Thoughts on "The Apostolic Fathers"

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jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
We have several of you on PB who really know the publications regarding the Patristics. I'd love to know your opinion regarding:

The Apostolic Fathers: A New Translation (Lexham Classics) Paperback – February 21, 2018

by Rick Brannan

I'm primarily interested in having the Didache but would also use this as I work through the early church history with my boys next year.

Thanks!
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Graduate
Not really about the book, but the translator is concerning. It’s worth considering whether I would want to support him financially.
 

JM

Puritan Board Doctor
We have several of you on PB who really know the publications regarding the Patristics. I'd love to know your opinion regarding:

The Apostolic Fathers: A New Translation (Lexham Classics) Paperback – February 21, 2018

by Rick Brannan

I'm primarily interested in having the Didache but would also use this as I work through the early church history with my boys next year.

Thanks!
I'm not an authority but can say it's an easy reading edition compared to the older Anglican (I believe) translation.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Graduate
What are you seeing that's concerning?
His author page on Amazon. The first red flag was the stereotypical mask selfie. Almost always a bad sign. Immediately beside it is a blog post he made, based on his reading of Jesus and John Wayne, wherein he laments the 2016 election, calling evangelical leaders who supported Trump "pseudo-Christian," and saying they "sold it all for a bowl of pork and beans" (alluding no doubt to Esau). He proceeds to say he no longer calls himself an evangelical because they support things like patriarchy and female submission, and are against sodomy, transgenderism, BLM, the 1619 Project, Democrats, and critical race theory.

All I know is that I’ve refused my patronage of stores for much less. When it comes to books, the author matters. I just think it’s something to consider.
 

Hamalas

whippersnapper
His author page on Amazon. The first red flag was the stereotypical mask selfie. Almost always a bad sign. Immediately beside it is a blog post he made, based on his reading of Jesus and John Wayne, wherein he laments the 2016 election, calling evangelical leaders who supported Trump "pseudo-Christian," and saying they "sold it all for a bowl of pork and beans" (alluding no doubt to Esau). He proceeds to say he no longer calls himself an evangelical because they support things like patriarchy and female submission, and are against sodomy, transgenderism, BLM, the 1619 Project, Democrats, and critical race theory.

All I know is that I’ve refused my patronage of stores for much less. When it comes to books, the author matters. I just think it’s something to consider.

He's a translator. What's relevant is his expertise in the languages and his grasp of the theological/cultural issues of antiquity.
 

retroGRAD3

Puritan Board Junior
He's a translator. What's relevant is his expertise in the languages and his grasp of the theological/cultural issues of antiquity.
Unless he imports his modern beliefs into his translations as well (decisions he makes on certain phrases and words), then, it is an issue. I agree with Taylor that if someone is an obvious hater of God, best to find someone else and not support them financially. There are plenty of other translators and translations out there for the church fathers.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Graduate
He's a translator. What's relevant is his expertise in the languages and his grasp of the theological/cultural issues of antiquity.
I really don’t mean to derail this thread. However, I feel I need to correct a misunderstanding here. I never claimed that his theological and political views affect his translation work. His translation is probably fine. Probably excellent, in fact. What I said—and I tried to make it clear—was that I don’t think I would want to financially support someone like him. I hesitated to post as much here, but I really do think it’s important to consider, especially these days.

It’s like what I’ve done in my own community. My wife and I used to take our pets to the best vet in the area. Their work is stellar. However, the moment they placed a rainbow-colored piece of liberal propaganda outside their establishment, we stopped supporting them, not because they aren’t the best, but because we don’t want to financially support their cause.
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
Lexham is a legit publisher. He is a legit scholar. It's really that simple. No, I don't support him politically. That's not the issue, though.
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
I agree with Taylor that if someone is an obvious hater of God, best to find someone else and not support them financially.

That escalated quickly. We go from Never Trumper to hater of God.

If you think he is importing Never Trumpist worldview into the text, then demonstrate so from the Greek.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Graduate
Folks,

My post was intended to raise a sincere concern I had about financially supporting an individual translator. That’s all. I never questioned his translation abilities, or his faith, and I regret that my post was used as a springboard to escalate to the accusation of him being a God hater. I simply raised a genuine concern I had, and still have. I regret posting what I posted, not because I believe I was mistaken (I don’t), but because I had a feeling that this thread would not be able to take the comment for what it was. I should have used better judgment.
 

retroGRAD3

Puritan Board Junior
That escalated quickly. We go from Never Trumper to hater of God.

