Jesus Christ endowed His Church with Himself and His divine Message. He handed it down to His disciples, who constituted His Church. Jesus Christ selected from among them Twelve Apostles to carry on with authority His Gospel, and He sent them to preach it and to baptize converts all over the world
POLYCARP OF SMYRNA
Polycarp (Πολύκαρπος, AD 69 – 155) is a 2nd-century bishop and saint of Smyrna. According to the Martyrdom of Polycarp he died a martyr, bound and burned at the stake, then stabbed when the fire failed to consume his body.
CLEMENT OF ROME
Clement of Rome, (Κλήμης Ῥώμης; died 99), is listed by Irenaeus and Tertullian as Bishop of Rome, holding office from 88 to his death in 99. He is considered to be the first Apostolic Father of the Church, one of the three chief ones together with Polycarp and Ignatius of Antioch.
The Didache (Διδαχή), also known as The Lord's Teaching Through the Twelve Apostles to the Nations, is a brief anonymous early Christian treatise written in Koine Greek, dated by most modern scholars to the first century.
IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH
Ignatius of Antioch (Ἰγνάτιος Ἀντιοχείας, c. 35 – c. 108/140) is an early Christian writer, a saint, and bishop of Antioch. En route to Rome, where he met his martyrdom, Ignatius wrote a series of letters.
SHEPHERD OF HERMAS
The Shepherd of Hermas (Ποιμὴν τοῦ Ἑρμᾶ) is a Christian literary work of the late first half of the second century, considered canonical scripture by some of the early Church fathers such as Irenaeus. The work comprises five visions, twelve mandates, and ten parables.
ANTE NICENE FATHERS
Justin Martyr (Iustinus Martyr, c 100-165) is an early Christian apologist, and is regarded as the foremost interpreter of the theory of the Logos in the 2nd century. He was martyred, alongside some of his students. Most of his works are lost, but two apologies and a dialogue did survive.
Irenaeus (Εἰρηναῖος; c. 130 – c. 202 AD) was a Greek bishop noted for his role in guiding and expanding Christian communities in what is now the south of France and, more widely, for the development of Christian theology by combating heresy and defining orthodoxy. Originating from Smyrna, he had seen and heard the preaching of Polycarp, the last known living connection with the Apostles, who in turn was said to have heard John the Evangelist.
Origen of Alexandria (c. 184 – c. 253) is an early Christian scholar, ascetic, and theologian who was born and spent the first half of his career in Alexandria. He was a prolific writer who wrote roughly 2,000 treatises in multiple branches of theology, including textual criticism, biblical exegesis and biblical hermeneutics, homiletics, and spirituality.
The Apostolic Fathers are our bridge between the Apostles and the Council of Nicea. They are a crucial source giving us the canon, or the straight line, of the meaning of the faith and discipleship, the interpretation of scripture, and the life of the church.