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  • Is like an Electronic Encyclopedia of the first five centuries of Church History, with extensive links to information on around 800 people and themes, and around 230 Church Councils.

  • Gives easy access to complete Greek and Latin texts which are in the public domain and translations (where found available) from the first five centuries. There are carefully indexed links to authors and their works, including an expanding index of commentaries, homilies etc. by biblical book. Nearly all of the Greek and Latin texts from this period contained in the Migne Patrologia series are covered. Some other sources are also used. The texts used are the scanned versions available at Google Books and elsewhere. A distinctive feature of the Early Church Texts website is that where English translations have been found available online they can easily be read immediately alongside the original Greek and Latin. (A complete list of authors represented is here. A sample text is here.)

  • Is like a Reader in Early Christian History and Theology with 220+ carefully prepared on-site texts (original language with English translation alongside) from the first five centuries of the life of the Church. These texts are mainly extracts and cover a range of significant themes and represent several authors. All have dictionary lookup links. (See "List of Original Language Texts and Translations" below for a complete list.)

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 List of Original Language Texts and Translations available on and through the site
This link gives a list of the "on-site" original language texts and translations, arranged by theme and alphabetically by author. (A subscription is needed to have the translation alongside the original language, and to print the texts.) It also gives a list of the authors for whom complete texts (many with translations) can be found on external websites through carefully indexed links on the subscription site.

Van Eyck - Jerome  

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Keywords: Patristics, Early Church Fathers, Early Church Councils, Early Church Creeds, Original Greek Language Texts, Original Latin Language Texts, Patristic Texts, Greek Text, Latin Text, Apostolic Fathers Greek Texts, Greek text of apostolic fathers.

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Current texts available (all with English translation) are :-

 

Ambrose letter to Emperor Theodosius after the massacre at Thessalonica
Ambrose letters 17 and 18 - response to the Plea of Symmachus about the restoration of The Altar of Victory
Ambrose letter 20 to Marcellina

Ambrose letter 40 to Emperor Theodosius about the affair of the Synagogue in Callinicum

Apollinaris, Apollinarius, his teaching on Christology from fragments of his writings

Aristides, Apology, 1 - 2 and 15 - 17

Arius, Confession of Faith to Constantine as found in Socrates and Sozomen

Arius, letter to Alexander of Alexandria as found in Athanasius and Epiphanius. Arius and his colleagues set out their faith.

Arius, letter to Eusebius of Nicomedia as found in Theodoret and Epiphanius. Arius speaks about his Christology.

Arius, the Thalia of, as found in Athanasius, Adversus Arianos Oratio Prima and De Synodis

Athanasius on the atonement

Athanasius on the Beginnings of Heresy about The Holy Spirit (Letter to Serapion, 1.1)

Athanasius De Synodis, 22-25 - the creeds of the Council of Antioch in 341

Athanasius 39th Festal Letter stating the Canonical books of the New Testament - Greek text with English translation

Athanasius The Life of Antony chapters 5 - 10 and 89 - 94

Athanasius Oration III against the Arians, 29 - 34 (on the Word made flesh and the two natures of Christ)

Augustine, Letter 93, to Vincentius - "cogite intrare" - compel them to come in

Augustine on how he was influenced by Ambrose. Confessions, 5. 13.23 - 14.25.

Augustine on how he was influenced by the reading of Cicero's Hortensius. (Confessions 3. 3.6 - 5.9)

Augustine on his conversion from Confessions, 8. 12. 28-30

Augustine on the cross from Contra Faustum Manicheaum, 14

Augustine on the episcopate

Augustine on free will

Augustine on Hymn Singing in Milan during the time of Ambrose, from Confessions, 9. 7. 15

Augustine on Nature and Grace from De Natura et Gratia, 3-6

Augustine on whether Christians should serve in the military - Letters, 189 to Boniface

Augustine on Pelagianism - the first part of chapter 88 of De Haeresibus.

