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Bible Dictionaries

Morrish Bible Dictionary

Apostolic Fathers

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This designation is applied to the early Christian writers, who had known the apostles, or had known those who had been acquainted with them.

1. BARNABAS; 2. CLEMENT; 3. HERMAS; are supposed to be the persons so named in the N.T.: see under their respective names.

4. POLYCARP, Bishop of Smyrna. He wrote an epistle to the Philippians about A.D. 125, Irenaeus says Polycarp was "instructed by the apostles, and was brought into contact with many who had seen Christ." He died a martyr's death. An ancient letter gives a particular account of his martyrdom.

5. IGNATIUS, Bishop of Antioch. Seven epistles are supposed to have been written by him, but they have been grossly interpolated; eight or nine others are wholly spurious. He was a martyr.

6. PAPIAS, Bishop of Hierapolis in Phrygia. He is said to have heard the apostle John. Various writings are attributed to him, but of which only fragments remain. He also died a martyr.

7. An unknown author of an eloquent and interesting epistle to Diognetus. Nearly all the above writings are very differentfrom the scripture except where that is quoted. There is a deep dark line of demarcation between them and the writings which are inspired. Some of them however are found at the end of some of the Greek Testaments and were formerly read in the churches. Happily all these are now eliminated from any association with the N.T. Besides the above there are six apocryphal 'Gospels,' a dozen 'Acts,' four 'Revelations,' the 'Passing away of Mary,' etc.

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Bibliography Information
Morrish, George. Entry for 'Apostolic Fathers'. Morrish Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/mbd/a/apostolic-fathers.html. 1897.

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