One of the earliest books in Christianity, The Shepherd of Hermas was probably written around 140AD, and avidly read for the first few hundred years. Likely its failure to become one of the recognized books of the Canon (Bible) had something to do with its fall-off in popularity. Today, while an Apocryphal book from the age of Apostolic Fathers, it seems arcane, and somewhat desultory. Nevertheless, one can see this book as a vision, a dream, or even an attempt to describe elements of purgatory. Both Latin and Greek copies, at least in part have been found, there are also parts missing which make reading it a bit of a challenge. At times it has been somewhat repetitive and tedious to read.
I read the edition and translation from the Greek by Bart D. Ehrman: "The Apostolic Fathers Vol. II" from the Loeb Classical Library. The original author was claimed by some to be the brother of Pope Pius I. It is interesting to have a view into what the Council Fathers were looking at when deciding what to add to the Canon, and what not to add. The probings by our minds, between the dark and the daylight, are not so different a few thousand years later. How is God going to judge me and my sins? What must I do to prepare? What is within my ability and what is not? And where do I fit in His Kingdom?
- Hardcover: 496 pages
- Publisher: Harvard University Press; 1 edition (15 December 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0674996089
- ISBN-13: 978-0674996083
- Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 2.7 x 16.2 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 340 g
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- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 176,468 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)