Readings in the Fathers

For the last several Sundays I have been taking our adult morning study group through a survey of early Christianity. It has been a lot of fun. Also, I know there are some out there in the ether that are listening to the recordings, so I've been meaning to post the readings (and discussion questions when I have them)...and here they are (or were), including the readings I’m taking the group through this Sunday. I hope someone finds this beneficial.

July 11

Discussion Questions

  1. Chapters 1-5 are about the way of life and the way of death. Compare and contrast the exhortations in this section to the NT’s teaching on these matters, especially the preaching of Jesus.
  2. Compare and contrast their practice of baptism with our own.
  3. Compare and contrast their practice of the eucharist and our own.
  4. What problems are the instructions about itinerant apostles and prophets trying to avoid
  5. Other than baptism and the eucharist, what does this document mention as practices that the Christians were to practice when they gather for worship.

July 18

August 1

Justin Martyr (

Irenaeus (

August 8

Discussion Questions

  1. How does Melito's view of the fulfillment of the types of the Old Testament jive with your views?
  2. Though Melito is highly regarded among the fathers, some of his Christological statements seem to me to go in directions that might later have been deemed heretical. Are there any you can find?
  3. Concerning "The Apostolic Tradition", what are the primary offices and their roles in the church?
  4. While reading "The Apostolic Tradition" you will likely notice differences between their practices and our own. Instead of critiquing their practices, think past them to the ideas that they convey. Then compare them with the ideas behind our practices.