Many of the early Christian Fathers wrote books that where canonized as Gospel, and other that were not. The Apostolic writers lived and experienced first hand not only Jesus teachings, but they had to learn how to lead and develop the church in the first century a.d. Their writings that were not divinely inspired by God still carry value as both as inspiration for Christian living, and direction on Church etiquette and leadership. Many scholars differentiate between two different groups of leadership in the first century;

  1. Apostolic Father, whom where the disciples of Jesus, and the
  2. Church Fathers who were the later writers that succeeded the Apostles.

The Early Church Fathers did not have the advantage of being the first to experience the workings of the church or to see Jesus themselves, but did have the opportunity to be those mentored by the Apostles and those whom where eye-witnesses of Jesus.



Hagiographies are the biographies of saints or Church leaders. These works typically focus on their lives and missionary works. Many of this work where canonized by the early Catholic Church, and some later removed but still held value as historic documents.


Patristics or Patrology is the study of the early Church leaders who are typically identified as the early church fathers or early Christian writers. The time period associated with this is typically from the end of Apostolic period (100a.d.) until circa 450 a.d.

Many of the notable Church leaders where as follows:

  • Ignatius of Antioch (c. 35-c.108),
  • Pope Clement I (c.1st century AD-c.101),
  • Justin Martyr (c.100-c.165)
  • Irenaeus of Lyons (c.120-c.202)
  • Clement of Alexandria (c.150-c.215)
  • Tertullian (c.160-c.225)
  • Origen (c.185-c.254)
  • Athanasius (c.296-c.373)
  • Gregory of Nazianzus (329-389)
  • Gregory of Nyssa (c.330-c.395)
  • Theodore of Mopsuestia (c.350-428)
  • Augustine of Hippo (354-430)



Steenberg, M.C. (2008), The Patristics Master List, Page 1 (A-I), retrieved 2008-01-29

Pearse, Roger (2007), Early Church Fathers: Additional Texts, retrieved 2008-01-29

Sheridan, Mark (2002), Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: Old Testament, II: Genesis 12-50