Yes, You Really Do Want This Pre-Pub!

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Posts 1829
Rick | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Mar 15 2017 2:24 PM

The reference book "A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs" has been suggested and discussed a few times on these forums for quite a long time. It's finally here! It is also within my price range. Big Smile

I'm super excited about this one! In the past, I've had to use this book in conjunction with Logos by looking up the topic that I'm interested in within the book and then searching through Logos to bring up the appropriate Early Church Father's writings. With Logos' linking, this will be no more!

Ever wonder what the Early Church Father's said about a subject? Simply look the topic up in this dictionary and click! The latest subject that I used the hard copy of this book for was concerning what the ECF's said about cremation. It made my research so much easier because the research was already done!

For a sample page that I scanned some years ago, see this post: 

For a couple of quick discussions on this resource, I found these using Google:

Ted Hans: 

Fred Morgan: 

Thanks for your consideration of helping me get this into production.

Posts 514
Daniel Yoder | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 15 2017 3:07 PM

Yes, everyone does want this.  Big Smile  Whether everyone realizes it or not.

Very glad to see it - and at a good price.  

Posts 5318
Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 15 2017 3:10 PM

I have this book in hard cover and find it very useful, I have similar works already in Logos but have ordered it because I have found it very useful in the nearly 2 decades i have owned it. One doesn't always have time to mine through the massive volumes of the church fathers and this provides a most handy volume to jump off into the fathers or to just enjoy the fruits of David W. Bercot studies.


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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 15 2017 3:19 PM


macOS, iOS & iPadOS | Logs |  Install

Posts 1829
Rick | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 15 2017 3:28 PM

Thank you all for the encouragement. I just noticed that there are sample pages at the bottom of the web page. I just didn't scroll down enough. :o)

Posts 11433
DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 15 2017 3:31 PM

Hmmm. I was hoping it was a discussion of 'early' Christian beliefs.

But actually it seems to be an index with quotes from the church bishops. Which indeed would be a nice match to the 3+ sets Logos has. 

I guess I'll have to keep looking. But this volume looks quite good for anyone else.

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

Posts 688
Ted Weis | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 15 2017 3:46 PM

You persuaded me. I'm in.

Posts 689
James McAdams | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 15 2017 3:48 PM

Same here - looks great!

Posts 1333
Sean | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 15 2017 4:02 PM

Thank you for pointing this out. I used to have access to this in print but no longer do. It will be great to have in Logos--hopefully with proper & thorough linking.

Posts 927
Lew Worthington | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 15 2017 4:03 PM

Thanks for bringing this up! I'm also in.

Dan mentions similar Logos works; can anyone give some examples?


Dan Francis:

I have this book in hard cover and find it very useful, I have similar works already in Logos but have ordered it because I have found it very useful in the nearly 2 decades i have owned it. One doesn't always have time to mine through the massive volumes of the church fathers and this provides a most handy volume to jump off into the fathers or to just enjoy the fruits of David W. Bercot studies.


Posts 621
Dave Thawley | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 15 2017 4:25 PM

I didn't know I wanted it but I think I do lol - I'm in

Posts 948
Everett Headley | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 15 2017 4:43 PM

I'm in. I have often used google for this, but i like the resource. 

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 15 2017 4:52 PM

Thanks for the heads up. I'm in.

Using adventure and community to challenge young people to continually say "yes" to God

Posts 1110
EastTN | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 15 2017 5:26 PM

Thanks for flagging this!

Posts 560
Glenn Crouch | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 15 2017 7:09 PM

You convinced me Smile

Pastor Glenn Crouch
St Paul's Lutheran Church
Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Western Australia

Posts 2371
GaoLu | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 15 2017 9:41 PM

Very useful.  A must have.  I di wish it was less expensive and think it could be...I hope at this price it really is well-tagged--then it could be worth the price.

Posts 1829
Rick | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 16 2017 2:26 AM

Again, thanks to everyone. The response has been more than I expected and the line has visibly moved. I agree that tagging will be critical in this one and, if done correctly, will be extensive. I trust Faithlife will do what it takes though. Smile

Posts 5318
Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 16 2017 9:46 AM

Lew Worthington:
Dan mentions similar Logos works; can anyone give some examples?

There is no identical ones that said this one is very close:

The Teachings of the Church Fathers by John RWillis

Systematic Theology (3 vols.) by Thomas C. Oden

Can be easily mined for a similar outcome.

Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity (3 vols.)

Far broader in scope but gives you similar results except passages need to be looked up usually.

The Fathers Know Best: Your Essential Guide to the Teachings of the Early Church by Jimmy Akin

Which is far more less in scope but very well done.

I am sure there are others but these are the ones coming timing off the top of my head.


