Citing Text Collections 6: ANF and NPNF

The Ante-Nicene Fathers: Translations of the Writings of the Fathers Down to A.D. 325 (ANF) and A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church (NPNF) are well over a century old, but they continue to be reprinted by publishers and cited by writers in the field. Consequently, SBLHS devotes a specific section (§6.4.5) to these two translation collections; this post supplements and reinforces the information in SBLHS.

Although some might argue that ANF and NPNF are series, SBL Press prefers to treat each as a multivolume work, in keeping with the Library of Congress cataloging of the works and to simplify citations of translations from them. The complicated publication history of these two works (even originally they were issued by different publishers) also creates problems that must be addressed. In addition, most citations today will be of one of the many reprint editions, which adds a further layer of complexity to the matter.

In order to accommodate all of the idiosyncrasies of ANF and NPNF, we recommend that listings of these works cite only the original publication dates plus the publication information for the reprint an author is using—unless, of course, one happens to have an original edition in hand, in which case that edition’s information should be used. Thus ANF and NPNF will most frequently be cited in an abbreviations list as follows:


The Ante-Nicene Fathers: Translations of the Writings of the Fathers Down to A.D. 325. Edited by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. 10 vols. 1885–1887. Repr., PLACE: PUBLISHER, DATE.


A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. 28 vols. in 2 series. 1886–1889. Repr., PLACE: PUBLISHER, DATE.

Note that NPNF comprises two series, each with 14 volumes. Contra the example given in SBLHS, the series number is best indicated by a 1 or 2 plus a solidus preceding the volume number (not a superscripted 1 or 2). Thus volume 12 of the second series would be cited as follows:

NPNF 2/12:85–96

As explained in SBLHS, it is generally preferable to list both the ancient source and its location in ANF or NPNF. The first example shows a simple citation; the second is the format used when the translator needs to be identified:

44. Augustine, Letters of St. Augustin 28.3.5 (NPNF 1/1:252).

44. Augustine, Letters of St. Augustin 28.3.5 (trans. J. G. Cunningham, NPNF 1/1:252).

If one wishes to cite a specific translation in a bibliography (optional), it should be listed under the ancient author name as follows:

Eusebius of Caesarea. “The Life of Constantine.” Translated by Ernest Cushing Richardson.  NPNF 2/1:481–559.

There is no need to include full publication data for ANF or NPNF in the bibliographical entry if that information is provided in an abbreviations list.

ANF and NPNF are both in the public domain (which explains why publishers today are free to reprint the volumes) and have been posted online at various sites. The text of the volumes may be accessed quickly at, among others, Christian Classics Ethereal Library (here). Page numbers are indicated in the upper right-hand portion of the online version of the text (see arrow below).


ANF and NPNF include the following volumes:


1. The Apostolic Fathers: Justin Martyr; Irenaeus

2. Fathers of the Second Century: Hermas; Tatian; Theophilus; Athenagoras; Clement of Alexandria

3. Latin Christianity: Its Founder, Tertullian (part 1: Apologetic; part 2: Anti-Marcion; part 3: Ethical)

4. The Fathers of the Third Century: Tertullian (part 4: Minucius Felix; Commodian; Origen)

5. The Fathers of the Third Century: Hippolytus; Cyprian; Caius; Novatian; Appendix

6. The Fathers of the Third Century: Gregory Thaumaturgus; Dinoysius the Great; Julius Africanus; Anatolius and Minor Writers; Methodius; Arnobius

7. Fathers of the Third and Fourth Centuries: Lactantius; Venantius; Asterius; Victorinus; Dionysius; Apostolic Teaching and Constitutions; Homily; Liturgies

8. The Twelve Patriarchs; Excerpts and Epistles; The Clementia; Apocrypha; Decretals; Memoirs of Edessa and Syriac Documents; Remains of the First Ages

9. Recently Discovered Additions to Early Christian Literature; Commentaries of Origen

10. Bibliographic Synopsis; General Index

NPNF Series 1

Augustine volumes

1/1. Prolegomena: St. Augustine’s Life and Work; Confessions; Letters

1/2. The City of God; Christian Doctrine

1/3. On the Holy Trinity; Doctrinal Treatises; Moral Treatises

1/4. The Anti-Manichaean Writings; The Anti-Donatist Writings

1/5. Anti-Pelagian Writings

1/6. Sermon on the Mount; Harmony of the Gospels; Homilies on the Gospels

1/7. Homilies on the Gospel of John; Homilies on the First Epistle of John; Soliloquies

1/8. Expositions on the Psalms

Chrysostom volumes

1/9. On the Priesthood; Ascetic Treatises; Select Homilies and Letters; Homilies on the Statutes

1/10. Homilies on the Gospel of St. Matthew

1/11. Homilies on the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistle to the Romans

1/12. Homilies on First and Second Corinthians

1/13. Homilies on the Epistles to the Galatians; Ephesians; Philippians; Colossians; Thessalonians; Timothy, Titus, and Philemon

1/14. Homilies on the Gospel of St. John and the Epistle to the Hebrews

NPNF Series 2

2/1. Eusebius: Church History from A.D. 1–324; Life of Constantine the Great; Oration in Praise of Constantine

2/2. Socrates: Church History from A.D. 305–438; Sozomenus: Church History from A.D. 323–425

2/3. Theodoret; Jerome and Gennadius; Rufinus and Jerome

2/4. Athanasius: Select Writings and Letters

2/5. Gregory of Nyssa: Dogmatic Treatises; Select Writings and Letters

2/6. Jerome: Letters and Select Works

2/7. Cyril of Jerusalem; Gregory Nazianzen

2/8. Basil: Letters and Select Works

2/9. Hilary of Poitiers; John of Damascus

2/10. Ambrose: Select Works and Letters

2/11. Sulpitius Severus; Vincent of Lerins; John Cassian

2/12. Leo the Great; Gregory the Great

2/13. Gregory the Great II; Ephriam Syrus; Aphrahat

2/14. The Seven Ecumenical Councils

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