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HISTORY

THE EARLY CHURCH FATHERS:

The Didache, although short, is considered by many to be the single most important and formative non-canonical writing that we have today from the Early Church period. The Nicene Creed, appearing a hundred or so years later, is still a vital confession of faith proclaimed around the world daily!

:: View or download: THE DIDACHE -Late 1st/early 2nd Century Liturgy (Ruffle Library)

:: View or download: The NICENE CREED (with notes)

Have you ever wondered what other orthodox writings the Early Fathers made that were not included in the New Testament? Here are the early non-canonical writings of the Church in easy-to-read text in 2 volumes with instant access to chapters:

:: View or download: The Apostolic Fathers -vol 1 of 2 -indexed text (Jesus Army Library)

:: View or download: The Apostolic Fathers -vol 2 of 2 -indexed text (Jesus Army Library)

These (above) are Volumes 1 and 2 of Philip Schaff’s work, the ‘Anti-Nicene Fathers’ which is lower on this page, (from a different source, and includes the entire 9-volume set plus index.) The version presented above is lacking the prefaces and introductions, but is very clear to read and hyper-indexed.  It is a good starting-point for anyone wishing to begin the personal re-discovery the early non-canonical writings of the Church. Today, most Christians read non-canonical religious books that are published by the thousand every year. (We call them “religious best-sellers”!) So why we so often overlook such volumes from the early centuries, that help us connect with our rich Christian heritage, I can’t understand. This indeed was one of the reasons why I launched the D. H. Ruffle Memorial Library in 2011. -JR, 23.01.12 

:: View or download: SCRIPTURE CITATIONS of the Early Fathers (Agape)

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FOR MORE ADVANCED STUDY:

:: View or download:The History of the CHRISTIAN COUNCILS – C. J. Hefele (Book 1 &2 to AD 325)

Volumes 2-7 of Hefele, which cover the period up to and including the 1st Vatican Council, are currently missing. If anyone can help locate the English translations, published 1855-1874 (1st edition) or the 2nd edition, c 1883, this will be appreciated. Email  john.ruffle@yahoo.com  Update: We’ve now located them, but there will be a lot of work preparing volumes 2-7 for readable pdf files. 23/01/12 JR

:: View or download: EUSEBIUS -Church History

:: View or download: EARLY LITURGIES and Other Documents -Volume 24, Roberts

:: View or download: The Complete Works of JOSEPHUS

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August Neander’s History of the Early Church is important not only because of the history of the Church he records, but also because he was an 19th century academic who was also a total disciple of Jesus Christ. Neander is not even his birth-name, but like the monks of old, at his conversion at age 17, he changed his name to Neander, which means “new man”.

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:: View or download: 19th Century Theologians 1: Augustus Neander (1 page)*

:: View or download: Life of Augustus Neander by Schaff (43 pages)*

:: View or download: A General History of the Church: Volume 1 -Neander (1853)

:: View or download: 19th Century Theologians 2: Philip Schaff (1 page)*

* Denotes a document uniquely written and/or edited and typeset for the D.H. Ruffle Memorial Library. May be used freely for study and instruction.

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Philip Schaff’s important 19th century work, the ‘Anti-Nicene Fathers’ on the early Church Fathers is here, complete and in one place, in nine volumes, (plus a 10th volume, which is an INDEX to the entire work). Schaff in many ways, carried on the work of Christ through academia after the death of Neander. Schaff moved to USA, where (unlike Neander) he wrote in English.

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:: View or download: Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 01

:: View or download: Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 02

:: View or download: Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 03

:: View or download: Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 04

:: View or download: Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 05

:: View or download: Ante-Nicene-Fathers Volume 06

:: View or download: Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 07

:: View or download: Ante-Nicene-Fathers Volume 08

:: View or download: Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 09

:: View or download: Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 10 [General Index]

:: More volumes by Philip Schaff HERE

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THE ORIGINS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT WRITINGS:

Is the New Testament canon of scripture the inspired Word of God? When and how was it ratified? What about the books that failed to make it into the NT canon? What might this tell us about the Tradition of the Church? To answer these and more questions, we have to take an intelligent look at the Early Church  writings and councils of the first three centuries in particular. Because of the importance of  this topic, we have dedicated this entire corner of the D. H. Ruffle Memorial Library to explore the origins of our New Testament Canon of Scripture.

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The History of the New Testament Canon of Scripture:

The well-regarded 20th century theologian F.F. Bruce explains in this article how we received the New Testament Canon of Scripture:

:: View or download: The New Testament Scripture Canon -F. F. Bruce

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A chart listing the number of times the Early Church Fathers quoted from what was to become the New Testament Canon of Scripture:

:: View or download: Scripture Citations of the Early Fathers [from Agape]

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A fourth-century exhortation to study Scripture, attributed to St. Ephraim, (2 pages).

:: View or download: St. EPHRAIM on Scripture Study [from Agape]

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A recent theological thesis by C. G. Bateman that discusses the New Testament canon of Scripture. (advanced study)

:: View or download: The New Testament Canon – C. G. Bateman

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Anti-Nicene Christian Library, Volume 24: Early Liturgies & Other Documents, from original sources.  Edited by Roberts, Donaldson (1883) Indexed. (advanced study)

:: View or download: EARLY LITURGIES and Other Documents -Volume 24, Roberts

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To view the D. H. Ruffle Memorial Library collection of documents in the LIBRARY TIME-LINE from the 4th Century to the Present, click HERE,

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- This page created on the Nativity of Our Lord, 2011 John R.     -Volumes added and revised, 28 December 2011 John R.     – Page edited and reformatted, 2 January, 2012 John R.     -Additions, 5 January 2012 John R.  -Corrections 23 January 2012 JR

 

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