Church History, Part 8: Shepherd of Hermas

The Rev. Adam Young teaches through the history of the church in this video.

“The Shepherd of Hermas, often simply called Hermas, is one of the most enigmatic of the Apostolic Fathers. Widely read and influential right through to the mid-fourth century the popularity of this book in the church seems odd given its very confused teaching on who God is, who Jesus is (who it doesn’t even mention by name!), and who the Holy Spirit is. Written by a freed former slave in Rome around the end of the first through to the middle of the second century Hermas takes the reader on a visionary journey through images and parables and similes led by Woman Church and the Angel of Repentance. The overriding concerns for Hermas as the possibility of repentance after baptism and also moral issues such as the relationship between the rich and the poor. Theology proper takes a back seat here and what little he does say about the Holy Spirit and the Son of God is muddled enough to cause a headache for any reader–but that is perhaps, in part, what makes the books so fascinating.”


  • Adam Young

    Adam Young is Associate Minister at All Saints' Church in North Ferriby, England, and Padre to the Yorkshire North & West Army Cadet Force. He has a Master in Applied Theology from Oxford University. In his spare time, he enjoys weightlifting, trail running, painting miniatures, and reading theology.