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apostolic fathers

Late-first-and early-second-century Christian teachers and leaders from the first generation after the apostles. The four primary apostolic fathers were Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Polycarp, and Papias.

Important texts from this era include First Clement, Didache, Epistle of Barnabas, Shepherd of Hermas, and the fragments of Papias's writings preserved by authors like Eusebius. Some early Christians may have treated these documents as scriptural; however, although their theology was orthodox, they could not be directly connected to specific apostles, so ultimately they were excluded from the canon. See also apostle; Barnabas, Epistle of; Clement, First; Clement of Rome; Didache; Eusebius of Caesarea; Ignatius of Antioch; Papias of Hierapolis; Polycarp of Smyrna; Shepherd of Hermas.

Printed with permission from Bethany House Publishers, South Bloomington, Minnesota from the book "The Da Vinci Codebreaker : an easy-to-use fact checker for truth seekers" by James L. Garlow.

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