referred to above.

The translations of the Epistles of Clement, Ignatius, and Polycarp and of the Martyrdom of Polycarp are reprinted from the larger edition. The rest of the translations are based upon rough notes found among his papers, but in the case of the Reliques of the Elders Keble’s translation of Irenæus in the Library of Fathers of the Holy Catholic Church (Parker & Co., 1872) has been adopted with a few verbal alterations.

Mr Harmer alone has fulfilled the task of seeing the volume through the press, and the Trustees are indebted to him in this and in other works not only for critical skill and constant care, but also for great generosity which is not further referred to only in deference to his own firmly expressed wish. It should however be added that the Bishop himself recorded in a written memorandum ‘his earnest desire that Mr Harmer’s name should stand upon the title page, side by side with his own.’

It is hoped that an index of words and phrases will be published separately.

H. W. W.

May 25, 1891.








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