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The History of the Church from Christ to Constantine

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  2,189 ratings  ·  119 reviews

"Could I do better than start from the beginning of the dispensation of our Saviour and Lord, Jesus the Christ of God?"

Bishop Eusebius (c. AD 260–339), a learned scholar who lived most of his life in Caesarea in Palestine, broke new ground in writing the History and provided a model for all later ecclesiastical historians. In tracing the history of the Church from the ti

Hardcover, 429 pages
Published June 1st 1983 by Barnes & Noble (first published 324)
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I wish evangelicals would read literature such as this. It is a very interesting chronicle of early Christians. It helps one understand how what we call the 'New Testament' was created and preserved, and a fascinating look at the network of early churches and their relationship. It's also notable that Eusebius, Christianity's first historian and a devout Christian, calls into question the validity of the book of Revelation (he does make clear that he is in no position to pass judgment on the boo ...more

This is a very good book by the first great church historian. Eusebius (c. AD 264 – c. 340) was a devout Christian, scholar, historian, author, priest, and eventually the Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine. His “History of the Church” was the first book to record events in the life of the Church from the advent of Christ through the reign of Constantine. It proceeds chronologically and systematically, documenting the growth of the Church as it spread from Jerusalem throughout the whole of the Roman
Je m'intéresse de plus en plus à l'histoire chrétienne, et il m'a semblé bon de commencer par cet auteur. Eusèbe de Césarée est réputé être le premier historien a avoir compilé les événements ayant marqué l'église lors des quatre premiers siècles de notre ère. Césarée en Palestine, la ville dont il est issu, ne subsiste de nos jours qu'à l'état de ruine, ayant été secoué par les tremblements de terre qui frappent habituellement cette région du monde. Les vestiges d'une riche cité grecque, et de ...more
I did my best to read this history, but couldn’t make it through. This is an important book because it is the only surviving historical record of the Church during its first 300 years. Its language and style, however, were off-putting to my efforts. The translator (G. A. Williamson) did his best in providing references to the author’s work, but those references would have required having a copy of the Bible by m
Peter B.
This is a very helpful source on early church history, being the first major church history book written (A.D. 324). It's not terribly well written, but it makes up for that in its interesting subject matter. It shows an early church with real, personal connections with Jesus and the Apostles. It tells of its disputes with the pagans and with heretics. It shows their persevering through persecution and their victory over Rome.

Whatever weaknesses Eusebius had as a historian by modern standards,
Josh Wilson
This book deserves either four stars or two, depending on how right Candida Moss is in her book about the reliability of these early histories. I think a four is on solid ground, for now. His soaring praise of Constantine is forgivable. Besides that, that, there's nowhere else to turn for this kind of information.
The other John
For my latest history fix, I decided to go way back to the first 300 years after Christ. (Of course, having received this book for Christmas influenced this decision somewhat.) It was interesting and amusing to read about the first centuries of the Christian Church, reading of controversies and heresies that have been revived almost 20 centuries later. Once, Eusebius gets to the years of his life, however, and speaks of the persecutions that some faced, I was reminded that American Christians, a ...more
Jeff Crompton
I'm interested in the Bible and the early history of Christianity, so I jumped on the book when I found it in a used bookstore - what could be more interesting than a 4th-century history of the church? Well, my interest quickly turned into exasperation. Eusubius consulted a large number of early historical manuscripts - not an easy task in those days - but he was far from an unbiased historian.

When things go poorly for the enemies of Christianity, Eusubius attributes this to God's wrath. And wh
It was interesting to find out, first hand, just how different the church was in the late 4th century than it is now, in all but the essentials. The martyr stories were riveting.
Steve Hadfield
Although I have to admit that I have not read every word of this book, I have read major portions of the book. Like Foxes' Book of Martyrs, you will learn a lot of information you might not really want to know. History can be dry, but it can also teach us invaluable lessons, encourage us on the correct beliefs and actions, warn us of the wrong directions, and demonstrate the outcomes of some of our misguided actions. There is never a better time than now to learn from our past mistakes.
I've admittedly read this book in sections over the years, and as with a great many "histories", I think Eusebius is best taken in bite sized chunks. This is not because it is not fascinating, but because often for the modern reader understanding the references he makes can take time to piece together.

That being said, consistently one of the claims I continue to hear from Protestant sectors of Christianity is that "up until Constantine, the Church had things basically correct....then things sta
Virginia Bonnett
I bought this book to continue learning about the beginnings of the Church. Eusebius was alive during the third to fourth centuries of the Church. He started his history with Jesus and his disciples and ended it with his own current time--the era of Constantine.

Eusebius was very thorough in his writing and quoted many other Church writings and Roman writings of the times. It took me quite a while to read this book (it very detailed and quite dense). The writing is in depth and so full of inform
Abe Goolsby
A really insightful and inspiring look into the life of the church - its teachings, practices, leadership, struggles, sufferings, and triumphs - during its first three centuries. The sadistic cruelty that many of our forebears in the Faith endured throughout these early years during the periods of persecution, which, contrary to common misconception, were for the most part localized and intense but relatively brief, are quite unimaginable from the vantage point of the average American Christian ...more
Ephraim Lawson Bowick
Maier's translation is a lot more fluid than others. If one wants to see the cultivation of the Church from the time of Christ to the Edict of Milan, this is the book for you. Want to see apostolic succession of the thrones of the five different sees of early Christendom? Get this book. Though Eusebius was an Arian sympathizer, this tome is crucial to our understanding of the early church because it is the only extant church history we have from this era. I cannot stress enough.. Get this!

