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By Rick Brannan / Lexham Press / 2011
Those known as “Apostolic Fathers” wrote what has become some of the most important literature in the early church—letters and epistolary documents, homilies and theological tracts, documents on church order, and apocalyptic literature. In fact, some texts came close to inclusion in the New Testament canon. Tertullian regarded Hermas as Scripture, Irenaeus treated 1 Clement as canonical, and Origen regarded the Didache as inspired. Barnabas and Hermas were included in Codex Sinaiticus and 1 Clement and 2 Clement were included in Codex Alexandrinus. The near-canonical status of the writings of the Apostolic Fathers in the early church makes their importance for modern study undisputed.
Following the model of other interlinears produced by Lexham Press (Hebrew Bible, New Testament, Septuagint), The Apostolic Fathers Greek–English Interlinear presents two levels of interlinear translation. The first is the lexical value, which is a gloss of the lexical or dictionary form of the word. The second is the English literal translation, a contextually sensitive gloss of the inflected form of the word. The difference in these glosses is subtle, but powerful. The first gloss answers the question, “What does this word mean?” The second gloss answers the question, “What does this word mean here?”
In addition to the interlinear translations, direct links to Louw and Nida's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament based on Semantic Domains are provided for every Greek word, except for those words not present in the Greek New Testament. These links are context-sensitive and connect directly to the appropriate Louw and Nida article. Those familiar with Louw and Nida's lexicon know that one Greek word may have many different entries in the lexicon, one for each semantic sense. These Louw-Nida references jump to the appropriate article when there is more than one option—providing a contextually-appropriate lexicon definition for the word under study. These links also allow for searching the Apostolic Fathers text by Louw-Nida domain and article information.
This new interlinear from Lexham Press makes the Greek text of the Apostolic Fathers more accessible and useful for a larger audience. It features a literal translation for each word, a grammatically-informed context sensitive gloss, and other interlinear features. It also includes morphological tagging, idioms and cross-references, and lexical, text-critical, and translational notes.
These documents are invaluable for the view they give us of the church just after the New Testament period. . . . The Apostolic Fathers provide a bridge between the New Testament and the later fathers of the church. We see in them a diversity of viewpoint but at the same time evidence of a common and uniting faith. Without question there is theological development on some issues from the New Testament writings with the result that we find both continuity and at times a degree of discontinuity with the views of the New Testament writers. The Apostolic Fathers neither simply repeat the theology of the New Testament, nor do they depart radically from it by creating a new theology. Rather than being creators they are supreme adapters of the theology they received. These writings, in short, throw light upon the church of the late first century to the middle of the second, a church faced with a variety of difficult problems. These they address by means of the frequent quotation of Old Testament Scripture, the sayings of Jesus, and the tradition of the apostles. Using these materials and others, they consolidate the faith and practice of the church in an era of increasing challenges. In so doing they remain remarkably faithful to what they had received.
—Ralph P Martins and Peter Davids note in the Dictionary of the Later New Testament and Its Developments
Rick Brannan has been reading, studying, translating, writing, and blogging about the Apostolic Fathers for years. He edited An English-Greek Reverse Interlinear of the Apostolic Fathers and The Lexham English Bible English-Greek Reverse Interlinear of the New Testament. He has published articles in Bible Study Magazine and presented on matters of Greek grammar and syntax at national meetings for the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) and the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS). He also presented at the Bible Technologies Conference, BibleTech. He is a member of the North American Patristics Society (NAPS). He works as the Information Architect for Greek Databases and also the Product Manager of New Testament Greek, New Testament Textual Criticism, and Patristics resources for Logos Bible Software.