THE EARLY CHRISTIAN CHURCH - Volume 2: by Philip Carrington, Archbishop of Quebec. Published by the syndics of the Cambridge University Press, 1957. Katapi edition by Paul Ingram, 2013.



| HOME | Contents | List of Maps and Tables | The Sources |
To FREDERICK CLIFTON GRANT: Professor of Biblical Theology at the Union Theological Seminary New York. Printed in Great Britain at the University Press, Cambridge (Brooke Crutchley, University Printer)


1. Anonymous Christian Literature (Page 1) 15. The Martyrs of Gaul (Page 239)
2. The Church in Asia (Page 19) 16. Theology in Rome (Page 254)
3. The Second Jewish War (Page 35) 17. Oriental Christianity (Page 271)
4. The Heresiarchs (Page 54) 18. Latin Christianity (Page 286)
5. The Schools in Rome (Page 71) 19. The Refutation of Gnosis (Page 307)
6. Aristides and Justin (Page 89) 20. Creed, Canon and Liturgy (Page 329)
7. The Apology of Justin (Page 107) 21. Extra-canonical Literature (Page 351)
8. The Martyrdom of Polycarp (Page 122) 22. The Paschal Controversy (Page 374)
9. Eastern Prophets and Teachers (Page 139) 23. Tertullian and Clement (Page 392)
10. Philosophy and Martyrdom (Page 157) 24. The Reign of Severus (Page 413)
11. Phrygian Christianity (Page 174) 25. The Church at Peace (Page 436)
12. Dionysius of Corinth (Page 192) 26. The Third Christian Century (Page 459)
13. Tatian and the East (Page 207) A. Appendices:
14. The Period of Melito (Page 224) A1. Text of the 'Anti-Marcionite' gospel prologues (Page 326)
  Bibliography (Page 490) A2. Text of the 'Muratorian Fragment' Page 347)


1. The oriental expansion of Christianity
2. The churches of Asia Minor
3. Christian sites in Rome
4. The empire under Diocletian
5. The Roman empire under Trajan | Roman Empire. (Atlas of the Bible, (Nelson 1956). Map no.32.)
6. Earliest Churches - recorded congregations of the second century. (Atlas of the Early Christian World, (Nelson 1966). Map no.5.)
7. katapi.ed: For the best on-line map of the Roman period go to the PELAGIOS PROJECT interactive atlas HERE.

Chronological Tables

From Nerva to Commodus, A.D. 96 – 192
Roman bishops to A.D. 235
The Antonine emperors
Events between A.D.154-67
The Afro-Syrian dynasty, A.D. 193-235,
... A.D. 230-83
Diocletian and his successors, A.D. 284-335
Roman emperors from Augustus to Constantine

Genealogical Table

The Afro-Syrian dynasty




(a) The Ecclesiastical History of EUSEBIUS, written A.D. 305-24, quoted as E.H. Eusebius had access to good libraries which contained important second-century documents from which he gives numerous quotations. His work is the basis of research into second-century church history. See chapter 26.

(b) The Panarion of EPIPHANIUS, written 374-7, and also his treatises Concerning Weights and Measures. Epiphanius also had access to good second-century documents, but he reproduces them without identifying the source from which he takes them; yet his transcriptions and adaptations are very valuable. One writer on whom he drew was HEGESIPPUS. See vol. 1, chapter 23.


(a) The New Testament and associated literature, which includes The Epistle of Clement, or 1 Clement, 96-7: see vol. 1, chapter 20.
The Shepherd of Hermas, or Pastor : various dates from about 100 to 140: see vol. 1, chapters 20 and 21, also vol. 2, chapters 5 and 6.
The Epistles of Ignatius and Polycarp, 110-17: see vol. 1, chapter 24.

