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Value of the Apostolic Fathers’ Quotations

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value of the apostolic Fathers’ quotations before getting into their details.

  • Vincent Taylor: “Until about A.D. 150 the quotations are of little value for textual purposes.” [13]
  • Frederic George Kenyon: “Quotations from the New Testament are found in the earliest writers of the sub-apostolic age, but they are so scanty as to be of little service for our present purpose.[14]
  • A. T. Robertson: “Little help is gained from the Greek Apostolic Fathers for the text.”[15]
  • Bruce Metzger: “The Apostolic Fathers seldom make express citations from New Testament writings.”[16]
  • Marvin R. Vincent: “The Apostolic Fathers are of little value for patristic quotation, since they do not so much quote as blend the language of the New Testament with their own.[17]
  • William L. Petersen: “It is clear that the vast majority of passages in the Apostolic Fathers for which one can find likely parallels in the New Testament have deviations from our present, critically reconstructed New Testament text. It must be emphasized that the vast majority of these deviations are not minor (e.g., differences in spelling or verb tense), but major (a completely new context, a substantial interpolation or omission, a conflation of two entirely separate ideas and/or passages).” [18]
  • Caspar René Gregory professes, despite his apologetic tone, that “the very earliest of the Christian writers did not make a point of quoting the New Testament with any precision.”[19]
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