Ante Nicene Fathers Timeline

Early Church Fathers of the Christian Church

Ante-Nicene Church Fathers

The direction of the early church was determined by the Apostles who actually knew Christ, followed by giants such as Paul, who were responsible for the rapid spread of Christianity in the latter part of the 1st century, especially to the Greeks (non Jews).

But, after the disciples and Paul had died the leadership and direction of the church was past on to those who had studied under the apostles and had been blessed by the Holy Spirit. Some of those became giants of the church themselves and took the Christian faith on the new lands and through them, the faith spread to even greater numbers. Some stayed in the main centres of the early church, in Jerusalem, Alexandria, Rome, Smirna and so on. Many of them undertook their work under extreme persecution from the Romans and Jews and many were martyred for their steadfast faith in Jesus Christ.

We owe a great debt of gratitude to those early church fathers who kept the faith alive in difficult times, until it was adopted by Rome as the 'official faith' when the persecution finally subsided and Christians could live in relative peace and security and the faith could grow organically.

Those earliest Church Fathers are usually referred to as Ante-Nicene Fathers meaning, before the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD

Early Church Fathers

Clement of Rome Ignatius of Antioch Polycarp of Smyrna
Clement of Alexandria Tertullian of Carthage Cyprian of Carthage
Irenaeus of Lyons Origen of Alexandria Athanasius of Alexandria

The Council of Nicaea AD 325


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Click here for Clement of Rome Click here for Ignatius of Antioch Click here for Polycarp of Smyrna Click here for Clement of Alexandria Click here for Tertullian Click here for Cyprian of Carthage Click here for Irenaeus of Lyons Click here for Origen of Alexandria Click here for Athanasius of Alexandria Click here for the Council of Nicaea