Sacramentum Mundi Online

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Apostolic Fathers
(1,970 words)

Definition. By Apostolic Fathers is meant a group of post canonical (and non canonical) early Christian authors, whose number has been differently; determined; according to inconsistent criteria, and, which has recently been reduced with a view to “saving and clarifying the concept” (J. A. Fischer). The decisive feature is direct contact with the apostles, or just an evident nearness; to them according to the time and content of their preaching. The reason for the fluidity of the concept of “Apo…

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Norbert Brox, “Apostolic Fathers”, in: Sacramentum Mundi Online, General Editor Karl Rahner, SJ. Consulted online on 23 September 2023 <>
First published online: 2016

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