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PREFACE

In this volume we have attempted to give new translations of some of the basic Christian writings of the first two centuries. Our aim has been to render the originals in clear, idiomatic English, and to facilitate the reading of these classics by revising the standard paragraphs and by relegating the chapter and verse numbers to the margins.

In view of the fact that most of the material in our book has been rendered into English so frequently as well as so recently, the translations offered cannot but reflect some knowledge of those already published. While our work has been done without conscious borrowing, the same turn of phrases is likely to occur to more than one translator, and acquaintance with previous renderings cannot be, and should not be, eradicated from the memory.

We have sought to provide adequate introductory material, and to add such notes as are necessary for understanding the text. The lists of books are purposely more extensive than in some other series, and are planned to aid the student who wishes to study these particular documents more thoroughly.

The division of work among the contributors is indicated by the Table of Contents. I should like to thank the general editors for their assistance in the preparation of the manuscript and for their many helpful suggestions; the three contributors for their splendid co-operation; and Dr. Bard Thompson for his help with the notes for Athenagoras.

Cyril C. Richardson.

Union Theological Seminary.

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