Augustine on Pelagius and his denial of Original Sin from De Peccato Originali, 13.

Augustine on Philosophy and Theology / Christianity and Pagan learning from De Doctrina Christiana (On Christian Doctrine), 40 (60, 61) - Latin text with English translation

Augustine on the Relation of the Old and the New Testaments from De Utilitate Credendi 9.3.
Augustine Sermon 272 on the nature of the Sacrament of The Eucharist

Augustine on The Trinity from De Trinitate, 9

Augustine on War. Chapters 69 - 76 from Book 22 of Contra Faustum Manichaeum

Barnabas, Epistle of, 9: 6-9, and 12: 1-7. The Greek text is from the Kirsopp Lake edition of the Apostolic Fathers

Basil of Caesarea - Address to Young Men On The Right Use of Greek Literature

Basil of Caesarea on God's Essence and God's Attributes, Letter 234

Basil of Caesarea on the Holy Spirit, Letter 159 (to Eupaterius and his daughter)

Basil of Caesarea, Letter 2, to Gregory of Nazianzus about ascetic life at Annesos

Basil of Caesarea on ousia and hypostasis

Basil of Caesarea - Regulae Fusius Tractatae  (Longer Rule) - extracts from q. 7

Basil of Caesarea homily on Psalm 14 against usury

Bede on the martyrdom of Alban - Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum, 1. 7.

Canons of the Council of Carthage (418) on sin and grace

Canons of the Council of  Chalcedon, 451 - Greek text from Bright's Canons, and Latin from Dionysius Exiguus

Canons of the Council of Constantinople, 381 - Greek text from Bright's Canons, and Latin from Dionysius Exiguus

Canons of the Council of Elvira - 81 canons dating from the first decade of the fourth century

Canons of the Council of Ephesus, 431 - Greek text from Bright's Canons, and Latin from Dionysius Exiguus

Canons of the Council of Gangra, mid 4th Century

Canons of the Council of Nicaea, 325
Cassian, John - The Spirit of Accidie - Latin text from Institutes, 10. 1-2

The Chalcedonian Definition

Chalcedon - The Letter of the 451 Council to Leo

Chalcedon - The Imperial Confirmation (452) of the Council - Edict of Marcian and Valentinian III.

1 Clement on Christian Ministry - Greek text with English translation

Clement of Alexandria, Liber Quis Dives Salvetur, 11 - 17, on the Christian attitude towards riches

Clement of Alexandria on the Ineffability of God (Stromateis, 5. 12)

Clement of Alexandria on Philosophy and Christianity (Stromateis, 1. 5)

Codex Theodosianus - a selection of the edicts relating to Christianity and the Church from this corpus of Roman Law
Constantinople, Council of, 448 - The condemnation of Eutyches

Creed of Constantinople (Homoian creed of the year 360) - Greek text from Athanaius, De Synodis

Creed of the Long Lines, Ekthesis Macrostichos - 345 - Greek Text with English translation (from Athanasius and Socrates)

Creed of Nicaea in Greek and Latin - Greek text as agreed at Council of Nicaea in 325

Creed (first) of Sirmium (351), as found in Athanasius, De Synodis, Socrates, Historia Ecclesiastica and Hilary, De Synodis.

Creed (second) of Sirmium (357) - "The Blasphemy", as found in Athanasius, De Synodis, Socrates, Historia Ecclesiastica and Hilary, De Synodis.

Creed (fourth) of Sirmium (359) - The "Dated", Greek text as found in Athanasius, De Synodis and Socrates, Historia Ecclesiastica.

