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History of the Christian Church, 8 vols. Hardcover – July 1, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Philip Schaff, was a Swiss-born, German-educated Protestant theologian and a Church historian who spent most of his adult life living and teaching in the United States.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 7120 pages
  • Publisher: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.; 3rd edition (July 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 156563196X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565631960
  • Product Dimensions: 11.6 x 9.1 x 5.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #454,582 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Jim Viens on April 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This series is one of the most informative I've found on any topic. Schaff uses copious footnotes and scripture references to back what he says. He has an authoritative knowledge base and has a firm grip on the early church fathers and ancient church documents. The only complaint I have is that several of the notes in my edition are in Greek, Latin and Hebrew, none of which the typical layman would be well versed in.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Stargazer on December 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is one of my favorite works by Philip Schaff. Written very well, with many footnotes giving all his sources and also keeping the Hebrew, Greek and Latin in tact were properly needed.

Anyone who may have trouble with the few Hebrew and Greek words but really want to understand this in 'History of the Christian Church' might want to get a decent Bible Expository Dictionary, unless you are intrested enough in adding a few Lexicon TLOT/TLNT Hendrickson, TDOT/TDNT Kittel, NIDOTT and Exegesis/NIDNTT Zondervan, which can get very costly, but worth it if you are that intrested in furthering your studies. But if cost is a factor, definatly get a Bible Expository Dictionary which range usually between $15 to $30, unlike the latter which can go as high as over $800 to $1000.

Here are a few I found at amazon which I have myself if anyone is that intrested in the Hebrew and Greek.

Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words: With Topical Index Strongs numrical

Expository Dictionary of Bible Words: Word Studies for Key English Bible Words Based on the Hebrew And Greek Texts Strongs numrical

Mounce's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words GK numrical with Strongs numrical

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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By NomDePlume on February 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I took two semesters of Church History my senior year in college, then again in seminary. Both times, the core textbook was Williston Walker - comprehensive, but dense as pig iron and dry as dust. My college professor told us that if you really want to dig deep, read Philip Schaff's "History of the Christian Church." I did - it took me several years, off and on, but I read all eight volumes.

The volumes were published (and revised several times) between 1858 and 1893, except for volumes 5 & 6, The Middle Ages, written by Philip's son David Schaff and published in 1907 & 1910 (after Philip's death in 1893). David Schaff's work is every bit as thorough, but the writing is not up to his father's high standards. The series ends with Beza and the close of the Swiss Reformation.

The scholarship is quite dated, especially Vol. 1, "Apostolic Christianity," which is essentially a late-nineteenth century introduction to the New Testament. That said, though, the virtues of the work far outweigh its shortcomings.

Schaff writes beautifully, and from a broad-minded, nineteenth century evangelical protestant position. All his prejudices are right out in front where we can see them. He extols the many virtues of the various branches of the Christian Church, and he unabashedly condemns its abuses. Yes, Protestants get the better treatment; but when they acted shamefully, Schaff says so and calls them to account (see his chapter on Calvin and Servetus). I disagree with him in places - he has little regard for any form of mysticism (a symptom, no doubt, of his milieu of high modernist rationalism).

I love this work for two reasons: first, it's all here - every writer, every renegade, every little sect, every doctrinal controversy - Schaff doesn't miss a thing.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 12, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is a great series for any Christian who would like to know more about the church. Schaff is an amazing writer giving us a theological and philosophical look at sound church history. This book will give the engaged reader sound and intelligent insight not only to know church hisory, but more importantly, a sense of its meaning and beauty.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 30, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Philip Schaff extensively examines the role that the Christian religion had to play in history of the western world. In a non-partial tone the author presents us with a development of the Christian West and points out to the ideas that have influenced our world to this day and that have been a product of a Christian message.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jeremiah Courter on January 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Schaff's series is simply phenomenal. Why? Highly detailed work with a marvelous synthesization of human history and God's providence. Most Christian historians forget that history isn't about spitting out facts. History belong's to God and Schaff's great insight combines these important aspects to create a work that hides from nothing and reveals everything. His narrative is almost poetical at times. Schaff writes in a way that truly is beautiful. At times I wanted to read to my wife certain portions because it was so exquisite. It actually makes me disappointed in modern historical narrative.

All in all, Schaff is fair in not supressing truth but being blatantly honest of the Church's history. Reading this series can be nothing short of having a powerfully captivating, realistically depicting, lovingly woven history of the Church. This series is a great aide to me in understanding why I am where I am at today, and where I can change to be faithful to the Word of God and His will for the Church.
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History of the Christian Church, 8 vols.
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