In a posting in 2003 there was a question regarding eldership, and you mentioned that the writings of the early fathers speak of the children of elders. I have read some time ago The Early Christian Fathers (which you in another article said was good), but am having a hard time now locating specific passages alluding to their view of children of elders. Could you point me in the right direction? --Jennifer Konzen

All I can find is a reference in the Constitutions of the Holy Apostles. This work was written in the late 300s, as I recall, although of course parts could date back much earlier. It is assumed (see II. I. II) that an elder has educated his children piously. Then a reference is made to Ephesians 6:4.

Yes, I had thought there was more material on this. I wish the evidence were not so meager.

In the culture of the day, it was likely that whole families were converted whenever the head made his own decision for Christ. But to be honest, the patristic preoccupation, as I have searched the references to Titus 1:6 and 1 Timothy 3:4, seems much more to be with the marital state of the elder. That was the hot issue, not the "faithful children" issue. I am afraid I overstated the case. The patristic writings have little to say about the faith of an elder's children; it is left to us to figure that one out.

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