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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent resource & scholarship on the early church!, October 9, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Early Christians: In Their Own Words (Hardcover)
Eberhard Arnold's book is one of the most profound that I have read on early church history. In his attempt to recreate a communal society which was as close to that of the early church as possible (the Bruderhof in Germany and, later, the Hutterites in England), Arnold researched all the early sources which he could find, whether written by Jews, Christians, Romans, or others from the ancient world. His massive volume contains everything he found in his attempt to get to the spirit of that early community. He quotes from Tertullian, Justin, Cicero, Ignatius, Jerome, Theophilus of Antioch, Polycarp, and others. He does not draw conclusions but lets those to his readers to ascertain from the evidence of early believers.
The book is heavy laden with hundreds, perhaps thousands, of translated selections from the original Greek, Hebrew, and Latin. It is a rare edition which enlightens at every turn and, in some ways, reminds one of all the evidence on both sides of the fence which emerge in court proceedings. One reads the martyrdoms of many an early Christian and wonders whence their courage emerged. Much information abounds on early catecomb worship practices in Rome. The book is a marvel, and I can't recommend it highly enough.
Jeanne Smith McPherson, KS.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good compilation of early believers' writings, October 27, 1998
This review is from: The Early Christians: In Their Own Words (Hardcover)
Eberhard Arnold begins with a brief history of the gradual institutionalizing of simple discipleship into ecclesiastical Christianity. His understood intent, througout the book, is to bring believers back to the basic lifestyle of Christ that was so resplendent in the early disciples. Chapters on martyrs, description of early church life and worship, and the beliefs of the early Christians concerning prophecy, persecution, and the return of Jesus are especially beneficial. A MUST read for anyone who wants to "walk as Jesus did" (1 Jn. 2:6) and follow the examples of the early believers. I heartily recommend this stirring and passionate treatment of "authentic discipleship" by disciple Arnold.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Wonderful Reference Tool for Early Christianity", May 2, 2001
By 
Johannes Platonicus (South Bend, Indiana) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Early Christians: In Their Own Words (Hardcover)
Eberhard Arnold's work on "The Early Christians," is an excellent source for understanding the beliefs and doctrines of the early christians in context of their own testimony and time. Arnold begins with a comprehensive introduction to shed light upon the social aspects of church society contrasted with its remarkable spread throughout the Pagan world. In other words, Arnold does a good job describing the initial steps of primative Christianity that would eventually leed to the well-structured and ecclesiastical institution that has prevailed to this very day. The testimonies recorded of these champions of faith, are composed with skill, and fit the criteria for which they were purposed in this work and in their time. Unfortunately, early christians didn't write that much, so we are indebted to work with what has existed from either oral tradition or scholarly manuscripts. There are no 'real' drawbacks to this work except the fact that the actual testimonies are few and emanate only from the scholarly retinue of the sencond century. Overall, this book gets four stars; the benefits range from quick reference to quotes(etc.), and to a broad spectrum of the personality and character of the early church itself.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent resource & scholarship on the early church!, October 9, 1998
By A Customer
Eberhard Arnold's book is one of the most profound that I have read on early church history. In his attempt to recreate a communal society which was as close to that of the early church as possible (the Bruderhof in Germany and, later, the Hutterites in England), Arnold researched all the early sources which he could find, whether written by Jews, Christians, Romans, or others from the ancient world. His massive volume contains everything he found in his attempt to get to the spirit of that early community. He quotes from Tertullian, Justin, Cicero, Ignatius, Jerome, Theophilus of Antioch, Polycarp, and others. He does not draw conclusions but lets those to his readers to ascertain from the evidence of early believers.
The book is heavy laden with hundreds, perhaps thousands, of translated selections from the original Greek, Hebrew, and Latin. It is a rare edition which enlightens at every turn and, in some ways, reminds one of all the evidence on both sides of the fence which emerge in court proceedings. One reads the martyrdoms of many an early Christian and wonders whence their courage emerged. Much information abounds on early catecomb worship practices in Rome. The book is a marvel, and I can't recommend it highly enough.
Jeanne Smith McPherson, KS.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read, April 21, 2006
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This review is from: The Early Christians: In Their Own Words (Hardcover)
This is a must-read for any Christian questioning his/her faith or wanting to know more about the church "fathers." Great book for crossing lines of denominationalism.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can you say Kibbutz? Can you say Community?, September 14, 2011
By 
Christine Waller "John & Tina" (Moravian Falls, NC United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Early Christians: In Their Own Words (Hardcover)
This idea of a actual Christian Community really has started to appeal to me. All of Eberhard's books are very good. I have purchased quite a few.
If there is such a thing as a "real christian", I think Eberhard Arnold fits the description. Certainly one to emulate.
Again, older writer and older book. Back when books had meat in them. Not just selling a few nice ideas and extending it to a 100 to 200 page book.
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The Early Christians: In Their Own Words
The Early Christians: In Their Own Words by Eberhard Arnold (Hardcover - March 8, 1998)
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