Creed of the Western Council of Sardica (343) - Theodoret, Historia Ecclestiaca, book 2. 6 (or 8)

Cyprian Letter to Pompey about Stephen's views on the baptism of "heretics" - Epistle 73 or 74, LXXIII or LXXIV - Latin text with English translation

Cyprian Letter to Quintus about the baptism of "heretics" - Epistle 70 or 71, LXX or LXXI - Latin text with English translation

Cyprian on the Sacrament of the Cup of the Lord (Epistle 63 to Caecilius)
Cyprian On the Unity of the Church

Cyril of Alexandria Letter to John of Antioch

Cyril of Alexandria Second Letter to Nestorius

Cyril of Alexandria Twelve Anathemas against Nestorius

Cyril of Jerusalem on  the significance of baptism from Mystagogica Catechesis, 1. 1-3 (Catechetical Lecture, 19 XIX)

Cyril of Jerusalem on the Catholic Church from Catechetical Lecture, 18. 23 & 26

The Didache - Greek text with English translation

Dio Cassius on persecution under Domitian from Historiae Romane, 67. 14.

Diognetus, Epistle to - chapters 5-7 - Greek text with English translation, Epistle to Diognetus, Letter to Diognetus

Dionysius of Alexandria - Defence of his Theology - Greek text from Athanasius, De Sententia Dionysii, 14 - 18
Dionysius of Rome against the Sabellians - Greek text from Athanasius, De Decretis Nicaeni Synodi, ch. 26

Egeria (Etheria) - Silviae Vel Potius Aetheriae Peregrinatio Ad Loca Sancta (chapters XXV - Epiphany): The Pilgrimage of Etheria

Egeria (Etheria) - Silviae Vel Potius Aetheriae Peregrinatio Ad Loca Sancta (chapters XXIX - XL - Holy Week and Easter): The Pilgrimage of Etheria

Epiphanius - Marcellus of Ancyra apologia to Pope Julius (containing the Old Roman Creed)

Epiphanius Adversus Haereses (Panarion), 62 in which the views of Sabellius and the Sabellians are described.

Eusebius of Caesarea on the Canon of the New Testament, from Historia Ecclesiastica 3.25.

Eusebius of Caesarea on the Canonical Epistles (Peter and Paul) of the New Testament, from Historia Ecclesiastica 3.3.

Eusebius of Caesarea - The Edict of Milan - translation into Greek from the Latin (See under Lactantius.)

Eusebius of Caesarea  - Letter to his Church about the Creed of Nicaea. (as found in Socrates, Historia Ecclesiastica, 1.8)

Eusebius of Caesarea - Life of Constantine, Constantine's vision of the cross

Eusebius of Caesarea - Montanism - the Origins of, from Historia Ecclesiastica, 5.16

Eusebius of Caesarea - on Origen, from Historia Ecclesiastica, 6. 2-3

Eusebius of Caesarea - Origen's work on the Text of the Old Testament (his Hexapla), from Historia Ecclesiastica, 6.16

Eusebius of Caesarea - Pantaenus, from Historia Ecclesiastics, 5. 10 - 11

Eusebius of Caesarea - Papias, from Historia Ecclesiastica, 3.39

Eusebius of Caesarea - Persecution under Nero and the martyrdom of Peter and Paul, from Historia Ecclesiastica, 2.25

Eusebius of Caesarea - Quadratus and Aristides, from Historia Ecclesiastica, 4.3
Eusebius of Caesarea - The Quartodeciman Controversy over the date of Easter, from Historia Ecclesiastica, 3. 23 - 25

Eusebius of Caesarea - Rain from Heaven in answer to Christian prayers, from Historia Ecclesiastica, 5.5

Eusebius of Caesarea - on Tatian, from Historia Ecclesiastica, 4, 28 - 29
Eusebius of Caesarea - The Two Theodoti and Monarchianism from Historia Ecclesiastica, 5.28.

Evagrius of Pontus - the Eight Logismoi (thoughts) from the Praktikos

Flavian - Appeal to Leo following the Robber Synod of 449 (Appellation Flaviani)

Gregory of Nazianzus on the Deity of the Holy Spirit

Gregory of Nazianzus Critique of Apollinaris and Apollinarianism, from letter 101 to Cledonius

Gregory of Nazianzus Letter CXXX to Procopius, in which he complains about the futility of Councils of Bishops.

