Read the Fathers

Join a world-wide community in reading the church fathers daily.

It’s not too late to join!

The 3 hierarchs, Sts Basil the Great, John Chrysostom, and Gregory the Theologian (of Nazianzus)

It is not (ever) too late to join us in reading the Church Fathers. (Visit our Start Reading page now!) This statement is always true — the multi-volume sets of the Ante-Nicene Fathers and Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers are not a series like Stranger Things (say) on Netflix, a show where I am not sure you could join late, or like The Lord of the Rings which is actually a three-volume novel. Instead, these are translations of a multitude of texts by ancient Christians, most of them unrelated.

That is to say: if you join tomorrow, you will be able to read, in a single day, all of the fragments of Papias before moving on to Justin Martyr. Having missed the other Apostolic Fathers will not harm your ability to understand what is going on. If you find this blog post in a couple of years, you can easily join us in the middle of Ambrose of Milan without missing anything.

Right now, however, is a particularly good time to join. Why? Well, we are only 19 days into the seven-year master plan of reading the Fathers. That’s one reason.  Another reason is that the texts we’ve been reading have been pretty short so far — joining now means you won’t drop into the middle of something like City of God or On the Trinity. Instead, you can join us at an appropriate starting point, or catch up on the current work (Epistle of Barnabas!) without too much trouble.

If you are thinking of joining Read the Fathers, don’t delay!  However much you can manage will be good for you, I promise. This is meant to be a fulfilling yet fun use of our time that will challenge us intellectually and devotionally, whether we are Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox, “conservative”, “liberal”, “post-liberal”, “post-evangelical”, or not Christian at all!

If you do join, I hope to meet you in the comments here or on the Facebook page.

Start reading now!

4 Comments

  1. I tried to join in the reading a few years ago, but it was difficult dropping into the middle of the readings. I started in on the readings from the beginning this time, and am really enjoying them. Very interesting and thought provoking! Their faith and convictions, even unto martyrdom, are inspiring and challenging.

  2. Thanks for your work on this Matthew, and for your evident enthusiasm. This is a fantastic resource, a fantastic initiative, and hugely appreciated.

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