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Irenaeus: Proof of the Apostolic Preaching (1920). Preface to the online edition

This important and interesting work was discovered only in 1904, in an Armenian translation, and the first English translation was published in London and New York in 1920.  This is the translation that follows.  The translator was J. Armitage Robinson.  A modern translation, which is highly recommended, exists in the Ancient Christian Writers series.  Robinson titled his version, "Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching" but the ACW uses the title "Proof of the Apostolic Preaching", which has been adopted here.

The CCEL began to scan this volume a long time ago, but few seem to have been aware of it and progress has apparently stopped.  Furthermore the format of the version that they are making breaks the text up into a multitude of pages, making it hard to read or reference.  I have therefore scanned the text with abbreviated notes and placed it here, in order to promote interest in this little known work.*  

I have omitted the long introductory essay by the translator on the doctrine of the Holy Spirit in Justin and Irenaeus.  I have also omitted most of the footnotes.  The majority of these indicate passages in the Adversus Haereses where Irenaeus quotes the same passage of scripture.  The manuscript text was in Armenian.  None of the footnotes include any of this -- no doubt SPCK's compositors wisely objected -- but Robinson compensates by quoting the AH in Latin, and at least one chunk of Greek on every page, usually from the Old Testament.  All this I have omitted, leaving a series of dots where the Greek was.  Finally I have moved the marginal scripture references into the footnotes, and omitted the indices.  No doubt all these things will be present in the CCEL edition.

20th September 2003

* Postscript, 4th October 2003.  I've had a note from my friends at the CCEL to the effect that their version has been updated, and the table of contents can be accessed here.  The main text, together with the latter part of the introduction, is here, and the myriad little pages seem to have gone.  The new version appears to include all the material.  Nevertheless, I think the format I have here will still be useful.

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This text was transcribed by Roger Pearse, Ipswich, UK, 2003.  All material on this page is in the public domain - copy freely.
Greek text is rendered using the Scholars Press SPIonic font, free from here.

Early Church Fathers - Additional Texts