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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wealth of Information
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...
Published on April 18, 2000 by Jim Viens

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars binding
id like to see more hardbound books bound the old way, instead of what these are,,,which is single pages stuck with glue to the binding,,, bring back the old way I say,,,cheers
Published 3 months ago by Matthew Combe


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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wealth of Information, April 18, 2000
By 
Jim Viens (Olathe, Kansas) - See all my reviews
This review is from: History of the Christian Church, 8 vols. (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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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Know your history!, July 12, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: History of the Christian Church, 8 vols. (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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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and exhaustive work!, December 14, 2007
By 
Stargazer (Kentucky USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: History of the Christian Church, 8 vols. (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

Theological Lexicon Set (6 VOLUMES) Strongs numrical

Among Philip Schaffs other great works such as 'Creeds Of Christendom' and the monsterous volume work 'The Early Church Fathers' for example are...

Creeds of Christendom

The Early Church Fathers

which help fill in the blanks and give more, fuller details to alot of places that were lightly touched on in 'History of the Christian Church'. So if you really enjoy this work I highly recommend the other works as well.

Alittle back ground, Philip Schaff (1819-1893) was a German Reformed church historian, born in Switzerland. He was educated at Tubingen, Halle, and Berlin, and later took a position as Professor of Church History at Union Theological Seminary, New York.

Schaff bases his work on the premise that church history in order to be valid and valuable must deal with three factors:

1. God through Christ,

2. man as a responsible moral creature, and

3. satan as a real being employing the anti-Christ as his agent at the end of time.

For anyone intrested in this study but finds this a bit dry to read, might be intrested in the A&E 2 DVD documentry: Christianity the first 2000 Years. Although the DVD is not nearly as thourough as this work by Philip Schaff, it will help give you some visuals to make reading much more in depth and thought-provoking.

Sold here at amazon Christianity-The First Two Thousand Years

Still intrested in this fine work of historical knowledge on Christianity, the chapter contents are as follow to give you something to look forward in your studies...

[*] Volume I

GENERAL INTRODUCTION

Addenda

FIRST PERIOD

APOSTLIC CHRISTIANITY

A.D. 1-100.

CHAPTER I. PREPARATION FOR CHRISTIANITY.

CHAPTER II. JESUS CHRIST.

CHAPTER III. THE APOSTOLIC AGE.

CHAPTER IV. ST. PETER AND THE CONVERSION OF THE JEWS.

CHAPTER V. ST. PAUL AND THE CONVERSION OF THE GENTILES.

CHAPTER VI. THE GREAT TRIBULATION.

CHAPTER VII. ST. JOHN, AND THE LAST STADIUM OF THE APOSTOLIC PERIOD - THE CONSOLIDATION OF JEWISH AND GENTILE CHRISTIANITY.

CHAPTER VIII. CHRISTIAN LIFE IN THE APOSTOLIC CHURCH.

CHAPTER IX. WORSHIP IN THE APOSTOLIC AGE.

CHAPTER X. ORGANIZATION OF THE APOSTOLIC CHURCH.

CHAPTER XI. THEOLOGY OF THE APOSTOLIC CHURCH.

CHAPTER XII. THE NEW TESTAMENT.

[*] Volume II

SECOND PERIOD

ANTE-NICENE CHRISTIANITY

A.D. 100-311 (325).

PREFACE.

INTRODUCTION.

CHAPTER I: Spread of Christianity.

CHAPTER II: Persecution of Christianity and Christian Martyrdom.

CHAPTER III. Literary Contest of Christianity with Judaism and Heathenism.

CHAPTER IV: Organization and Discipline of the Church.

CHAPTER V: Christian Worship.

CHAPTER VI: Christian Art.

CHAPTER VII: The Church in the Catacombs.

CHAPTER VIII: The Christian Life in Contrast with Pagan Corruption.

CHAPTER IX: Ascetic Tendencies.

CHAPTER X: Montanism.

CHAPTER XI: The Heresies of the Ante-Nicene Age.

CHAPTER XII: The Development of Catholic Theology.

CHAPTER XIII: Ecclesiastical Literature of the Ante-Nicene Age, and Biographical Sketches of the Church Fathers.

