Author Topic: Looking for resources on the view of apostolic succession in the early Church  (Read 617 times)

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Offline truthseeker32

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Hello everyone,
   I started my MA in history this month, and I plan to write my thesis on the view of apostolic succession in the first and second centuries (i.e. how it was defined, why it was seen as important). If any of you know of good academic resources on this topic I would appreciate recommendations.

Online Justin Kissel

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Would it be fair to assume that you are looking for scholarly/secondary sources and not primary sources/references?

Offline truthseeker32

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Would it be fair to assume that you are looking for scholarly/secondary sources and not primary sources/references?
Yes, exactly.

Offline TheTrisagion

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I am shooting purely from the hip here, but my recollection is when I read several of Clement of Rome's letters, he discussed it.  He was first century and a contemporary of the Apostles.
Quote from: Mor Ephrem
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Offline Gunnarr

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SECONDARY sources!? "Scholarly" sources!?
Bah humbug! Secular universities!

I can imagine it now in the church universities... (it does exist)

"St. John of Damascus was against iconoclasm, according to Professor ORLLY who said that John of Damascus said, 'I like icons, and I use an argument with this verse here from the bible '~~~~''"

Cut out the middle man, and directly quote the saint already!!!

It reminds me of a story about greek theological universities, which had become secularized, scholastic, philosophical (I cannot think of a good word for it). oh, "WESTERN!!!" ;p

Anyway, the student's masters thesis is being critiqed by the professors of a... let us say unnamed greece theological university. They say, why are there so few scholarly sources in your writing? There are hardly any sources taken from theologians, mostly just quoting various saint theologians from long ago and the scriptures. And the student responds, correctly, that the theologians are the saints, who he was constantly quoting. It is not the professors of theology who are theologians, the saints are the theologians. or something like that.


This reminds me of what St. Gregory Palamas said about theology, there are three types. But I am babbling on too much about off topic stuff, like always
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Offline Gunnarr

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sorry, not three types of theology,

three types of "theologians"
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Offline Nicene

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If you haven't already read it, Jaroslav Pelikan's work on the history of church tradition volume 1 comes into mind.
Thank you.

Offline jah777

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You really should be reading what the Fathers themselves said in the early centuries. 

Offline Gunnarr

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I bought a certain writing by a Saint hippolytus about "Apostolic Tradition" thinking it would talk about it...

but nope, its just some explanation of liturgy and rules ectect

Could not even read it, the translator writes paragraphs for each sentence of actual writing.
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Online Justin Kissel

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You really should be reading what the Fathers themselves said in the early centuries. 

I think those are readily available and easily found, thus what he is asking for are secondary sources that might not immediately present themselves in a Google search.

I am still trying to think about if I would recommend anything in particular. I've thought about books that mention it here and there, but often little more than a paragraph or two, and nothing more developed or expanded. I also don't want to just try to search for books that I've never read and then throw the titles out, if I can help it. ...  :-\

Offline Nektarios_In_E.S.

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Dear Truthseeker32
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2013, 12:42:46 PM »
This is a wonderful topic that you're investigating.  Here are some fantastic sources that will definitely help you:

Primary Source:
"Early Christian Writings" by Andrew Louth on Penguin Classics
(I recommend the actual letters by St.Clement of Rome and when he talks about the inheritance of ancient Israel to the Church).  Plus, indirectly, his Epistle will give you wonderful knowledge of the Early Church.
http://www.amazon.com/Early-Christian-Writings-Apostolic-Classics/dp/0140444750 

Secondary Source:
"From Jesus to Christianity" by L.Michael White
(In spite of this written by a secualr Scholar, I've never seen a more objective treatment of the era following the Apostolic Age giving way to the next generation of the Apostolic Fathers: St.Clement, St.Ignatios, St.Polycarp, etc., than by this writer.  I truly enjoyed this chapter and highly highly recommend this book.  I was so impressed with all the evidence that this writer treats his subject with: primary sources, secondary sources and archaeological finds.  This is a must for any student of early patristics, early Christianity and it should help you greatly with your topic at hand).
http://www.amazon.com/From-Jesus-Christianity-Generations-Storytellers/dp/0060816104

Finally, here is an easy to read booklet that will sum it all up for you:
"Apostolic Succession" ( <-----doesn't get more simple than that!)
by Fr.Gregory Rogers
http://store.ancientfaith.com/apostolic-succession-pdf-booklet/

My dear friend and "seeker of truth" I truly hope this helps you!  I also strongly encourage you to continue to prayerfully search for the truth, which, like me, I also found it in the Holy Orthodox Church.  Trust me, I've bounced around different religions and denominations and churches until, I discovered The Truth here.

Best regards,
Nektarios