SITE HISTORY AND OBJECTIVES
This site went "live" in September 2007. It is very
much the work of an individual "enthusiast" for the subject rather than the work
of a group or a company. The Webmaster hopes that the site is a valuable resource for information
about the Early Church (first five centuries) and for original language texts (with English
translations) from this period. The distinctive features of the site are:-
(i) its wide range of links through an easily navigable menu system to materials about the Early Church and the Early Church Fathers;
(ii) its carefully presented on-site Greek and Latin texts (with translations, morphology and lexicon links, and textual notes);
iii) its links, indexed by author and work, to an extensive collection of complete Greek and Latin early Christian texts (on external websites) with the facility of reading English translations alongside them where they are available. There is also an index of links to commentaries, homilies etc. on the books of the Bible.
The carefully presented on-site texts are mainly extracts rather than complete works. The aim is to add one such new text every month or six weeks, as time permits with other commitments. The texts cover a wide range of important themes. If you have any feedback, ideas or maybe even requests for particular texts then do use the "Email Webmaster" link.
The publicly available version of the website has been set up so that it contains most of these "on-site" original language texts and has morphology/dictionary links, but it does not have the English translations alongside or the textual notes. Nor does the publicly available version have the extensive set of links to information about the Early Church or the links to complete texts on external website.
The Webmaster is a Christian Minister (Methodist) based in the UK. It is hoped that this site will help people to explore the Christian Faith through study of the texts and resources which it contains. Another clear aim is to encourage and facilitate the study of early Christian Greek and Latin literature in the original language. Whatever the faith perspective of those visiting the site it is hoped that the materials to which it gives access are helpful for the study of Early Church History.
The priorities now are:-
- To add to the number of on-site texts covering important issues that
faced the Church in the first five centuries.
- To complete work on adding links to a complete text at Google Books or archive.org on the on-site textual extract pages: this work is about two thirds complete at the beginning of September 2014.
- To complete work on indexed links to the writings of authors from the first five centuries in the Migne Patrologia series as found at Google Books or archive.org. Links to the writings of nearly all the authors from this period are in place, but for some writers the links are to texts found at the documentacatholicaomnia.eu website. Those links will remain, but links to Google Books or archive.org will be added.
Over the longer term it is hoped that it may be possible:-
- to add links (indexed by author and work) to the
original language texts, where they are in the public domain, contained in
series such as Die Griechischen Christlichen Schriftsteller and Corpus
Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum. Some are already in place - e.g.
GCS for some works of Origen and Eusebius, CSEL for the works of
- to develop the index of links to commentaries, homilies etc. by biblical book so that it is indexed not only by author (as currently) but also by Bible chapter. Currently, for example, on the Matthew index page there is a list of relevant works for each author who wrote or preached on Matthew with an indication, where appropriate, of the scripture reference for a homily. It would be good to add an index page so that commentaries and homilies relevant for each chapter of the Bible are separately indexed.
- to do further work (much already done) on checking the works listed on the site against the information in Clavis Patrum Graecorum and Clavis Patrum Latinorum.
- another even longer-term hope is to add links on the site menu system to the original source material about significant figures, e.g. to the particular relevant chapters in Jerome/Gennadius "lives of" and historians such as Eusebius, Socrates, Sozomen and Theodoret.
There is already a huge amount of material on the website, but it is a work in progress that will be regularly updated over the coming months and years. Information about recent updates can be found by clicking here. A good way of keeping up to date with the latest developments is to follow Early Church Texts on its Facebook page here, or to take advantage of the RSS feed whose link is in the URL address bar, under the "Home etc." menu at the top left of the screen, or in the column to the right if you are on the site homepage.