[*] Volume III

THIRD PERIOD

THE CHURCH IN UNION WITH THE ROMAN EMPIRE

FROM CONSTANTINE THE GREAT TO GREGORY THE GREAT. A.D. 311-590.

Addenda.

Addenda (5th ed.)

PREFACE.

INTRODUCTION.

CHAPTER I. DOWNFALL OF HEATHENISM AND VICTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE ROMAN EMPIRE.

CHAPTER II. THE LITERARY TRIUMPH OF CHRISTIANITY OVER GREEK AND ROMAN HEATHENISM.

CHAPTER III. ALLIANCE OF CHURCH AND STATE AND ITS INFLUENCE ON PUBLIC MORALS AND RELIGION.

CHAPTER IV. MONASTICISM.

CHAPTER V. THE HIERARCHY AND POLITY OF THE CHURCH.

CHAPTER VI. CHURCH DISCIPLINE AND SCHISMS.

CHAPTER VII. PUBLIC WORSHIP AND RELIGIOUS CUSTOMS AND CEREMONIES.

CHAPTER VIII. CHRISTIAN ART.

CHAPTER IX. THEOLOGY. DEVELOPMENT OF THE ECUMENICAL ORTHODOXY.

I. - The Trinitarian Controversies.

II. - The Origenistic Controversies.

III. - The Christological Controversies.

IV. - The Anthropological Controversies.

CHAPTER X. CHURCH FATHERS, AND THEOLOGICAL LITERATURE.

I.--The Greek Fathers.

II.--The Latin Fathers.

List of Popes and Emporers.

Appendix.

[*] Volume IV

MEDIAEVAL CHRISTIANITY

From Gregory I to Gregory VII

A.D. 590-1073

--------

MEDIEVAL CHRISTIANITY

From A. D. 590 -1517.

CHAPTER I. General Introduction to Mediaeval Church History

FOURTH PERIOD:

THE CHURCH AMONG THE BARBARIANS

From Gregory I. To Gregory VII.

A. D. 590 - 1049 (1073).

CHAPTER II. The Conversion of the Northern and Western Barbarians.

I. The Conversion of England, Ireland, and Scotland.

II. The Conversion of France, Germany, and Adjacent Countries.

III. The Conversion of Scandanavis.

IV. The Christianization of the Slavs.

CHAPTER III. Mohammedanism in its Relation to Christianity.

CHAPTER IV. The Papal Hierarchy and the Holy Roman Empire.

CHAPTER V. The Conflict of the Eastern and Western Churches and Their Separation.

CHAPTER VI. Morals and Religion.

CHAPTER VII. Monasticism.

CHAPTER VIII. Church Discipline.

CHAPTER IX. Church and State.

CHAPTER X. Worship and Ceremonies.

CHAPTER XI. Doctrinal Controversies.

CHAPTER XII. Heretical Sects.

CHAPTER XIII. The State of Learning.

CHAPTER XIV. Biographical Sketches of Ecclesiastical Writers.

[*] Volume V

FROM GREGORY VII. TO BONIFACE VIII. A. D. 1049-1294.

Preface

Introduction

CHAPTER I. THE HILDEBRANDIAN POPES. A.D. 1049-1073.

CHAPTER II. GREGORY VII, 1073-1085.

CHAPTER III. THE PAPACY FROM THE DEATH OF GREGORY VII. TO THE CONCORDAT OF WORMS. A.D. 1085-1122.

CHAPTER IV. THE PAPACY FROM THE CONCORDAT OF WORMS TO INNOCENT III. A.D. 1122-1198.

CHAPTER V. INNOCENT III. AND HIS AGE. A.D. 1198-1216.

CHAPTER VI. THE PAPACY FROM THE DEATH OF INNOCENT III. TO BONIFACE VIII. 1216-1294.

CHAPTER VII. THE CRUSADES.

CHAPTER VIII. THE MONASTIC ORDERS.

CHAPTER IX. MISSIONS.

CHAPTER X. HERESY AND ITS SUPPRESSION.

CHAPTER XI. UNIVERSITIES AND CATHEDRALS.

CHAPTER XII. SCHOLASTIC AND MYSTIC THEOLOGY.

CHAPTER XIII. SCHOLASTICISM AT ITS HEIGHT.

CHAPTER XIV. THE SACRAMENTAL SYSTEM.