This is a book that I was so interested in the subject matter--Christianity meets Roman history--that it would have had to been pretty bad writing for me not to enjoy it, and Eusebius does not disappoint.
As a historian he is obviously biased, although what historian isn't? He clearly did a ton of research and uses a large variety of sources, including quoting many letters, edicts, and book passages verbatim, which is a rarity in ancient historians. His writing style isn't the most thrilling, but
Mar 11, 2015 Greg rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in first-person witness to early Christianity.
After hearing and reading about this book for several decades, I finally bought a copy and zipped through it. (But, then, what was the rush? It is only 1700 years old!)

Eusebius, through this and other works of his still extant, is the sole source for much of what we know about the Catholic Church's earliest period. This book is an interesting example of an historical work (with abundant names, places, happenings, and dates) composed through a theological lens. That is, he made a serious effort t
David Withun
The original Christian history book by the original Christian historian. Still worth reading today for a peak at early Christian life. Eusebius also records so much of history that would otherwise be lost to the sands of time. This is an excellent translation and the list of "Who's Who in Eusebius" at the end of the book is an awesome resource. I recommend this to anyone who wants to know more about the early Christian Church.
Amazing. Sunday School doesn't teach that this stuff even exists. Eusebius' work was a great read. There is so much that isn't said about the church history in the Bible. Eusebius goes into great depth of the time period of Jesus' life and the next couple of centuries to follow. He plots out the lineage of disciples starting with the original apostles. There is so much to be learned from his writing.
Fred Sanders
Looking back from the fourth century to the bad old days before Constantine, Eusebius tells every story he's ever heard about the early church. His credulity, his crush on Origen, his replacement theology, and an over-realized eschatology detract somewhat from his accomplishment, but I am so glad this book exists.
The most amazing "historical" record that supplements a lot of the missing gaps in the New Testament, especially regarding the martyrdom and eventual apostasy of the church. While some facts have to be taken with a grain of salt, most of the history presented here agrees with the record of the scriptures.
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This was, in parts, hard to read. I read most of it out loud, which made it really taxing. The parts that struck me the most were the early Christian martyrdoms. They were horrific. I gave it three stars only because it was pretty dry in places.
Not as easy to read as some of its great imitations (Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English and John Foxe's Acts and Monuments are definitely more fun to wade through), but fascinating and pretty much obligatory if you're interested in early Christian history, martyrology, or late Roman historiography. Often the passages that Eusebius quotes at length (a major innovation for historiography at this time) are more interesting than his bits...but since this is the only place you'll find many ...more
It is an important source of information no doubt. One could see that the Church is haunted with heresy and human errors from very early on, and the charisma brought upon by Jesus Christ is gradually congealed. Also some of the passages provide first-hand records to the phenomenon that is the shift of sacredness.

However, my deepest impression was related to all those human beings that have once lived and died. Human beings as such, human beings as me, both the believers and the traitors, the mar
Heather Crabill
Lots of interesting history not included in the bible. A must-read for anyone interested in the history of the early church. Easy read.
Brian Collins
Eusebius is the first Christian to write a church history. Paul Maier provides an excellent translation. Footnotes indicate points at which later scholarship believes Eusebius to have been inaccurate. At the end of each book within the Church History Maier has added his own commentary, which may provide more background information about the era of Eusebius's discussion. Sometimes the commentary provides some evaluation of Eusebius's history and the state of scholarly discussion. My edition is a ...more
Early Christian history and the political changes it created in Israel, Palestine, Roman and Egyptian history.
I wish more Christians would read early church books. It was very interesting, and not difficult.
Samuel Phillip Gonzales
Must read for any serious student of Church history
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How the early Christian lived 2 13 Nov 23, 2012 06:16AM  
  • Early Christian Writings: The Apostolic Fathers
  • Early Christian Doctrines
  • The Christian Tradition 1: The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition 100-600
  • The Early Church (The Pelican History of the Church, #1)
  • The Major Works (World's Classics)
  • Early Christian Lives
  • On the Apostolic Preaching
  • The Later Roman Empire: A.D. 354-378
  • The First and Second Apologies (Ancient Christian Writers)
  • Ecclesiastical History of the English People
  • The Works of Josephus
  • On Christian Doctrine
  • The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations
  • On the Unity of Christ
  • Augustine of Hippo: A Biography
  • The History of the Franks
  • Defending Constantine: The Twilight of an Empire and the Dawn of Christendom
  • The Christians as the Romans Saw Them
Eusebius of Caesarea (c. AD 263 – 339) also called Eusebius Pamphili, was a Roman historian, exegete and Christian polemicist. He became the Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine about the year 314. Together with Pamphilus, he was a scholar of the Biblical canon. He wrote Demonstrations of the Gospel, Preparations for the Gospel, and On Discrepancies between the Gospels, studies of the Biblical text. As ...more
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“I myself have read the writings and teachings of the heretics, polluting my soul for a while with their abominable notions, though deriving this benefit: I was able to refute them for myself and loathe them even more.” 5 likes
“But most wonderful of all is the fact that we who have consecrated ourselves to him, honor him not only with our voices and with the sound of words, but also with complete elevation of soul, so that we choose to give testimony unto him rather than to preserve our own lives.” 2 likes
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