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Apostolic Fathers, Again

BMCR reviews the third edition of Michael W. Holmes’ The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations, a handsome, durable, beautifully bound book that is never far from my reach.

This third edition of The Apostolic Fathers, edited and translated by Michael W. Holmes, traces its origins back to the bilingual edition of J. B. Lightfoot collected, edited, and published posthumously by J. R. Harmer in 1891. Holmes revised the Greek texts and English translations of this nineteenth-century work in 1992 and published an updated edition in 1999. The new edition under review here, however, has shed almost all vestiges of Lightfoot-Harmer and stands on its own as an independent critical edition of the Greek texts and English translations of the Apostolic Fathers.

The volume contains introductions to and editions and translations of the following works: First Clement, Second Clement, the Letters of Ignatius of Antioch, the Letter of Polycarp to the Philippians, the Martyrdom of Polycarp, the Didache, the Epistle of Barnabas, the Shepherd of Hermas, the Epistle to Diognetus, the Fragment of Quadratus, and Fragments of Papias.

The reviewer helpfully treats each ancient author individually. Read on.

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Alabama Getaway

This week I received the pure, unmerited grace of a trip to EWTN, the network that airs my television series with Scott Hahn. This time, though, I went to Alabama (sans banjo) to see my friend Johnnette Benkovic and appear on her talk show, “The Abundant Life.” We had a great time together, discussing my book Angels of God: The Bible, the Church and the Heavenly Hosts. I’m told that the show is scheduled to air during the Western Church’s week of angels — i.e., from September 29 (St. Michael) to October 2 (Guardian Angels).

Many great surprises awaited me at the cottage where I stayed. First: my old buddy Mark Shea, blogger and author of By What Authority? (a book we all should consider memorizing).

Then, by my bed, a beaten-up copy of Kenneth Howell’s recent translation of and commentary on the Ignatius of Antioch‘s corpus of letters. I read the whole thing during my downtime. It’s stunning — with helpful theological essays and notes throughout. I’m planning to buy a copy, so I can post a fuller review. It’s published by my friends at the Coming Home Network.

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New Book Is In

My newest new book, Fire of God’s Love: 120 Reflections on the Eucharist, has arrived!

It’s a collection of unusual (if I do say so myself), but entirely orthodox meditations from a diverse assortment of saints and thinkers. For example:

Marshall McLuhan

J.R.R. Tolkien

Maria Montessori

Blaise Pascal

Richard John Neuhaus

G.E.M. Anscombe

Plus the Fathers, of course: Augustine, Chrysostom, Ambrose, Ephrem, Caesarius of Arles, Cyril of Jerusalem, Balaeus, Irenaeus, Justin, Ignatius, Jacob of Sarugh, Maximus Confessor, Sechnall … And, as the folks at Ronco used to say, many more.

I’ve also invoked some names that were ubiquitous a century or a half ago, and should not be forgotten: Moritz Meschler, Nicholas Gihr, Maurice Zundel, April Oursler Armstrong, A.M. Roguet, Lawrence Lovasik … And, as the folks at Ronco used to say, many more.

And I’ve included my beloved friends Carl Sommer and Father Ronald Lawler — and Scott Hahn, to whom the book is dedicated.

I think you’ll like it. It’s a substantial book that sticks to your ribs. The readings I chose have stuck to mine, down the years.

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Signs and Goodies

This very cool homeschooling website just posted a kind review of my book Signs and Mysteries: Revealing Ancient Christian Symbols, which is gorgeously illustrated by Lea Marie Ravotti.

This is a beautiful little book. The design, typography, and illustrations are exquisite, light, and graceful. However, it is not light reading. To fully comprehend the meaning of each symbol, take it one chapter at a time. An understanding of these ancient symbols will bring us closer to our Christian roots, and in turn, closer to our Risen Lord.