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The Pastor of Hermas  By  cover art

The Pastor of Hermas

By: Hermas of Rome
Narrated by: Mel Jackson
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Publisher's Summary

The Pastor of Hermas is a Christian literary work of the first or second century, considered a valuable book by many Christians, and considered canonical scripture by some of the early Church fathers such as Irenaeus. The Pastor or The Shepherd of Hermas had great authority in the second and third centuries. It was bound as part of the New Testament in the Codex Sinaiticus, and it was listed between the Acts of the Apostles and the Acts of Paul in the stichometrical list of the Codex Claromontanus. 

The work comprises five visions, 12 mandates, and 10 parables. It relies on allegory and pays special attention to the Church, calling the faithful to repent of the sins that have harmed it. 

The book was originally written in Rome, in the Greek language, but a Latin translation was made very shortly afterwards. Only the Latin version has been preserved in full; of the Greek, the last fifth or so is missing. 

The shepherd is one of the meanings that was probably attached to some figurines of the Good Shepherd as well as a symbol for Christ, or a traditional pagan kriophoros. 

The book consists of five visions granted to Hermas, a former slave. This is followed by 12 mandates or commandments, and 10 similitudes, or parables. It commences abruptly in the first person: "He who brought me up sold me to a certain Rhoda, who was at Rome. After many years I met her again, and began to love her as a sister." 

As Hermas was on the road to Cumae, he had a vision of Rhoda. She told him that she was his accuser in heaven, on account of an unchaste thought the (married) narrator had once had concerning her, though only in passing. He was to pray for forgiveness for himself and all of his house. He is consoled by a vision of the Church in the form of an aged woman, weak and helpless from the sins of the faithful, who tells him to do penance and to correct the sins of his children.

©2018 Lighthouse Publishing (P)2021 Lighthouse Publishing

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