When did the ‘apostolic fathers’ become a thing? There’s been a minor debate about that question, and I’ve managed to throw my two cents into the discussion about Cotelier’s role in that affair – a debate that Ehrman calls ‘rather pointless’. It’s in a short note just released in advance access form in JTS called ‘The Paratextual Invention of the Term “Apostolic Fathers”‘.
The abstract reads:
The origin of the term ‘apostolic fathers’ has been the subject of some debate. This note examines the extant bindings of Cotelier’s 1672 edition of the collection to suggest that the term first arises as a paratextual shortening of his title by readers, booksellers, and librarians, and from there enters into common usage.
If anyone would like to read a copy but doesn’t have access to JTS, please drop me an email and I’ll be happy to share with you a PDF offprint.