"This is meant to produce the
texts of the Church fathers in a handy edition, to recommend them
as reading material and to promise the reader profit from so doing."
So begins the preface of Norbert Brox to the new edition of some
of the works of the Library of the Church Fathers. For the same
reason some volumes of the BKV are made available here in electronic
form. It requires work to transcribe so much text into an electronic
form. The selection of the works which have been done is therefore
a product first of all the needs of our own reading. However if
you have a work that is a special favorite of yours, which you
think should be scanned, then your cooperation is always welcome!
What is "Bibliothek
The "Bibliothek der Kirchenväter"
(BKV) is a series that made a large selection of patristic works
accessible in German translation to an interested public. It was
published by O. Bardenhewer in two series. Series I comprises
61 volumes and appeared in the years 1911-31. Series II contains
20 volumes and was published in the years 1934-38. Although since
then newer translations of many works have appeared, and the BKV
from many viewpoints no longer satisfies modern needs, it still
today offers a useful German translation, sometimes a little antiquated,
and for many works it is the only German translation. On the other
hand the introductions and commentaries and footnotes in these
volumes are less useful, and have been omitted.
- List of all works
published in the BKV..
- List of all volumes
of the BKV published.
How to use the site.
Click on "Werke" (Works)
in the top strip to get a list of texts online. If you then click
on the link for an individual work, the first chapter of that
work will be displayed. A hyperlinked index of the contents of
the work appears on the right, allowing quick navigation. However
for a long work this will only show the first twenty chapters,
with a link to the remainder ('mehr') at the end. To get the next
chapter, click on 'Weiter' (Forward) in the strip at the bottom
of the page. To back to the previous chapter, click on 'Zurück'
(Back). You can return to this page from any page by clicking
'Start' in the top strip. The texts can also be viewed or downloaded
and edited in RTF format.
will inform you when new texts are added.
For questions, suggestions, offers to help or corrections, please write to me at:
Dr. Gregor Emmenegger
Département du Patristique et Histoire de l'Église
Departement für Patristik und Kirchengeschichte
Tel.: ++41/26/ 300 74 00
Fax: ++41/26/ 300 97 53
The texts accessible here are useful
for a quick reference or casual browsing. However, they cannot
and are not intended to replace modern editions: anyone who wants
or needs to work in a scholarly way with these texts must consult
modern translations and editions, for which these are no substitute.
In particular those studying should resist the temptation to use
these texts instead of a trip to the university library.
The texts of the BKV are out of copyright and are therefore in
the public domain, and may be used freely for any purpose.
This site, the "Bibliothek der Kirchenväter on the internet,"
has been reviewed by the H-Soz-u-Kult
internet forum of the "Institutes für Geschichtswissenschaften
der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin" (The Institute for Historical
Scholarship at Humboldt University in Berlin). Read
To all who have helped to make this
Site a reality - and to Roger Pearse who translated this page.
His exceptional Tertullian Project contains Full Text Sources
of Early Christian and Late Antique pagan authors in English and
includes volume introductions, notes, and also additional material
for select authors to
be found here.