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Eusebius: The Church History
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 7, 2001
Until just recently, I was unable to find a modern translation of Eusebius, but Maier's translation fits very well in my sphere of undersanding early church writings.
While early on in "The History of the Church" Eusebius extensively quotes from Josephus, Ireaeus and other early historians, later on, he uses more and more personal observation and experience. His extensive reliance on other writers should indeed not be considered a negative thing, but a positive for the reader, thus demonstrating that writers like Josephus are clearly to be trusted with accuracy.
For a christian, "The Church History" offers inside information on the beliefs of the early church, beliefs that in many cases differ from the contemporary, 21st century american church. A few examples are:
"Papias supplies other stories that reached him by word of mouth, along with some strange parables and unknown teachings of the Savior, as well as other more legendary accounts. Among them, he says that after the ressurection of the dead there will be a thousand-year period when the kingdom of Christ will be established on this earth in material form. I suppose that he got these notions by misunderstanding the apostolic accounts, not realizing that they had used mystic and symbolic language. For he was a man of very limited intelligence, as is clear from his books. Due to him, however, many church writers after him held the same opinion, relying on his early date: Irenaeus, for example, and any others who adopted the same views." - Church History 3.39 - Eusebius talking about the writings of Papias, saying that Christ reigning on earth in a material or flesh form is a mistaken belief and an unknown teaching of the Savior
"Such was the reward for the guilt and impiety of the Jews against the Christ of God. It is worth appending to it the infallible prediction of our Savior regarding these very things in this prophecy:
Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing infants those days! Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. For at that time, there will be great suffering, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. [Matthew 24:19-21]" - Church History 3.6 - Eusebius clearly saying that in Matthew 24 Jesus was indeed talking about the destruction of Jerusalem, not about the end of the world
"Those who wish may trace precisely from Josephus's history the disasters that overwhelmed the entire nation, especially how the residents of Judea were driven to the limits of suffering; how many thousands of men, women, and children died by the sword, famine, and countless other forms of death; how many famous Jewish cities endured horrors under siege; and in particular the terrors of those who fled for refuge to Jerusalem as an "impregnable fortress". They can study all the details of the entire war and how in the end the Abomination of Desolation, declared by the prophets, was set up in the very temple of God, celebrated of old, when it was utterly destroyed by fire." - Church History 3.5 - Eusebius saying that the entire Matthew 24 was fulfilled when Jerusalem was destroyed, and ended with the Abomination of Desolation setting itself up in the temple before it was burned to the ground
"The Church History" is a great resource, and a must buy for every studious christian.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 19, 2000
For those few brave souls today interested enough in theology and textual criticism to appreciate what a new and modern translation of "Church History" would add to their ability to understand the history of the Church, this is the only book out there. Dr. Maier follows up his classic translation of Josephus with a modern translation of Eusebius. His most important contribution to Eusebian studies is his decision to cut out the repetitiveness in the original work and translate Eusebius' train of thought instead of merely translating all of the asides and rhetorical flowerings of the nearly impossable-to-read and vast Church history. Each chapter of Eusebius is summarized and critiqued by Dr. Maier in an attempt to help the reader recognize both the value and the critical diffuculties in the original work. This kept me in the text and allowed me to skip certain sections that I wasn't interested in. (I challenge anybody to read the entire volume word for word, I made it through almost 8 chapters before starting to skip whole sections) The content of Eusebius is gripping at time, especially his vivid descriptions of the martyrdom of the early Church and his eyewitness biographical details of Origen and other early church fathers who he knew and studied under. Without Eusebius we would know almost nothing of the march of Christianity across the Roman empire and even less about the crucial critical history of the New Testament in the first 3 centuries. Dr. Maier has opened up access to this invaluable source both to lowly theologians like myself, and to the leading scholars of the day. I pray that Dr. Maier will continue to translate other ancient authors who up until this day are only available in translations so old that there are no publishing dates on the title pages!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2000
Paul Maier provides a new and welcome translation of the classic history by the first known Christian historian Eusebius (Bishop of Caesarea in Roman Palestine) which is wonderfully enhanced with charts, maps, and color photography. It is Eusebius who informs us as to what happened to Jesus' disciples later in life; when the Gospels were written, who wrote them, and where; answers the question of Peter's arrival in Rome; reveals where John spent the reminder of his life; explains how the New Testament canon developed; and deals with how and why the early Christians were persecuted by Roman authorities, and much, much more. No parochial, personal, academic, or community library Christian history collection can be considered truly comprehensive without the inclusion of Eusebius: The Church History.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 27, 2001
This book is a great addition to any library. Paul Maier translates Eusebius' works into very understandable English with unobtrusive, yet insightful, comments. The book is well organized. You can read by section or by book pretty easily. The book itself is quite marvelous. Eusebius gives us a history of what happened in the church after the writing of the New Testament up to the conferences of his day.
It is from Eusebius that we gain a lot of understanding of Christian thought from that time. Eusebius did have a few factual errors in his works, but that's OK given that they did not have a library system like we have or the internet...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2002
This ia a great resource for anyone wanting to study early Christian church history. The pictures are awesome, and there are lots of them and maps too! The commentary on what Eusebius wrote is well done, translation is great. Very easy and exciting reading just to sit down and read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2003
!!Sorry didn't mean to submit this twice. !!
I highly recommend this title! I wanted to read this important work to better understand early church history, but I was uncomfortable with some of the other translations I've read. Paul L. Maier explains that he cut out some of the wordy ness of the translation to make it an easier read. If your looking for a literal translation this is not it, but if your wanting to understanding the book without having to wade through the older style wording, this is the one your looking for.
Having commented on the translation, let me add that the work itself is so insightful. The commentary at the end and the footnotes help to properly weigh what your reading. There is so much I enjoyed about the work, however, what has jumped out to me is the early traditions concerning Easter and the accounts of the persecution against the church. Enjoy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2003
I would like to give this book 5+ stars. Not only is the content of this book outstanding, but the book itself is a work of art - beautiful pictures and thick slick pages. I would gladly pay $.. for this one. Do yourself a favor and add this one to your collection.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 12, 2000
Maier is a very knowledgable historical writer. His talents, combined with the Eusebius' history, make this title extremely interesting. The original 4th century volume was the first attempt to chronicle the history of the early Church as broadly as possible.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2003
I highly recommend this title! I wanted to read this important work to better understand early church history, but I was uncomfortable with some of the other translations I've read. Paul L. Maier explains that he cut out some of the wordy ness of the translation to make it an easier read. If your looking for a literal translation this is not it, but if your wanting to understanding the book without having to wade through the older style wording, this is the one your looking for.
Having commented on the translation, let me add that the work itself is so insightful. The commentary at the end and the footnotes help to properly weigh what your reading. There is so much I enjoyed about the work, however, what has jumped out to me is the early traditions concerning Easter and the accounts of the persecution against the church. Enjoy!
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on March 1, 2014
The book give a accurate account off a portion of church history and is very informative and enabled me and others to understand that portion of church hostory, there is however other books that also give church history showing the independent churches that sprung up at the same time. In the case of Origen, the full truth is not here rather distorted. The Commentary also changes terminolgy to meet todays religious position not necessarily the true christian position. But I have not finished the book yet and enjoy reading it and learning from it. In some aspects it is contrary to scripture and the simplicity of church structure and doctrine
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