In Christian scribal practice, nomina sacra (singular: nomen sacrum from Latin sacred name) is the abbreviation of several frequently occurring divine names or titles, especially in Greek manuscripts of Holy Scripture. This will be one of the most detailed, yet easy-to-understand articles on this important subject.
The mother church of Christendom, after so glorious a beginning, grew mightily, both inwardly and outwardly, and at first found great favor with the people, (Acts 2:47), for the purity of its walk, and the glow of its first love and benevolence, which reached even to a community of goods.
Next to the incarnation, death and resurrection of the Son of God, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the church is the most momentous fact in history.
The Shepherd of Hermas is part of that collection of writings that since the 19th century has been termed “The Apostolic Fathers,” the first generation of Christian leaders writing after the end of the apostolic age and the completion of the New Testament (NT) canonical documents. These writings are a vital part of our understanding regarding the development of Christianity.
Papias was a Greek Apostolic Father, Bishop of Hierapolis, and author who lived c. 60 – c. 135 AD. He wrote the Exposition of the Sayings of the Lord in five books.
Polycarp was a Christian bishop of Smyrna. According to the Martyrdom of Polycarp, he died a martyr, bound and burned at the stake, then stabbed when the fire failed to consume his body.
Theophilus was Patriarch of Antioch from 169 until 182. He succeeded Eros c. 169 AD and was succeeded by Maximus I c. 183 AD. His death probably occurred about 182. He is included among the dozen or so Christian apologists of his day.
Titus Flavius Clemens, also known as Clement of Alexandria (Greek: Κλήμης ὁ Ἀλεξανδρεύς; c. 150 – c. 215 AD), was a Christian theologian and philosopher who taught at the Catechetical School of Alexandria.
Like most early Christian writers, information about Irenaeus’s life is scarce and inexact. Most information about him either comes from what little can be gleaned from his writing, and from church tradition.
The city of Smyrna was located approximately thirty-five miles north of Ephesus. It was a prosperous city with a population of over one hundred thousand in John’s day (c. A.D. 95). That location had been inhabited for over three thousand years, and no one knows for sure who founded Smyrna or exactly when it was established.