Patristic PDFs: A love story

Those of us who do work on the patristic writers have the dubious privilege of easy access to the Ante-Nicene Fathers/Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers translations online from multiple sources. I decided to take advantage of this by creating my own online anthology for my “Classical Christian Thought” course, a task that proved to be much more labor-intensive than I thought but that I hope will have the benefits of providing students with full texts (rather than the incredibly small excerpts one usually finds) and with common page numbers to aid discussion. I also tinkered somewhat with the formatting and antiquated language, but didn’t get as far with that as anticipated. In most cases, I included a link to my source for the text; sometimes I copied and pasted the footnotes, and sometimes I left the footnotes as hyperlinks that you can follow to the original website if desired.

In any case, in the interest of helping my colleagues in every possible way, I have posted the PDFs below. Of particular interest might be my selections from Against Heresies, which cuts the length to about a third and makes the text usable for class — and since I have somehow managed to read the text all the way through twice, compile detailed notes, and write a dissertation chapter on it, hopefully you will find me to be a trustworthy excerpter.

Basil, Hexaemeron
Basil, On the Holy Spirit
Clement of Alexandria, Exhortation to the Heathen
Clement of Alexandria, Who is the Rich Man Who Can Be Saved?
Gregory of Nyssa, On the Making of Man
Irenaeus, Against All Heresies (selections)
Justin Martyr, First Apology
Justin Martyr, Second Apology
Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicity
Tertullian, Apology
Tertullian, De Corona
Tertullian, On the Resurrection

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11 Responses to “Patristic PDFs: A love story”

  1. Adam Kotsko Says:

    Special thanks to Brad for helping me turn these into PDFs.

  2. Evan Says:

    Thanks for these resources, Adam, especially the work on Irenaeus. I appreciate your general commitment to reading full texts rather than choppy selections.

    One thing- I’m not having any luck with the hyperlinks. Don’t know if this is a problem for anyone else, but you might want to double check that.

  3. Adam Kotsko Says:

    Do you mean the hyperlinks to the PDFs, or the hyperlinks within the PDFs? I just logged out of the service I uploaded them to, and it still lets me in.

  4. Hill Says:

    God bless you, Adam.

  5. Brad Johnson Says:

    You’re welcome. But, really, thank my employer instead.

  6. Evan Says:

    Sorry… the footnotes, not the pdf’s themselves. On the Irenaeus text, the link to earlychristiantexts.com works, but not the footnotes.

    Maybe it’s just something funky on my end, but I thought I’d mention it.

  7. Andy Says:

    This is brilliant stuff, not least because of the links, some of which I’d never come across before. Your students might benefit from mp3 versions of some of these texts read in by the amusingly named Maria Lectrix, who is fairly high in my list of Favourite Human Beings.

    Purely for the sake of self-therapy, I would like to express my frustration about the non-print, non-copy/paste limitations on the texts in the fairly new Migne website, which is otherwise REALLY useful. Sorry. Had to gripe.

  8. Adam Kotsko Says:

    Evan’s right — the links within the PDFs don’t work. They’re just blue and underlined for no reason now. Annoying.

  9. Adam Kotsko Says:

    Andy, I thought the site with Basil’s Hexaemeron was especially interesting — plus the layout is really nice.

  10. Liam Jones Says:

    nice, hopefully this should prove useful this year in university


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