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The History of the Church Kindle Edition
|Length: 233 pages|
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Top Customer Reviews
This text works on several levels. What I mean by this is the fact that a lay person who has never studied Church history could pick this text up and understand it. This is, in large part, due to Williamson's translation and Louth's introduction. However, a seasoned Church historian would also benefit from this translation and work due to its clarity, and the fact that the sections are kept short and concise leaving the reader and researcher with nice 'bite' size chunks to digest.
This is a 'must read' text for anyone interested in the first 300 years of the Christian Church. Eusebius gives details of events, names, places, doctrine, issues, etc. that helped to shape the Christian Church. Events such as the persecutions of Christians under Nero to Marcus Aurelius are detailed. Genealogies of Bishops since Peter to Eusebius' day are detailed and listed, as well as certain heresies and councils. And many other extremely pertinent details (such as doctrinal disputes, etc) are included in this work.
If you are wanting a detailed account of the first three hundred years (the early Patristic Period) of the Christian Church, then you will not want to be without this text (esp. due to William's great translation and revision work). I highly recommend this book!
Quoting from the early Church fathers, Josephus, and sacred scripture, Eusebius proceeds through the reigns of the various Roman emperors from the time of Christ down to his own time--a period of over 300 years. Among the most fascinating information included is the curious correspondence between Jesus himself and Abgar the Toparch of Edessa a city in western Asia Minor in which Jesus promises to send one of His disciples to cure Abgar after His ascension. Though of uncertain authenticity, the tale has been used in recent years to link the Holy Shroud of Turin to the Mandylion of Edessa.
Also of interest are the numerous persecution, miracle, heresy, and martyrdom narratives that are packed into this book. The recounting of the marytrdoms of St. Polycarp and St. Justin Martyr are particularly compelling.
In short, this book is a treasure house of information on the early Church and no serious student of Church history can neglect it. Note, however, that this book does not contain the famous story of Constantine's miraculous conversion--seeing a cross in the sky with the words, "Conquer by this." If I remember correctly, this incident is recounted separately in the "Vita Constantini" also written by Eusebius.
As for the Penguin translation, I am not qualified to comment. If you are in need of the original Greek, I recommend the edition from the Loeb Classical Library (vol. 265) also available here on Amazon.
Although I have been a Church history buff for over 30 years, I had never read Eusebius until recently. Now I would suggest that this volume (whichever translation you prefer) should be required reading for all thinking Christians. However, it would help to have read some other books on early Church history before approaching this one. One of my favorites is "Historical Road of Eastern Orthodoxy," by Alexander Schmemann.
I read Eusebius over a period of several months which caused me to ask various questions of the early Church along the way. Here are some things worth looking for:
1. What did the early Church look like? What did they believe and practice and how did they worship?
2. What role did heresy (or should I say "fighting heresy?") play in determining what was orthodox belief and what was not?
3. Would I be willing to suffer the same kind of persecution as did these early confessors and martyrs? How can I not be filled with lifelong gratitude for what they endured so that the Christian faith could survive and thrive?
4. What was the Church's relationship with the governing authorities? How did this change when Constantine came to power and issued the Edict of Milan (the full text is included in this book) which freed Christians from persecution?
5. Does the Church I attend, and the faith I believe, at all resemble what is represented on these pages?
By all means, read this book! Perhaps you'll agree that it should be required reading.
Most recent customer reviews
Very informative. A must have for anyone seeking knowledge of the formation of the churches and the people of the time.Published 7 months ago by Cindy Beck
If you want something to read about Christianity this book is it. Eusebius is a very interesting read since he lived at the beginning of Christianity.Easy to read!Published 9 months ago by H. Epp
Excellent! I needed to understand what 's happening to our world and I needed a starting point. Currently reading The History of Protestantism. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Lynette
Aside from the fact he was excommunicated for Arian sympathies shortly before Nicea and had some explaining away to do later on, his work is alright and because of him many... Read morePublished on Dec 10 2003 by Mel
Many translations are very dry reading. This one is very good. Easy to read and understand. Interestingly, many of the arguments going on in the church today were going on in... Read morePublished on July 25 2003 by D. E. W. Turner
The Church had only been around for about 300 years when Eusebius wrote this history. He comes from a Christian perspective, and definitely picks sides throughout. Read morePublished on Aug. 7 2002 by Anno
Eusebius lived in the late third and early fourth centuries in Caesarea Palestine. His History of the Church chronicles the time from Christ to the victory of Constantine over... Read morePublished on Jan. 1 2002 by John
This is a great book! It is full of precious gems regarding life in the early church. Catholics and Protestants alike will enjpy it since it provides an accurate account of what... Read morePublished on Aug. 14 2001 by Amazon Customer
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