History of Early Christian Literature in the First Three Centuries, G. Kruger, 1897

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    5.i8 KRUGER (Dr. G.) History of EarlyChristian Literature in the First ThreeCenturies, translated by C. R. Gillett,1897, cr. 8vo, cloth (pub 8s 6d 7ict) 5s

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    JAMES WESTFALL THOMPSON

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    HISTORY :>OF

    EARLY CHRISTIAN LITERATUREIN THE FIRST THREE CENTURIES

    BYDR. GUSTAV KRiJGER

    PROFESSOR OF THEOLOGY AT GIESSEN

    TRANSLATED BYREV. CHARLES R. GILLETT, A.M.

    LIBRARIAN OF THE UNION THEOLOGICAL SEMINARYIN NEW YORK

    WITH CORRECTIONS AND ADDITIONS BY THE AUTHOR

    THE MACMILLAN COMPANYLONDON : MACMILLAN & CO., Ltd.

    1897All rights reserved

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    Copyright, 1897,By the MACMILLAN COMPANY

    TCovtnoati ^PrrssJ. S. CiisliiiiK k Co. Borw ii'k & Smith

    N.ii\vu.,(i .Miiss. U.S.A.

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    PREFACEThe account of the history of early Christian litera-

    ture, contained in the following pages, does not layclaim to novelty. It simply professes to be a compila-tion of facts already known, based upon a reexamina-tion of them. It seemed to me important and profitablethat the mass of material for the history of this litera-ture, which has been accumulated by the unstinteddiligence of almost countless workers during the lastdecades, should be made accessible in somewhat sifted

    uj form to those whose labors lie in a different field, but^ who have long sought for such help in finding their^ bearings. The primary purpose of the book, however,cj is to furnish a manual to serve as a basis for lectures=3 and as a student's handbook. In the directions given

    to secure a uniform mode of presentation in the " Out-line" series (Gnnidriss der tlieologischen WissenscJiafteii)to which this book belongs, it was required that theaccounts should be as condensed and brief as possible,while being at the same time smooth and readable ;that they should be adapted to the practical needs ofthe learner (but not for memorizing), and that theyshould be clearly arranged and free from polemic.Such a book also requires that the author's personalityshould be held in abeyance. Consequently it was neces-sary to suppress many observations and characteriza-tions, in order that the work of the lecture room might

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    VI PREFACEnot be forestalled. As a result, the reader will findmany a paragraph which might serve as the subject of awhole lecture.

    This book differs from the more recent handbookson Patrology, both Catholic and Protestant, not only inmany details of its conception of the subject, but in itsarrangement and limitation of the treatment. It hasbeen my special purpose to emphasize the literary pointof view, since a history of literature has no occasion toexplain the theological or ecclesiastical importance of awriter. I have also endeavored to substitute an organicmethod of treatment in place of a mechanical sequencebased on chronology and biography, though I dare nothope that I have realized the ideal that has hoveredbefore me. In my manner of conceiving of the sub-ject I have adhered to the views expounded by FriedrichNitzsch, now professor of Systematic Theology at Kiel,and by Franz Overbeck, professor of Church Historyat Basel (cf. i).

    I am not aware of the existence, in English, of abook like the present. The work of C. T. Cruttwell isexcellent in many respects, but it was intended for adifferent class of readers, being a book for continuousperusal rather than a text-book. It does not take suffi-cient note of the results and hypotheses of the mostrecent investigations, and indeed, it was not the author'sintention to do so. The references here made to thelatest researches will give my book, perhaps, a specialvalue for English-speaking people. The names of thosewho have rendered eminent services in this field arealready well known, and on ever)' page this volume in-dicates what I have learned from Harnack, Hilgenfeld,and Zahn, from Lightfoot and Westcott.

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    PREFACE viiOn one point I beg the reader's indulgence for amoment ; namely, the inclusion of the New Testament

    Scriptures in the following account. In various reviewsof the book, especially in English, this feature has beencondemned, or at least declared undesirable. But twoquestions must be considered in this connection : first,whether the New Testament Scriptures may properly betreated at all in a history of early Christian literature,that is, in connection with writings which are not in-cluded in our canon ; and second, whether the author'speculiar views concerning the circumstances whichgave rise to the New Testament writings, are capableof justification. The answer to the first is closely con-nected with the views which we entertain in seneralupon religious questions. If, after the fashion of ourforefathers, we hold to an inspiration of the HolyScriptures in such a sense as to make the Holy Ghostwield the pens of their authors, we shall be inclined toregard it as sacrilege to subject them in any way to themethods of historical investigation. The author, onthe contrary, is of the opinion that the value and sub-limity of these writings lose nothing by being submittedto these processes ; that for many, possibly, a distinctgain is involved. The second question can only beanswered after one has obtained a view of the wholesubject of primitive Christianity, its writings and teach-ings, based upon the sources. The author does notclaim to be infallible. He is quite conscious of theimmense difficulties involved in the investiration ofthe New Testament by our lack of material. He be-lieves himself to be free from traditional prejudices,critical or ecclesiastical. If he is mistaken in thisrespect, he at least always holds himself ready to re-

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    i a;VIU PREFACEceive better instruction. The positive tone and thelack of detailed explanation which characterize the re-marks on the New Testament writings may be displeas-ing to some, but they are merely the result of the factthat it was necessary to be brief because of the manyexcellent treatises which we already possess.

    In the citation of literature, the reader will find enu-merated all that is necessary for a thorough study ofthe subject. The latest works are also mentioned evenwhen their permanent value may appear somewhatdoubtful. Treatises on the history of dogma are men-tioned, in accordance with the plan of the book, onlywhen they contain original material bearing upon thehistory of the literature. The chronological conspectusis intended to portray the gradual progress of literaryproductivity in the several provinces of the Empire.

    Finally, I wish to thank the translator for the painswhich he has taken, and in the same connection I wouldexpress the hope that the volume may not be devoid ofprofit to the English-speaking reader.

    GUSTAV KRUGER.GlESSEN.

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    TRANSLATOR'S NOTEThe translator's purpose in the following pages has

    been to render the thoughts of the original work intoidiomatic English, while adhering as closely as possibleto the author's own language. This task has involvedsome difficulty at various points on account of thebrevity of style and the condensation of material whichthe projectors of the series required of the contributors.It has been a matter of surprise that the author wasable to crowd so much information upon a single page orinto a single paragraph, and the extraordinary potencyof his system of abbreviations has received frequentillustration. These qualities, while increasing the taskof the tran.slator, are of great advantage to the reader,and are beyond praise. Sometimes it has been foundnecessary to break up the long sentences of the origi-nal, but this scarcely calls for apology.The footnotes of the present volume originally ap-peared as part of the text, being enclosed in brackets.In transferring them to the foot of the page the trans-lator has not been a mere copyist, but has taken theliberty of adding an occasional reference in order togreater clearness. It has also been thought advisableto make some additions to the citations of literature,especially in the case of English books.The thanks of the reader are due to Dr. Kriiger forthe readiness with which he has acceded to the transla-

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    TRANSLATOR'S NOTEtor's request for corrections and additions to the text.Some important alterations have been made, and manyreferences to later works have found a place in this vol-ume which entitle it to be regarded as the second edi-tion of the Geschichte.

    It is scarcely necessary for the translator to say any-thing- in r