The Apostolic Fathers

1. “The term ‘Apostolic Fathers’ is a misleading modern affectation.” Discuss.

2. Ignatius of Antioch: EITHER

a. Why was Ignatius so keen to become a martyr?


   b. What, if anything, can we learn from Ignatius’ letters about late first-century Antioch?

3. Is the Shepherd of Hermas correctly understood as Christian apocalyptic literature?

4. Evaluate the arguments used by 1 Clement to restore unity to the Corinthian church.

5. Consider the value of the Didache as a tool for reconstructing the beliefs and practices of the early church.

6. ‘The Epistle of Barnabas represents a second-century attempt to achieve the sort of grotesquely allegorizing anti-Jewish ‘replacement theology’ that the New Testament never articulated, and which was soon to prove fertile ground for Gnosticism.’ Discuss.

7. ‘The Epistle to Diognetus is a late apologetic tract of philosophical commonplaces, which is unrepresentative of Christian belief and politics in the first two centuries.’ Discuss.


a. Do the writings of the Apostolic Fathers witness to a declining understanding of the New Testament gospel?


b. ”The Apostolic Fathers show little awareness of the canonical gospel tradition.’ Discuss.