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Saint Irenaeus of Lyons: Against Heresies Paperback – March 28, 2012

4.1 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1453624600
  • ISBN-13: 978-1453624609
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,210 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a beautiful volume and a must read for anyone interested in early Christian doctrine and practice. Irenaeus was a student of Polycarp who was a student of the Apostle John. With the apostle's preaching still fresh in his ears, this early Bishop fought the deadly heresies of Gnosticism with intelligence, faith, and perseverance. Here you can learn the early Church's beautiful doctrine of the Eucharist; the relationship between scripture, church authority, and faith, and even some interesting anecdotes about the apostles. You won't be disappointed!

I should also mention that Ex Fontibus has charitably left many of the humorous footnotes from the original edition intact.

UPDATE: (2/29/2012) This is all 5 books of Against Heresies in one volume.
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When I finished Against Heresies by Irenaeus last month, I realized that I had accomplished something. I found the preface and foreword sections illuminating into Irenaeus and his work. He published his magnum opus somewhere between 182-188 A.D. in Greek. Today the work only exists in a Latin translation, which apparently had been performed by an amateur. Some of the footnotes are quite humorous in recounting the difficulties of translating the Latin into English. Irenaeus structured his work into five books, and it appears that he wrote them to someone under his tutelage.

Book I contained Irenaeus's straight-forward retelling of the Gnostic heresies advanced by Marcion, Valentinus, Simon Magus and others. If it weren't for moments of cheek and wit, this inital section would be impossible to read. Some of these Gnostic sects hold beliefs, which are laugh out loud hilarious. In hindsight, it's chilling to read the similarities between the Gnostics and today's Eastern philosophy, New Age and Spiritualist movements.

Book II unveiled Irenaeus's use of logic and philosophy in debunking the Gnostic heresies of his day. The arguments don't flow that smoothly, and in several places, they're muddled at best, which I attributed in great measure to the extant Latin text. The footnotes provided a great deal of insight into the difficulties that the translators encountered with the Latin. Now, the latter part of this second section starts to gain some steam as Irenaeus advances the sacredness of scripture. I viewed it as an embryonic statement of the authority and sufficiency of scripture.
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when i say great book i don't mean it will be your favorite book. the book is packed with good stuff but it is translated to english with the intention of keeping it as close to the original as possible, aka not modern day english. this is not a book you will fly through, you need to grasp the beginning of the book or you will be lost.

It is a very hard read but good. you should get it.
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Positives:
- Printing quality: excellent. A sharp, clear font... NOT a facsimile. The layout is formatted nicely, with all the footnotes on the actual page that they are referenced.
- Content: Due to the fact that even self-proclaimed "modern Gnostics" and "Gnostic scholars" continue to reference this work, (albeit begrudgingly) shows the undeniable influence of Irenaeus.

Not negative... yet not that great:
- Cover: An interestingly textured, "waxy" softcover. It seems to be attracted to dust and the like which is annoying on an all-white book.
- The overall size and glue binding: It seems it will be sturdy enough for reference and casual reading... not being thrown around. Yet with this price, and quality of printing, it is hard to gripe about this issue. It is the size of a massive telephone directory book, for a comparison.

Negatives:
For what this book is, I don't readily see any.
- - - -

To those who say this book is "pro-Catholic":
There was, in the American footnotes, an anti-Catholic bias - not - derived from Irenaeus' text itself.
I'm thankful for this edition that endeavors to bring the translation to the forefront, rather than mess around with needless, added footnotes.

An explanation, from the book intro, about the removal of anti-Catholic/other useless footnotes, while retaining the helpful translation footnotes:

"The work was also very much a specimen of it's time.
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Against Heresies is certainly a weighty text. Though, if you have a deep interest in Christianity and Church History, this is a wonderful addition to one's library. This book is soft cover and has a rather plain yet classic look. It is well bound, which is important, considering it is over 700 pages.

As for the content, it contains all five books of Against Heresies by Saint Irenaeus. The organization is well laid out and easy to follow. Everything is clearly marked and the print size is average, so it is not too bad on the eyes. The footnotes are numerous and easily navigable.

The book covers the Gnostic heresies in detail and how to refute them. It is an excellent look into the past of the early Church. I highly recommend this work as a companion piece to other Church History texts.
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