CHAPTER XV. POPE AND CLERGY.

CHAPTER XVI. POPULAR WORSHIP AND SUPERSTITION.

[*] Volume VI

FROM BONIFACE VIII. TO MARTIN LUTHER. A.D. 1294-1517.

The Sixth Period of Church History.

Preface

Introduction

CHAPTER I. THE DECLINE OF THE PAPACY AND THE AVIGNON EXILE. A.D. 1294-1377.

CHAPTER II. THE PAPAL SCHISM AND THE REFORMATORY COUNCILS. 1378-1449.

CHAPTER III. LEADERS OF CATHOLIC THOUGHT.

CHAPTER IV. THE GERMAN MYSTICS.

CHAPTER V. REFORMERS BEFORE THE REFORMATION.

CHAPTER VI. THE LAST POPES OF THE MIDDLE AGES. 1447-1521

CHAPTER VII. HERESY AND WITCHCRAFT.

CHAPTER VIII. THE RENAISSANCE.

CHAPTER IX. THE PULPIT AND POPULAR PIETY.

CHAPTER X. THE CLOSE OF THE MIDDLE AGES.

[*] Volume VII

HISTORY OF THE REFORMATION.

1517 - 1648.

Preface

CHAPTER I. ORIENTATION. mediaeval and modern christianity

THE GERMAN REFORMATION TILL THE DIET OF AUGSBURG, 1517-1530.

CHAPTER II. LUTHER'S TRAINING FOR THE REFORMATION, (l483-1517).

CHAPTER III. THE GERMAN REFORMATION FROM THE PUBLICATION OF LUTHER'S THESES TO THE DIET OF WORMS, (1517-1521).

CHAPTER IV. THE GERMAN REFORMATION FROM THE DIET OF WORMS TO THE PEASANTS' WAR, (1521-1525).

CHAPTER V. THE INNER DEVELOPMENT OF THE REFORMATION FROM THE

PEASANTS' WAR TO THE DIET OF AUGSBURG, (1525-1530).

CHAPTER VI. PROPAGATION AND PERSECUTION OF PROTESTANTISM.

CHAPTER VII. THE SACRAMENTARIAN CONTROVERSIES.

CHAPTER VIII. THE POLITICAL SITUATION BETWEEN 1526 AND 1529.

CHAPTER IX. THE DIET AND CONFESSION OF AUGSBURG. (1530).

[*] Volume VIII

THE SWISS REFORMATION.

Preface

CHAPTER I. Introduction.

CHAPTER II. Zwingli's training. A.D. 1484-1519.

CHAPTER III. The Reformation in Zürich. 1519-1526.

CHAPTER IV. Spread of the Reformation in German Switzerland and the Grisons.

CHAPTER V. The civil and religious war between the Roman Catholic and Reformed Cantons.

CHAPTER VI. The Period of Consolidation.

THE REFORMATION IN FRENCH SWITZERLAND, OR THE CALVINISTIC MOVEMENT.

CHAPTER VII. The preparatory work. from 1526 to 1536.

CHAPTER VIII. John Calvin and his work.

CHAPTER IX. From France to Switzerland. 1509-1536.

CHAPTER X. Calvin's first sojourn and labors in Geneva. 1536-1538.

CHAPTER XI. Calvin in Germany. from 1538 to 1541.

CHAPTER XII. Calvin's second sojourn and labors in Geneva. 1541-1564.

CHAPTER XIII. Constitution and discipline of the Church of Geneva.

CHAPTER XIV. The Theology of Calvin.

CHAPTER XV. Doctrinal controversies.

CHAPTER XVI. Servetus: his life, trial, and execution.

CHAPTER XVII. Calvin abroad.

CHAPTER XVIII. Closing scenes in the life of Calvin.

CHAPTER XIX. Theodore Beza.

Appendix.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best church-history that has ever been published., August 30, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: History of the Christian Church, 8 vols. (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 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A splendid "devotional" reading of church history, February 23, 2009
By 
NomDePlume (Philadelphia, PA, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: History of the Christian Church, 8 vols. (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. And second, Schaff writes beautiful prose. This is history written with heart and soul.

