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The History of the Church [Kindle Edition]

4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 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.

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
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #261,516 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
158 of 161 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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83 of 84 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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68 of 70 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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86 of 93 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read
No serious student, believer, critic or christian of any denomination should miss this veritable and deep history of the Church. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Augusto50
5.0 out of 5 stars A great addition to my study library.
A wonderful look at the history surrounding the early church. I found many things that I didn't know and it added depth to a class I'm taking - hence the purchase of the book.
Published 17 days ago by Mark Versaggi
5.0 out of 5 stars you're sure to learn a great deal!
How beneficial, to have this context for reading Scripture and discussing Church history with friends! Read more
Published 2 months ago by T. Niemeier
4.0 out of 5 stars History of Catholic Church
I had never heard of this Eusebiius fellow, but this book is a history text, and reads as one.
Published 3 months ago by Diane L. Regis
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for Church historians
The Church historian everyone should read.
Published 4 months ago by Joshua Henson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
just what i needed for class
Published 4 months ago by Karen Mackiewicz
5.0 out of 5 stars It tells of the good times and of brutal persecution
Being a church history buff, I am fascinated by this book. It answers many questions, some I never knew I had. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Lester L Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars useful and insightful
The book itself is a must to understand how Christianity developed to become Rome's state religion. It is particularly insightful how Constantine's triumph was viewed by... Read more
Published 5 months ago by A H Kobayashi
3.0 out of 5 stars Much boring reading but very enlightening in many places
Old style language and sloggy reading through much of the book, but very interesting as far as ancient church history. Read more
Published 6 months ago by kay shelton
2.0 out of 5 stars More like a day to day log of
Very dry. No context. More like a day to day log of events
Published 6 months ago by Michael J. Little MD
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