an early Christian apocalypse. Hermas was the brother of Pius, bishop of Rome in the first part of the second century ce. The shepherd, a character in the work, is in reality an angel, one of several angels who reveal divine messages and interpret visions. The book consists of visions, commandments, and parables; the main concern is to deal with the issue of Christians who have sinned after they have been baptized. The Shepherd of Hermas presents the view that repentance is possible (but only once) after baptism, countering the even more rigorous view that no repentance is possible for sins committed after one has been baptized. The form of the work, with visions, angelic interpreters, and the view that the day of judgment was coming soon, helps scholars to understand the literary form of apocalypse in early Christianity. Seeearly Christian writings.