To which may be added the so-called Epistle of Barnabas (about 125?) and the Didache or Teaching of the Twelve Apostles (120-50?) (see vol. 1, chapter 26). And probably in the same period the pseudonymous writings described in vol. 2, chapter 1.
(b) PAPIAS, bishop of Hierapolis, one of the Johannine School, collected oral traditions of the disciples, and used them to illustrate his Interpretations of the Oracles of the Lord. The book is lost, but quotations from it are given by IRENAEUS and EUSEBIUS; other quotations, some of them dubiously authentic, are found in other authors. Its date may be about 125 or 135: see vol. 1, chapter 16 and vol. 2, chapter 2.

(c) JUSTIN MARTYR, a Samaritan philosopher who was converted about 125.
The Dialogue with Trypho took place in Ephesus c. 135, but was written down perhaps as much as twenty years later.
The Syntagma of Heresies, written before 150, is lost, but was used by IRENAEUS and HIPPOLYTUS.
The First Apology in Rome about 150-52; the Second Apology in Rome before 161.
See vol. 2, chapters 4, 7, and 9.

(d) The APOLOGISTS and other writers on the relations between Christian and Greek thought: Aristides of Athens (see vol. 2, chapter 6); Tatian, a pupil of JUSTIN (see vol. 2, chapters 9 and 12); the anti-Christian philosopher Celsus, known only through the refutation written by Origen (see vol. 2, chapters 11 and 24); Athenagoras of Athens (see vol. 2, chapters 11 and 14); Theophilus of Antioch (see vol. 2, chapters 12 and 16).

(e) HEGESIPPUS,a Palestinian scholar who settled in Rome between 155 and 185, wrote the Hupomnemata or Note-books, containing traditions of the Jewish church, and information on episcopal successions and heretical schools. The book has not survived, but is known from quotations in later authors.
Identified and unidentified quotations in EUSEBIUS.
Unidentified quotations in IRENAEUS and EPIPHANIUS, some of which are recognizable without serious doubt, others more problematical.
Extracts in a document attributed to Philip of Side. See vol. 1, chapters 5, 10, 12, 13, 22, 23, vol. 2, chapters 2, 4, 8 and 15.

(f) IRENAEUS, a disciple of Polycarp of Smyrna and a pupil of JUSTIN.
His principal work was the refutation of Gnosis in five volumes, usually cited as Adversus Haereses, or Against Heresies, or Ad. Haer., or A.H. Called for short the Refutation (or Elenchos). Written about 185. It is often possible to recognize where he is making use of earlier works, e.g. the Interpretations of PAPIAS, the Syntagma and Against Marcion of JUSTIN, the Note-books of HEGESIPPUS, gnostic myth, ritual and theology, catholic creeds and other traditions.

(g) HIPPOLYTUS,a disciple of IRENAEUS,a devotee of the theology of JUSTIN, was a bishop in Rome about 217 to 235.
His Syntagma of Heresies, written about 205, in which he made use of the Syntagma of JUSTIN, and lectures given by IRENAEUS or possibly books of his. This book has not survived in Greek; but a Latin adaptation of it exists which was called the Libellus against All Heresies, and wrongly attributed to Tertullian.
His larger Refutation of All Heresies, or Philosophoumena, was written later.
He wrote a few separate monographs on contemporary heretics, among which most scholars would include the Little Labyrinth from which EUSEBIUS quotes.
Also the Apostolic Tradition, a liturgical work; and the Chronicle, which does not survive, but is incorporated in the Liberian (Philocalian) Catalogue, A.D. 354.

(h) CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA and TERTULLIAN wrote voluminously from about 190 or 195 to 220. Clement was head of the catechetical school at Alexandria from about 190 to 200, and quotes oral traditions, apocryphal literature, gnostic theologians, and Jewish, Christian, and pagan authors of the second century. Tertullian wrote his Apology about 197. He became a Montanist about 205-7. His anti-heretical writings shed light on second-century history; and his other books on liturgy, church controversy and relations with society and the state.
ORIGEN succeeded Clement in Alexandria, and afterwards migrated to Caesarea; he wrote many books on scripture and general theology; his book Against Celsus is our only source of information for that second-century author.

(i) The Apocryphal Gospels, Acts, Epistles, etc. of the period.

(j) The Mishnah and other rabbinic material.
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