Gregory of Nazianzus - Oration 1 on Easter (Oratio 1 - In sanctum Pascha et in tarditatem)

Gregory of Nazianzus on the Theophany, or Birthday of Christ. Oratio, 38 (1 - 4, 13 - 18).

Gregory of Nyssa on Baptism. In Baptismum Christi (On the Baptism of Christ) - excerpt.

Gregory of Nyssa Life of St Macrina (excerpts)

Gregory of Nyssa Oratio Contra Usurarios (excerpts)

Gregory of Nyssa on the self-emptying of the Godhead

Hadrian Rescript to Caius

Hilary of Poitiers on The Trinity: From De Trinitate, book 12. 52 and 57 - Latin text with English translation

Hilary of Poitiers on The Two Natures of Christ: From De Trinitate, book 9. 14 and 10. 19 - Latin text with English translation

Hippolytus writing about Callistus

Hippolytus on Montanist Prophets from  Refutation of All Heresies, 8. 19.

Ignatius Letter to the Magnesians - about Christianity and Judaism - Greek text with English translation (also whole letter)

Ignatius Letter to the Romans, chapter 5 about Martyrdom - Greek text with English translation (also link to complete letter)

Ignatius Letter to the Smyrnaeans - about Ministry and Sacraments - Greek text with English translation (also whole letter)

Ignatius Letter to the Trallians - about Docetism - Greek text with English translation (also whole letter)

Irenaeus about Basilides (Gnostic) from Adversus Haereses, 1. 19 (Harvey edition) - Latin text with English translation

Irenaeus about Ebionites from Adversus Haereses, 1. 22 - Latin text (Harvey edition) with English translation

Irenaeus on the Eucharist from Adversus Haereses, 4. 31 (Harvey edition)

Irenaeus - the Glory of God, a living human being, man fully alive, from Adversus Haereses, 4. 34. 5-7 (Harvey edition)

Irenaeus - on Humanity and the Image and Likeness of God, extracts from Adversus Haereses,  books 3, 4 and 5. (Harvey edition)

Irenaeus on Marcion from Adversus Haereses, 1. 24 (Migne edition)

Irenaeus on Recapitulation in Christ from Adversus Haereses, 3.18.1 and 5.21.1 (Migne edition)

Irenaeus "The Rule of Faith" from Adversus Haereses, 1. 2 - 3 (Harvey edition)

Irenaeus on Tradition from Adversus Haereses, 3. 2. 1 - 3. 4. 2 (Harvey edition)

James, Protoevangelium of - Greek text with English translation

Jerome Contra Joannem Hierosolymitanum, 7. (A negative attitude towards Origen)

Jerome Fragment of Letter 33 to Paula. (A positive attitude towards Origen)

Jerome Letter 15 to Pope Damasus (about three hypostases)

Jerome Letter 22 to Eustochium (section 7), about Jerome's experiences as an ascetic in the desert

Jerome Letter 22 to Eustochium (section 30), in which Jerome describes how he struggled over whether he was a follower of Cicero or Christ

Jerome Letter 22 to Eustochium (sections 34-35) in which he describes the life of three kinds of Egyptian monks: Coenobites, Anchorites and Remoboth.

Jerome Letter 45 to Asella -  his departure from Rome, A.D. 385.