If you want a comprehensive, devotional reading of church history (and are willing to invest the time), I can't imagine a better guide than Philip Schaff.

p.s. Free scanned versions of this set are available from several sources: one is Google Books; another is an excellent freeware program called Bible Explorer.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True historical writing, January 25, 2007
This review is from: History of the Christian Church, 8 vols. (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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Any mechanic worth his salt knows he needs tools, August 27, 2008
By 
Audio Maven (Another time and place) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: History of the Christian Church, 8 vols. (Hardcover)
This 8 volume set by Philip Schaff is a masterpiece. Scholarship in the 19th century far surpassed what passes for most academic writing today. Well the above review gives the index. A casual perusal will give you a hint of the riches in these books. I doubt anyone would read them through cover to cover, but I use them for reference. Want to find out more about how the orthodox understanding of the trinity came about? It's here. Want to find out how the church got so involved in government and politics? It's here. Want to read about how the papal system developed? It's here. As things come up in discusions, it's ok not to know once. But the next time around, you should of come here already to find out a least an overview of the matter. It's a great tool.

Though the content is available online, I highly recommend the print version, as it is a lot of reading material and looks nice on the shelf. Like you know what you're talking about.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you're a student of Church History, you must have this one !!, April 3, 2011
By 
Konstantin (Inland Empire & San Diego, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: History of the Christian Church, 8 vols. (Hardcover)
Yes, it is written in 19th century, and not by Bart Ehrman, or one of the fellas of "Jesus Seminar"
But if you really need a grasp of centuries of Church History you cannot go without this one.
I have two sets: one in English (one pictured), and one in Russion (one I currently read). You see, this is a solid work. Not surprising it was translated by Russian brothers and sisters ;) Solid works deserve to be translated and respected.
Sure, it may not be perfect. But it should not be ignored.
I really and sincerely would love to have a similar compilation by contemporary scholar(s), but I don't think such work exists. I hope Baker, IVP, or some other Christian organization would consider producing church history set similar to Bible Commentary sets. That is, compiled by multiple scholars with respective knowledge in their field, for each period. Similar to "baker exegetical commentary on the new testament" or similar. There are several good commentary sets, but not many Church History sets.
Whatever the case, reading all volumes in this set will absolutely certainly increase your knowledge of the subject, and it is written with Christian attitude too.
Again, not some Ehrman-Bauer boloney.

Schaff breaks Church History into 9 periods. Three in early history, three in middle ages, and three in modern history. And so far, from reading it, in my personal opinion Schaff did a great job, sonsidering the scope and caliber of the work.

Actually very well written set! Please buy and read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still a worthwhile classic, April 9, 2013
This review is from: History of the Christian Church, 8 vols. (Hardcover)
Is Philip Schaff's "History of the Christian Church" dated? Yes, in some ways it is. But what does one expect from a book that was written well over one hundred years ago and therefore does not have the advantage of contemporary scholarship?

Is the book unabashedly Christian in its approach? Yes, again. Schaff writes as a Christian with a deep appreciation for the providence of God in preserving and increasing the church on this earth. But is this bad? Certainly not if it does not blind the author to the human imperfections and frailties that inevitably beset the church militant. And Schaff does not write as someone who is blind. He readily acknowledges the faults of those who have been part of Christ's body throughout the ages.

Does Schaff's Protestant perspective influence his descriptions and conclusions? Undoubtedly. Nevertheless, he is fully aware of the weaknesses of those who stood at the fountainhead of the Reformation, even as he is willing to admit the strong points of the Roman Catholic Church.

But all of this is simply a way of stating that the weaknesses (real or perceived) in Schaff's "History of the Christian Church" are not such as to render it valueless. None of this is reason to wade through eight volumes of detailed history. So, why read Schaff? Simply because, despite its aforementioned limitations, it is still one of the most complete histories of the church available. Written in a clear and lively style, "History of the Christian Church" will more than reward the student of church history who is willing to take the time and make the effort to read what one of the truly great church historians of all times has compiled for our benefit.
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3.0 out of 5 stars binding, April 8, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: History of the Christian Church, 8 vols. (Hardcover)
id like to see more hardbound books bound the old way, instead of what these are,,,which is single pages stuck with glue to the binding,,, bring back the old way I say,,,cheers
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History of the Christian Church, 8 vols.
History of the Christian Church, 8 vols. by Philip Schaff (Hardcover - July 1, 2006)
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