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The History of the Church [Kindle Edition]

4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)

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Book Description

It is my purpose to write an account of the successions of the holy apostles, as well as of the times which have elapsed from the days of our Saviour to our own; and to relate the many important events which are said to have occurred in the history of the Church; and to mention those who have governed and presided over the Church in the most prominent parishes, and those who in each generation have proclaimed the divine word either orally or in writing.

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Product Details

  • File Size: 489 KB
  • Print Length: 233 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1420925067
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003NSC608
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #157,364 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
139 of 142 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brief Synopsis January 1, 2002
By John
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 Licinius. He wrote in Greek, but this translation Latinizes the names. Eusebius covers the period of Jewish persecution in the early first millennium a.d.; goes through the succession of the bishops of Rome, Antioch, Alexandria, Jerusalem, etc.; gives the account of heretical movements; and gives numerous examples of Christian martyrs in times of persecution. In the back of this edition is an extensive "Who's Who in Eusebius" spanning some 88 pages. It is a very useful tool in the reading of The History of the Church. It may also prove a valuable quick reference in further studies on early Christianity. Eusebius's style allows him to extensively quote several authors and historians in the early first millennium. His ten books of The History of the Church are riddled with passages from Josephus, Origen, Philo, Hegesippus, and the like. Also, behind the Who's Who in Eusebius, are a few appendices. I would highly recommend reading the appendices B, C, and D before undertaking the body of the book. A brief knowledge of the Roman empire at the time and Christianity will greatly benefit the reader.
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70 of 71 people found the following review helpful
By JustinK
This book is one of the foundational works of Christian history. It was the first extensive, systematic attempt to present Christian history up till the author's time (4th century). In the centuries following the work of Eusebius, many other authors attempted Histories, including Sulpitius Severus, Hermias Sozomen, Socrates Scholasticus, Theodoret, Evagrius Scholasticus, John of Ephesus, Gennadius of Marseilles, Isidore of Seville, Bede the Venerable, and others (just to list the major attempts through the 7th century). But none of these authors--and some would argue that none since--achieved what Eusebius did in his Ecclesiastical History. In fact, many didn't even try, and simply picked up the history of the Christian Church at the point where Eusebius had left off.

Eusebius is sometimes accused of being biased, but then everyone is biased. It is true that he might not have followed the strict standards followed by many modern historians (to expect that he would as some objectors do is totally anachonistic), but one thing is for sure, Eusebius was not simply a cheerleader for his own personal beliefs, nor someone who would gloss over differences or arguments within the Church. If someone wants a specific example (and one that isn't a small issue), one could read over his overview of how the Scriptural Canon was compiled and debated.

When it came to the Epistle of James from the New Testamnet, for instance, Eusebius at one point calls it "the so-called epistle of James" and says that it is "Among the disputed writings, which are nevertheless recognized by many" (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 3, 25).
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58 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction January 31, 2004
This book was first assigned to me as a student of late Roman history and it was one that had a great impact on me. More than a mere ecclesiastical history, it is a defense of Christianity written by a Bishop of the 4th century. Having lived through the persecution of Diocletian and been a confidant of the first Christian Roman emperor, Constantine, Eusebius recounts the tumultuous history of the Church in all its tragedy and triumph.

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.
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80 of 86 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great But Difficult September 30, 2008
Bad news up front: the style of writing is very difficult to read. It reminds me of Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" in that the sentence structure forces you to go very slowly. I don;'t know if that is a result of this particular translation or if it is a fair rendition of Eusebius' writing style. If it wasn't for this, I would have rated this 5 stars.

That said, what makes this book so gripping is the content itself. I was blown away by how much the early Christians had to sacrifice for being a Christian. It has made me realize what a bunch of wimps we American believers are. This was an extremely eye-opening book and well worth your time to read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Eyewitness to Historical events
Eusebius's History of the Church is a must-read for any student of the foundation of the Christian religion throughout the World. Read more
Published 27 days ago by Lental
4.0 out of 5 stars Worthwhile read to follow Josephus' and Tacitus' writings
Eusebius' accounts of the history of the early Christian church in the Roman Empire is a worthwhile read - though is recommended to be preceded by a reading of the writings of... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Brad
5.0 out of 5 stars would highly recommend to anyone.
Great price. Very pleased with purchase and would highly recommend to anyone. As you can see I love reading and I really look forward to reading this.
Published 1 month ago by LiveLife
5.0 out of 5 stars A great view of ancient history chruch
Not written by modern standards. Sometimes it gets a little hard to follow. But it is a clear masterpiece from a holy man about the first three centuries of the Catholic Church
Published 2 months ago by Carlos A. Gomez
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the most important books that a Christian can own
Eusebius of Caesarea (c.263-c.339) is remembered to day as the father of Church history, as his history is the oldest one that has survived to today. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Kurt A. Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars History of the Church - excellent --every Catholic or non Catholic...
We both are reading it and have been very pleased with the book. Well written, gives accurate information, would advise for all Catholics to read and know your Church!
Published 3 months ago by memas miata
1.0 out of 5 stars Typical view of the Catholic church in 1938
Even with the scholarship of 1938 this omits and distorts most of the true history of the early Catholic church. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Cleo Harris
3.0 out of 5 stars An Early Church Historian
I found this book to be helpful to gain more perspective about the early Church. This is true in multiple aspects. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Austere
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book
very informative on early Christianity. It help me understand just much has change in the last 2,000 yrs. Including books in the bible, doctrines, and overall practices. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Problack
5.0 out of 5 stars Every Christian should read
The reading is a little difficult at first because of the phraseology, but stay with it and it becomes a little easier. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Betty Suiter
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