EDIT: Early Christian Doctrines in  J. N. D. Kelly’s Early Christian Doctrines and Creeds (2 vols.) by J. N. D. Kelly is one that should be put into this class too albeit in most ways far more in depth but again less in scope. It wasn't until reading a review I was reminded of this one by a stellar scholar.

Posts 5318
Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 16 2017 9:54 AM

Samples on Abortion to compare to the PREPUB work:

ABORTION. In the thought of the Fathers, the issue of abortion is set in the context of the proposal of a fundamental choice of civilization made by Yahweh to his people: “Today I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you: I have placed before you life and death, a blessing and a curse. Choose life, that you and your descendants may live, to love Yahweh your God, to listen to his voice and to adhere to him: so that he may be your life and your length of days in the land that Yahweh swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob” (Dt 30:19–20). The earliest writings, the *Didache and the Letter of *Barnabas, following the schema of the two ways, life and death, teaching that the one who walks in the way of life does not kill and, consequently, will not take the life of a fetus by abortion (phthora) (Didache, 15–17; Barn., Ep 19,5). The act of abortion, in addition to being a grave lack of love for one’s neighbor, is above all an offense against the law of God, precisely because it destroys one of his creatures. The crime of abortion sets on the way of death not only the woman who has an abortion but also the one who performs it, leading both along the road to eternal punishment (Barn., Ep 20).

The *apologists constructed their arguments specifically on the absolute respect of Christians for the life of the unborn. “How can we kill a person,” asks *Athenagoras, “we who judge women who use abortive measures to be murderers, and consider them accountable to God for their abortions?” (see Athenag., Legatio 35). *Minucius Felix contrasts *pagans and Christians even more sharply in matters of life and death: “There are even women who, drinking certain medications, destroy the beginning of the future person in their womb, committing murder before giving birth. . . . We, on the other hand, are not permitted to take part in murder or to hear it spoken of” (Minuc., Octavius 30,2). *Tertullian also, in his concise and at times violent style, accuses the gentiles of practicing abortion: “You have little appetite for human viscera, because you devour them, alive and full-grown; rarely do you lick human blood, because you pour out the blood of the future; rarely do you eat infants, because you sweep away the whole child in advance” (see Tertull., Ad nationes I, 15,8). Before the divine commandment—non occides—there is no difference between taking the life of one already born and destroying the life of one not yet born: one who will be a person later is already one now (see Tertull., Apologeticum 9,8; De exhort. cast. 12,5).

For all the Greek and Latin fathers, abortion is morally a sin and legally a crime, because it involves the unjust killing of a human life that is, from its beginning, under the protection of the providential love of God. In his comment on Ex 23:19: “Do not boil a kid in its mother’s milk,” *Clement of Alexandria concludes that abortion, the killing of a living fetus, turns the mother’s womb into a tomb of death instead of a cradle of life as the Creator wills (see Clem. Alex., Strom. 2,18). *Basil of Caesarea leaves no doubt on the matter, considering the distinction between an ensouled and an unensouled fetus a subtlety of philosophers and learned pagans, unacceptable by Christians. As the violent killing of a human life-in-becoming, abortion is always homicide (see Basil., Ep. 188,2). Basil judges both those who provide abortive drugs and those who use them to be likewise murderers (ibid.). *Ambrose of Milan considers abortion such a horrendous crime that it must be revoked as soon as the mind becomes aware of it (see Ambr., Ep. 60,1). For *Augustine, the cruel lust of some women reaches the point of destroying the fetus in their own womb when drugs to induce sterility have failed; they choose to destroy their offspring before it is born (see Aug., De nuptiis et concupiscentia, I, 15,17). At the time of the Fathers the moral judgment on abortion was thus strongly negative, because it is homicide. On the juridical question of the crime in the case of abortion prior to animation, appeal to Augustine’s judgment is certainly false (see Honings, 79–83).

J.H. Waszink: RAC I, 55–60; M. Roberti, “Nasciturus pro iam nato habetur” nelle fonti cristiane primitive, in Cristianesimo e Diritto Rom., Milan 1935, 65–84; E. Nardi, Procurato aborto nel mondo greco romano, Milan 1971; B. Sesboüé, Les chrétiens devant l’avortement d’après le témoignage des Pères de l’Église: Etudes 139 (1973) 262–283; B. Honings, Aborto e animazione umana, Rome 1973; P. Sardi, L’aborto ieri e oggi, Brescia 1975; E. Eyben, Family Planning in Graeco-Roman Antiquity: AnSoc 11/12 (1980/81) 1–81; D.A. Dombrowski, St. Augustine, Abortion, and libido crudelis: Journal of the History of Ideas 49 (1988) 151–156; M.J. Gorman, Abortion and the Early Church: Christian, Jewish and Pagan Attitudes in the Greco-Roman World, Downers Grove, IL 1982; J.M. Riddle, Contraception and Abortion from the Ancient World to the Renaissance, Cambridge, MA 1992; A. Lindemann, “Do not let a woman destroy the unborn babe in her belly.” Abortion in Ancient Judaism and Christianity: Studia Theologica. Scandinavian Journal of Theology 49 (1995) 253–271.


