The Ante-Nicene Fathers are those writings of the early Church fathers from the beginning of Christianity to the time of the creation of the Nicene Creed. Includes Polycarp, Tertullian, Julius Africanus, Ignatius, Origen, Clement and more.
The Ante-Nicene Fathers represent Christian doctrine of the first centuries after the New Testament.
When there was conflict about the truly catholic and orthodox interpretation of the Scriptures, all sought backing for their position in the writings of "the Fathers". By this they meant teachers of an earlier era who demonstrated how the apostolic scriptures were understood and applied by the apostles and their immediate successors.
These writings are thus presupposed by the majority of Christian apologists to be uncorrupted by later distortions and departures introduced by heretics and apostates.
Fundamentalists point to doctrines in the writings of the Ante-Nicene Fathers which clearly support Catholic and Orthodox dogmas as evidence of a very early departure from New Testament truth which began immediately after the death of the last of the apostles of Jesus (see Great Apostasy).
- Ante-Nicene Fathers (biblestudytools.com)
- Early Christian Writings A.D. 30 through 380 (earlychristianwritings.com)
- Early Church Fathers Overview: Snapshot of the Fathers, by Marcellino D'Ambrosio (Dr. Italy) (crossroadsinitiative.com) Summaries of their doctrines and influence on Christianity.
- Theology Adrift: The Early Church Fathers and Their Views of Eschatology, by D. Matthew Allen (bible.org) Baptist article on evidence of false doctrine in Ante-Nicene Fathers.
- The Great and not-so-Great Apostasy (catholicbasictraining.com)
- The Apostasy: An Era of Spiritual Darkness (thegreatapostasy.com).