Jerome Letter 53 to Paulinus, on the importance of Scripture and how to understand it
Jerome Letter 146 to Evangelus -
Deacons, Presbyters and Bishops

Jerome preface to the Four Gospels

Jerome on Quadratus and Aristides, from De Viris Illustribus, 19 - 20

John Chrysostom on free will and grace - Homily 16 on Romans 9

John Chrysostom Easter Sermon (Paschal Sermon)

John Chrysostom - Homily VI on Matthew Chapter 2: 1-2 (The Magi and the Star)

John Chrysostom - Homily XIII On The Statues to the People of Antioch (opening sections)

John Chrysostom - Homily XVII On The Statues to the People of Antioch (selections about the intervention of the monks)

John Chrysostom - Homily XXI On The Statues to the People of Antioch (the complete text - Flavian before Theodosius)

John Chrysostom - Homily XXXIV on 1 Corinthians 13: 8, about the the relationship between rich and poor.

John Chrysostom - Letter during his second exile from Constantinople appealing to to Innocent I for support (from Palladius Dialogus De Vita S. Joannis Chrysostomi)

Julian of Eclanum - Baptism - from Liber I ad Turbantium, as found in Augustine, Contra Secundam Juliani Responsionem Imperfectum Opus, 1.53.

Julian (Emperor) Rescript on Christian Teachers - Letter 36

Justin Martyr on the possibility of Christians before Christ

Justin Martyr on Baptism from Apology 1. 61.

Justin Martyr on the celebration of the Eucharist and the pattern of Sunday of Worship from Apology 1. 65 - 67.

Lactantius Liber de Mortibus Persecutorum, XI - XIII. The beginning, in 303, of the great persecution under Diocletian and Galerius.

Lactantius Liber de Mortibus Persecutorum, XXXIV. The Edict of Galerius - the end of the Great Persecution.

Lactantius Liber de Mortibus Persecutorum, XLIV. Constantine's heavenly vision before the battle of Milvian Bridge in 312.

Lactantius Liber de Mortibus Persecutorum, XLVIII. The Edict of Milan granting freedom of worship to Christians.

Leo - Sermon on the Festival of The Nativity VIII, (Sermon XXVIII)

Leo - The Tome of Leo. Both the Greek Text and the Latin Text of this influential Christological document.

Libellus from the time of the persecution under the emperor Decius

Lucian - The Passing of Peregrinus: 11-14

Macarius (see under Pseudo-Macarius.)

Martyrdom of Polycarp

Meletius of Lycopolis - Codex Veronensis LX - Letter of Four Egyptian Bishops, A note about the Meletian Schism, Letter of Peter of Alexandria to his flock.
Minucius Felix Octavius, chapters 5, 6, 8, 9 and 12 - the case made against Christianity by Caecilius

Muratorian Canon, both as found in Migne PL and in Gwatkin Selections from Early Christian Writers.

Nestorius, Reply to the Second Letter of Cyril of Alexandria

Nicene Creed in Greek and Latin - as agreed at the Council of Constantinople in 381

Novatian De Trinitate, chapter 31. The Latin text from the Fausset 1909 edition with the NPNF English translation.

Old Roman Creed - forerunner of the Apostles Creed - Greek and Latin texts

Optatus on the origins of the Donatist Controversy from De Schismate Donatistarum, 1.15-19. Latin text with English translation.

Origen - Celsus' objections against Christianity. Extracts from Contra Celsum

Origen - On Prayer - De Oratione, XXXI - XXXIV - Greek text and English translation

Origen - The Preface to De Principiis -  Greek text and English translation
Origen from De Principiis 4.2.4 (in Greek)- how to understand the Scriptures - threefold understanding

Origen from De Principiis 4.16 about the Parabolic Element in Scripture

(Palladius - see John Chrysostom above for text from Dialogus De Vita S. Joannis Chrysostomi)

The Passion/Martyrdom of Perpetua (Carthage 203) - Latin and Greek text

Pelagius on free will

Pelagius Letter to Demetrias, chapter 16

Pelagius Letter and Confession of Faith to Innocent I

Pirminius, Abbas - the apostles' creed

Pliny Letter to Trajan in Latin about the treatment of Christians in Bithynia

Possidius - Sancti Augustini Vita, XXVIII, XXIX, XXXI (Life of St Augustine)