B. Honings, Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity, s.v. “ABORTION,” 1:11.


32. Abortion

The Christian faith has always rejected abortion as a grave evil. Writings from the first century onward condemn it as murder.

Some Fathers pointed in particular to this passage from Exodus: “If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely [Hebrew: ‘so that her child comes out’], but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot” (Ex 21:22–24).

Another passage worth bearing in mind is James 2:26, which says that “the body without the spirit is dead.” The soul is the life principle of the body, what makes it alive. Since from the time of conception the child’s body is alive (as shown by the fact it is growing), the unborn child must already have its soul.

In 1995 Pope John Paul II declared that the Church’s teaching on abortion “is unchanged and unchangeable. Therefore, by the authority which Christ conferred upon Peter and his successors … I declare that direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, always constitutes a grave moral disorder, since it is the deliberate killing of an innocent human being. This doctrine is based upon the natural law and upon the written word of God, is transmitted by the Church’s tradition and taught by the ordinary and universal magisterium. No circumstance, no purpose, no law whatsoever can ever make licit an act which is intrinsically illicit, since it is contrary to the law of God which is written in every human heart, knowable by reason itself, and proclaimed by the Church” (Evangelium Vitae 62).

The early Church Fathers agreed. Fortunately, abortion, like all sins, is forgivable; and forgiveness is as close as the nearest confessional.


And the second commandment of the teaching: You shall not commit murder, you shall not commit adultery [Ex 20:13–14], you shall not commit pederasty, you shall not commit fornication, you shall not steal [Ex 20:15], you shall not practice magic, you shall not practice witchcraft, you shall not murder a child by abortion nor kill what is begotten. You shall not covet the things of your neighbor [Ex 20:17], you shall not forswear yourself [Mt 5:34], you shall not bear false witness [Ex 20:16] [Didache 2 (c. a.d. 50)].

letter of barnabas

The way of light, then, is as follows. If anyone desires to travel to the appointed place, he must be zealous in his works. The knowledge, therefore, that is given to us to walk in this way, is the following.… You shall not slay the child by procuring abortion; nor shall you destroy it after it is born [Letter of Barnabas 19 (c. a.d. 75)].

apocalypse of peter

And near that place I saw another strait place into which the gore and the filth of those who were being punished ran down and became a lake: and there sat women having the gore up to their necks, and over against them sat many children who were born to them out of due time, crying; and there came forth from them sparks of fire that smote the women in the eyes: and these were the accursed who conceived and caused abortion [The Apocalypse of Peter 25 (c. a.d. 135)].

athenagoras of athens

What man of sound mind, therefore, will affirm, while such is our character, that we are murderers?… Wilted Flowerhen we say that those women who use drugs to bring on abortion commit murder, and will have to give an account to God for the abortion, on what principle should we commit murder? For it does not belong to the same person to regard the very fetus in the womb as a created being, and therefore an object of God’s care, and when it has passed into life, to kill it; and not to expose an infant, because those who expose them are chargeable with child murder, and on the other hand, when it has been reared to destroy it [Plea for the Christians 35 (c. a.d. 177)].

tertullian of carthage

In our case, murder being forbidden, we may not destroy even the fetus in the womb, while the human being derives blood from other parts of the body for its sustenance. To hinder a birth is merely a speedier mankilling; nor does it matter whether you take away a life that is born, or destroy one that is coming to the birth. That is a man that is going to be one; you have the fruit already in its seed [Apology 9 (a.d. 197)].

Angelmong surgeons’ tools there is a certain instrument formed with a nicely adjusted flexible frame for opening the uterus and keeping it open; it is further furnished with an annular blade, by means of which the limbs within the womb are dissected with anxious but unfaltering care; its last appendage being a blunted or covered hook, with which the entire fetus is extracted by a violent delivery. There is also a copper needle or spike, by which the actual death is managed in this furtive robbery of life: from its infanticide function, they give it the name of embruosphaktēs, the slayer of the infant, which was of course alive. Such apparatus was possessed both by Hippocrates, and Asclepiades, and Erasistratus, and Herophilus, that dissector of adults, and the milder Soranus himself, who all knew well enough that a living being had been conceived, and pitied this most luckless infant state, which had first to be put to death, to escape being tortured alive [Treatise on the Soul 25 (c. a.d. 210)].

Now we allow that life begins with conception, because we contend that the soul also begins from conception; life taking its commencement at the same moment and place that the soul does [ibid., 27].