If you think he is importing Never Trumpist worldview into the text, then demonstrate so from the Greek.
Trump content was not my concern. It was the quote

"He proceeds to say he no longer calls himself an evangelical because they support things like patriarchy and female submission, and are against sodomy, transgenderism, BLM, the 1619 Project, Democrats, and critical race theory."

That is what makes me call him a hater of God. To clarify, if he is for sodomy, trans, BLM, 1619 project, CRT, and I would include being a democrat (because of the issues they champion) and against biblical patriarchy (not abusive patriarchy) and female submission...I am not sure what else you say.
 
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RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
Trump content was not my concern. It was the quote

"He proceeds to say he no longer calls himself an evangelical because they support things like patriarchy and female submission, and are against sodomy, transgenderism, BLM, the 1619 Project, Democrats, and critical race theory."

That is what makes me call him a hater of God. To clarify, if he is for sodomy, trans, BLM, 1619 project, CRT, and I would include being a democrat (because of the issues they champion) and against biblical patriarchy (not abusive patriarchy) and female submission...I am not sure what else you say.

Fair enough. I didn't see that part.
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
To get back to whether you should trust this translation: any academic translation is going to give you the same gist of the Apostolic Fathers. If I can say this with humility, they aren't very profound. There won't be shades of nuance in a term (unlike, for example, any translation of Maximus or Nazianzus).
 

Mrs. B-N

Puritan Board Freshman
I really don’t mean to derail this thread. However, I feel I need to correct a misunderstanding here. I never claimed that his theological and political views affect his translation work. His translation is probably fine. Probably excellent, in fact. What I said—and I tried to make it clear—was that I don’t think I would want to financially support someone like him. I hesitated to post as much here, but I really do think it’s important to consider, especially these days.

It’s like what I’ve done in my own community. My wife and I used to take our pets to the best vet in the area. Their work is stellar. However, the moment they placed a rainbow-colored piece of liberal propaganda outside their establishment, we stopped supporting them, not because they aren’t the best, but because we don’t want to financially support their cause.
Make sure you charitably let them know why as well. Not frequenting businesses only accomplishes so much. Speaking the truth in love much more. It's harder, but I've made a point to let someone in management at businesses I don't support anymore know why. Perhaps you do as well, but I just wanted to add that.
 

ZackF

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
If the translation is solid I wouldn’t hold back from getting the book. I’ve found the old Penguin “Apostolic Fathers” very readable.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Professor
This could have some bearing on the reliability of Brannan's work:

Psalm 50:16-17, and following:

But unto the wicked God saith,
What hast thou to do to declare my statutes,
or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?
Seeing thou hatest instruction,
and castest my words behind thee.

Godly Jews would never had let an apostate or pagan lay hands on their scholarly works, much less translate or comment on them. In the NT church multitudes of such have infiltrated the precincts of godly scholarship.
 
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Hamalas

whippersnapper
This could have some bearing on the reliability of Brannan's work:

Psalm 50:16-17, and following:

But unto the wicked God saith,
What hast thou to do to declare my statutes,
or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?
Seeing thou hatest instruction,
and castest my words behind thee.

Godly Jews would never had let an apostate or pagan even lay hands on their sacred texts, much less translate or comment on them. In the NT church multitudes of such have infiltrated the precincts of godly scholarship.
Are the Apostolic Fathers "sacred texts" now? [[[EDIT: I should have phrased this less combatively - please see my apology below.]]]
 
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Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Professor
You're right, Ben — I was thinking of the Scriptures the early Fathers wrote about. I'll have to correct my post. My thinking not quite 100% at present, after some traumatic illness (which I may write about here on PB).
 

TooManySystematics

Puritan Board Freshman
I've used this translator's edition of the Apostolic Fathers in my studies (it came with my version of Logos), I found it to be quite readable. I've never really bothered to compare it to other translations since that would seem unnecessary.

 

pmachapman

Puritan Board Freshman
Out of the multiple translations that I have, Michael W. Holmes's is the one I return to the most.
I have just ordered this edition - having the Greek/Latin on the facing page was a major selling point. I found myself, when using Brannan's and Staniforth's translations, always hunting down the Greek text to see what the author really meant.
 

Hamalas

whippersnapper
You're right, Ben — I was thinking of the Scriptures the early Fathers wrote about. I'll have to correct my post. My thinking not quite 100% at present, after some traumatic illness (which I may write about here on PB).

I should be the one apologizing to you brother; would you forgive the shortness of my post? It was not a respectful way to respond to one who is both a brother and a father in the faith.
 
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