Pseudo-Macarius - Homily 18 on Christian perfection

Rufinus on the Apostles' Creed (Commentarius In Symbolum Apostolorum, 2)

Rufinus on Christ Crucified (Commentarius In Symbolum Apostolorum, 14-17)

Salvian, De Gubernatione Dei, (Extracts - 3. 9; 4. 12-14; 5. 4) - On the Government of God

Shepherd of Hermas - extracts and a link to the complete Greek text and translation

Siricius - Decretal to Himerius - Latin text

Socrates Historia Ecclesiastica, 1.6. 4 ff. The letter of Alexander and his clergy about the controversy surrounding Arius

Socrates' description of the start of the Arian controversy

Socrates on John Chrysostom and the statue of Eudoxia

Socrates Historia Ecclesiastica, 1. 9 - The Letter of the Council of Nicaea to the Egyptian Church

Socrates Historia Ecclesiastica, 2.20 - The Council of Sardica (Serdica) 343

Socrates Historia Ecclesiastica, 6. 13, in which Socrates defends Origen against criticism

Socrates Historia Ecclesiastica, 7. 29, in which Socrates describes the appointment of Nestorius as Bishop of Constantinople

Socrates Historia Ecclesiastica, 7, 15 about the murder of the philosopher Hypatia.

Sozomen Historia Ecclesiastica, 1.15 in which Sozomen write about Arius and the beginning of controversy.

Sozomen Historia Ecclesiastica, 2.25 in which Sozomen write about Athanasius and the Council of Tyre.

Sozomen Historia Ecclesiastica, 3.14 in which Sozomen write about Pachomius and the monks of Egypt.

Sozomen Historia Ecclesiastica, 3.16 in which Sozomen write about Ephraim the Syrian.

Sulpicius Severus, Vita Martini, 10, in which is described Bishop Martin of Tours' Monastery at Marmoutier.

Symmachus, Plea to Valentinian II for the restoration of the Altar of Victory in the Roman Senate
Synesius, Hymn 6 to Christ
Synesius, Letter 105 to his brother (about Synesius' appointment as bishop)

Tacitus Annals, 15.44, The great fire of Rome in the year 64 and persecution of Christians under Nero.

Tertullian on Apostolic Tradition, from De Praescriptione Haereticorum,  20, 21 and 32

Tertullian passage from Apologeticus pro Christianis (Apology), 29 - 32 - about Christians and loyalty to the Emperor. Latin text with English translation.
Tertullian passage from Apologeticus pro Christianis (Apology), 48 - 50 - The Blood of Christians is Seed. Latin text with English translation.

Tertullian on Christians not wearing Crowns or serving in the Roman Army - De Corona, chapters 1, 11 and 12.

Tertullian on the Incarnation from Apologeticus pro Christianis (Apology),  21: 10-14

Tertullian on Marcion from Adversus Marcionem, 1.19, 1.27, 3.8

Tertullian on Marcion from De Praescriptione Haereticorum, 30

Tertullian on philosophy and Christianity

Tertullian on the "Rule of Faith" from Liber de Praescriptionibus adversus haereticos, ch. 13

Tertullian on the Two Natures of Christ from Adversus Praxeam, ch. 27.

Tertullian on traditional Christian practices (Baptism and the Eucharist) from De Corona, 3

Tertullian on The Trinity from Adversus Praxeam, chapters 2 & 3
Tertullian - To His Wife - book 1

Theodore of Mopsuestia, an Antiochene perspective on the Incarnation, from De Incarnatione, 7

Theodoret Letter 180 to Domnus, on the death of Cyril of Alexandria

Trajan reply to Pliny in Latin about the treatment of Christians in Bithynia

Vincent of Lérins on the Catholic Faith and "Heresy"  from Commonitorium

 

total of 224 texts

 

The site also gives access to the apostolic fathers Greek texts and English translations.