The Law of Moses, indeed, punishes with due penalties the man who shall cause abortion [Ex 21:22–24] [ibid., 37].

minucius felix

There are some women who, by drinking medical preparations, extinguish the source of the future man in their bowels, and thus commit a parricide before they bring forth. And these things assuredly come down from the teaching of your gods.… To us it is not lawful either to see or to hear of homicide [Octavius 30 (c. a.d. 226)].

st. hippolytus of rome

Wilted Floweromen, reputed believers, began to resort to drugs to produce sterility, and to gird themselves round, so to expel what was being conceived on account of their not wishing to have a child either by a slave or any paltry fellow, for the sake of their family and excessive wealth. Behold, into how great impiety that lawless one has proceeded, by committing adultery and murder at the same time! [Refutation of All Heresies 9:7 (c. a.d. 227)].


For when God forbids us to kill, he not only prohibits us from open violence, which is not even allowed by the public laws, but he warns us against the commission of those things esteemed lawful among men.… Therefore let no one imagine that this is allowed, to strangle newborn children, which is the greatest impiety; for God breathes into their souls for life, and not for death. But men, that there may be no crime with which they may not pollute their hands, deprive souls as yet innocent and simple of the light that they themselves have not given.

Can any one, indeed, expect that they would abstain from the blood of others who do not abstain from their own? But these are without any controversy wicked and unjust [Divine Institutes 6:20 (c. a.d. 307)].

council of ankara

Concerning women who commit fornication, and destroy what they have conceived, or who are employed in making drugs for abortion, a former decree excluded them until the hour of death, and to this some have assented. Nevertheless, being desirous to use somewhat greater leniency, we have ordained that they fulfill ten years [of penance], according to the prescribed degrees [Canon 21 (a.d. 314)].

st. basil of caesarea

The woman who purposely destroys her unborn child is guilty of murder. With us there is no nice enquiry as to its being formed or unformed. In this case it is not only the being about to be born who is vindicated, but the woman in her attack upon herself; because in most cases women who make such attempts die. The destruction of the embryo is an additional crime, a second murder, at all events if it is done with intent. The punishment, however, of these women should not be for life, but for the term of ten years. And let their treatment depend not on mere lapse of time, but on the character of their repentance [Letters 188:2 (a.d. 374)].

Women also who administer drugs to cause abortion, as well as those who take poisons to destroy unborn children, are murderesses [ibid., 188:8].

st. jerome

I cannot bring myself to speak of the many virgins who fall every day and are lost to the bosom of the Church, their mother.… Some go so far as to take potions, that they may ensure barrenness, and thus murder human beings almost before their conception. Some, when they find themselves with child through their sin, use drugs to procure abortion, and when (as often happens) they die with their offspring, they enter the lower world laden with the guilt not only of adultery against Christ but also of suicide and child murder [Letters 22:13 (a.d. 384)].

st. john chrysostom

I beseech you, flee fornication.… Why sow where the ground makes it its job to destroy the fruit? Where there are many efforts at abortion? Where there is murder before the birth? For even the harlot you do not let continue a mere harlot, but make her a murderess also. You see how drunkenness leads to whoredom, whoredom to adultery, adultery to murder, or rather to something even worse than murder. For I have no name to give it, since it does not take away the thing born, but prevents its being born. Why then do you abuse the gift of God, and fight with his laws, and follow after what is a curse as if it were a blessing, and make the chamber of procreation a chamber for murder, and arm the woman that was given for childbearing into slaughter? For with a view to drawing more money by being agreeable and an object of longing to her lovers, even this she will do, heaping upon your head a great pile of fire. For even if the daring deed be hers, yet the cause of it is yours [Homilies on Romans 24 (c. a.d. 391)].

apostolic constitutions

You shall not use magic. You shall not use witchcraft; for he says, “You shall not suffer a witch to live.” You shall not slay your child by causing abortion, nor kill what is begotten; for “everything that is shaped, and has received a soul from God, if it be slain, shall be avenged, as being unjustly destroyed” [Apostolic Constitutions 7:1:3 (c. a.d. 400)].

 Jimmy Akin, The Fathers Know Best: Your Essential Guide to the Teachings of the Early Church (San Diego, CA: Catholic Answers, 2010), 231–236.



The others I mentioned had more narrow scopes and did not touch on this topic indepth. I was not meaning to choose a subject of controversy which only now popped into my mind but just wanted to choose a subject in "A"  that could be compared to the PrePub samples offered.


Posts 934
Matthew | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 16 2017 2:30 PM

I placed my order yesterday as a result of this thread, but I would be very interested in hearing from a Faithlife what kind of tagging is planned for this resource and whether support for Factbook will be included. Thanks!

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