The writings of the Apostolic Fathers were seen as almost equal to Scripture by the early Church. Indeed, some were written at the same time as those documents which eventually came to make up the New Testament. The writings of these Fathers can be seen, therefore, as an authoritative source for the beliefs and traditions of Christian experience in its earliest and freshest form. The Apostolic Fathers wrote during the period of persecution, before the Church had any links with the State, and their writings are full of the liveliness and challenge of the new-born faith. Hence, while they may have little literary merit, they offer us the chance to encounter the power of Christian spirituality in its original purity and during a period in many ways similar to the present day.
Edited by Oliver Davies, introduced by Sheila Cassidy, and beautifully translated by Oliver Davies and Alun Idris Jones, this anthology of their writings provides us with the means of sharing in the very same promise of good things that they discovered.