Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Early Church Father's Online for Free!

If you want to read some of the earliest post-biblical documents written by the early church leaders you can do so by clicking here.  Last summer I did an independent study where I translated through several of the writings of the early church fathers and it was extremely rewarding.  I walked away from the study thinking that many Christians would benefit a lot more from reading these documents than the latest Christian author.  In other words, these documents should not just be viewed as the scholar's treasure chest that cannot be unlocked and explored with profitability by normal believers.  Below are a couple of quotes from The Martyrdom of Polycarp (a document from the second century) to give you a bit of a flavor for some of the things you will find:

The first quote is taken from when Polycarp was about to be killed and all he had to do to save his life was to swear by Caeser and deny the Christ.  Rather than swearing by Caeser he is quoted as saying:
"Eighty and six yeas have I served him, and he has done me no wrong; how then can I blaspheme my king who saved me?"
The second quote is from when Polycarp refused to deny Christ they wanted to burn him alive by nailing him to a stake. However, rather than allowing himself to be nailed to the stake he told his captors:
"Let me be as I am.  He that granted me to endure the fire will grant me also to remain at the fire unmoved, without beings secured with nails."

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