"The Preachers chiefly shall take heed that they teach nothing in their preaching, which they would have the people religiously to observe and believe, but that which is agreeable to the Doctrine of the Old Testament and the New, and that which the Catholick Fathers and Ancient Bishops have gathered out of that Doctrine." A proposed canon of Elizabeth I, 1571

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Location: Bedford, Texas, United States

I am a presbyter in the diocese of Fort Worth, Texas (Anglican Church in North America). I serve as Chaplain at St. Vincent's School and as a canon of St. Vincent's Cathedral Church in Bedford, Texas. In addition to my parish duties and teaching Religion classes in the school I am also the Middle School Social Studies teacher.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

New Thursday Night Class Starts Tonight!

I'm starting my new Thursday night class on the Apostolic Fathers at St. Vincent's Cathedral tonight. Glory! Do please come to class if you can. It will be a boat load of fun! There will be, of course, an offering of Holy Eucharist in St. Mary's Chapel at 7PM, then class will begin in my Middle School classroom at 7:35PM (MS room 103). I hope to see you there!


Blogger Robin_G_Jordan said...


"Apostolic Fathers"? I presume that you are referring to the twelve apostles that Jesus called to serve as witnesses to his earthly ministry. Is your class Scripture-based? Or will it draw on legend and tradition?

7:11 PM  
Blogger texanglican said...

No, sir. It deals with several remarkable orthodox texts produced immediately following the writing of the last New Testament books. The class deals with the Letters of Ignatius of Antioch, the First Letter of Clement, the so-called Letter of Barnabas, and the Didache, among others. We will, of course, be consulting Holy Scripture dozens of times every night to understand these second and third generation texts (collectively known as the "Apostolic Fathers" since the late 19th century, I believe).

9:47 PM  
Blogger texanglican said...

For those interested in acquiring the textbook for the class, it may be purchased here .

9:59 PM  
Blogger Robin_G_Jordan said...


So you will be focusing on the early Church fathers like Clement, Ignatius, Polcarp and the anonymous authors in the early Patristic period. I must have been half awake or half asleep when I read your announcement. Are you including the Shepherd of Hermas?

You might find it interesting to compare some of the works of the early Patristic writers with those of the Gnostics.

From what I remember the term "Apostolic Fathers" was unknown before the end of the 17th century.

Good text. I think I have it in my library somewhere. I have lost track of all the books that I have read. Most of my library is now in storage.

Have you ever considered a class on the Desert Fathers and early monasticism?

Good luck with your class.

10:43 AM  
Blogger texanglican said...

It has been about three years since I last taught on early monasticism at St. Vincent's. I have pretty regular crowd for my Thursday night class of about 20, with a few drop ins. I don't want to hit the same subject matter too often, so it might be a while before I swing back around to the Abbas and the Ammas.

But yes, we will also treat The Shepherd, though I am not sure right off hand if it is in the Penguin book (I left it at school last night). And the Gnostics will make frequent cameos as we read, especially when we treat Ignatius.

Was Bishop Ussher the one who coined the phrase "Apostolic Fathers"? I seem to have that back in my memory somewhere. Of course, that could be completely off base!

As for your initial question, I actually did an entire course on the Scriptural and apocryphal portraits of the apostles, such as we have them, last autumn. It was loads of fun to walk our parishioners through some of that bizarre Gnostic stuff!

Thanks for stopping by, Robin. Cheers!

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Ann McCarthy said...

We had a class for several years that was on the history of the church - beginning with the Didache and 1st Clement and the letters of Ignatius of Antioch and the Shepherd of Hermas...It was wonderful. I particularly liked the letters of Ignatius of Antioch. Wish I were there to sit in. Have fun!

11:04 PM  

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