Q&A: Apostolic Father

Apostolic Father

Question

What does the term "apostolic father" mean, and who are apostolic fathers?

Answer

An "apostolic father" was a man who reputedly knew or even learned directly from an apostle. "Apostolic Fathers" (as a proper noun) usually refers to a group of authors whose writings we possess who were thought to have known apostles. They include Clement, Polycarp, Ignatius, Papias, the author of the Shepherd of Hermas, the author of the Didache, the author the Epistle of Barnabas, the author of the Second Epistle of Clement, and the author of the Epistle to Diognetus.

Answer by Ra McLaughlin

Ra McLaughlin is Vice President of Finance and Administration at Third Millennium Ministries.