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Ecclesiastical History

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  3,537 ratings  ·  223 reviews
Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History is one of the classics of early Christianity and of equal stature with the works of Flavius Josephus. Eusebius chronicles the events of the first three centuries of the Christian church in such a way as to record a vast number of vital facts about early Christianity that can be learned from no other ancient source. When Eusebius wrote his E ...more
Hardcover, Complete and Unabridged, 528 pages
Published January 1st 1998 by Hendrickson Publishers (first published 324)
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Eusebius (of Caesarea) lived from approximately 260 – 337 A.D. He was a bishop, author of many writings, imprisoned, tortured, and suffered through several Roman persecutions, saw friends martyred including his beloved mentor. Eusebius was a leader and speaker at important early Church councils and synods. He celebrated Constantine’s triumphal accession to power, the ensuing peace and freedom for Christians.

Eusebius experienced much of what he put into The Church History. He was not a disintere
Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The greatest tale of a persecuted religious minority toppling an all-encompassing empire until the release of Star Wars.

The awe-inspiring story of a mystical sect of oppressed destitutes ending up as the most widely known religion in human history. Coming soon to a church near you!

Eusebius weaves a stunning epic with memorable characters, including JESUS, a young Jewish hero whose heroic challenge to authority causes his ultimate downfall... DIOCLETIAN, an evil tyrant whose bloodthirst against t
Oct 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
May 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
Rick Sam
Mar 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian, history
Eusebius is a scholar, I learnt a lot of new things from this book. I am encouraged by the Early Church fathers especially Origen. It seems that the Early Christians had to face internal threats (heresies), external threats (ridicule, persecution), this is simply too much to Handle but God blessed them. The persecutions in the Roman empire is appalling. There's depth details about persecution especially during Diocletian Era, I could not digest a lot. I wish the Christians today would read this ...more
Gary  Beauregard Bottomley
The modern day commentary and footnotes enhance the incredibly pleasurable writing of Eusebius.

I always wonder why more modern day believers don’t explore the fundamental roots of their own modern day beliefs from some of the original foundational documents such as this book. I don’t think I’ve ever read an Early Medieval history book, or an Early Christian history book which did not quote extensively from Eusebius.

I know I now have to read Josephus because of Eusebius. Hoopla has an audio ver
Jared Smith
Invaluable for its insight into the first centuries of the Church. The style of writing is tedious at times but worth it for the direct access to primary sources instead of summaries. It is not without its biases but these are vastly outweighed by the glimpse we get of the triumph of Christ over persecution, error, heresy, and disunity.
Alexander Rolfe
Nov 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author of the introduction seems to fault Eusebius for not writing a different book, but I find a lot to like in what he did write. He quotes primary sources extensively. I liked the information about debates over the New Testament canon, the picture of Justin Martyr, Origen, Dionysius of Alexandria, and the constant reference to all kinds of early works, many of which are now lost. And then of course there are all sorts of random details to puzzle and delight, such as the statue of Jesus Eu ...more
Interesting to read alongside The Early Church. Major source on the early Church naturally as Eusebius was active in the eastern Mediterranean there is much less information about what was happening in the western part of the Roman Empire and even less about what was happening beyond the boundaries of the Empire in Armenia and Georgia. ...more
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
wheless thinks that eusebius is the greatest liar in history. dunno about that. this seems reasonably credible. problem with wheless is that he needs christianity to be fraudulent in order for it to be wrong; i think it can be dead wrong even if it's 100% true.
Peter Bringe
Jan 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
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,
Manuel Alfonseca
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ENGLISH: First book on the History of the Catholic Church, (this is the name Eusebius uses, in books IV, VI, VII and X), which inaugurated a literary genre and imposed strict historical rules, such as the support of statements by citations of documents. In fact, many ancient documents have been preserved in whole or in part thanks to the citations by Eusebius of Caesarea.

ESPAÑOL: Primer libro sobre la Historia de la Iglesia Católica (así la llama Eusebio, en sus libros IV, VI, VII y X), que inau
Virginia Bonnett
Oct 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: catholic
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
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was quite interesting. Eusebius writes about the beginnings of the Church in a very thorough way, though his thoughts jump occasionally, making him repetitive, specially when talking about heresies. I liked the parts about deciding the scriptural canon, Origen, and the edicts of Constantine. The gruesome details of persecution and martyrdom were hard to read.
Tony Gualtieri
Aug 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first surviving history of the Christian Church is well served by this translation and commentary. Eusebius has the occasional dry passage, but his perspective as a Christian writing about Christians in first three centuries of the Roman Empire more than make up for this.
Jan 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Early Christian history and the political changes it created in Israel, Palestine, Roman and Egyptian history.
Eusebius's account of the early church is one of the most valuable sources of Ecclesiastical history that we have. Sadly Eusebius is not always a particularly reliable narrator. Although he shows more skepticism than some might expect, he ultimately spends a lot of time giving extensive accounts of the deaths of various individual martyrs when accounts of theology or even politics would probably be more highly valued by the modern day scholar.

As I read, I took some notes which I've included belo
Brent McCulley
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, theology
Extremely rewarding. This took way longer to read than planned but the primary source material here in Eusebius is excellent. This will remain on the shelf as a valuable resource as well. Eusebius’ praise is directed mostly towards Origen and Constantine and I’m totally ok with that. A must read for pastors and lay theologians alike, along with the other obvious ones of early church history like Josephus and the ANFathers.
Oct 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-culture
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
Brian Collins
Sep 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Josh Wilson
Sep 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
Kelley Goewey
Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Difficult to read, rather dry in places, but an important work.
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
Jim B
Feb 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Paul Maier's commentary is invariable informative and helpful. The pictures (every few pages!) gave an added dimension to the story being told. It is amazing how many busts of emperors and other great men still survive. I feel I could recognize Constantine if I met him on the street.

Eusebius tells the history of Christianity fomr the prophecies of Christ and his Birth and life to the establishment of Christianity by Constantine. The history is full of fascinating detail that give a much more coc
Mar 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-not-read
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
Steve Hadfield
Nov 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, christian
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.
Apr 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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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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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