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Book Review


Eusebius: The History of the Church

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(ca. A.D. 260-339)

Eusebius was a Greek Christian writer, often called "The Father of Ecclesiastical History."  He was born in what was then called the Roman Province of Syria-Palestine (in what is now modern-day Israel) and educated at Caesarea, the city of which he later became Bishop.  Euebius' voluminous literary remains may be grouped into four categories, the historical, the apologetic, the Biblical, and the dogmatic.  The Ecclesiastical History comprises 10 books, covering the period from the foundation of the Church to the defeat of Licinius in 324. __________________

Penguin Books

Published by the Penguin Group.  Penguin Books Ltd., London.

Copyright © G. A. Williamson, 1965.  Revisions and new editorial matter copyright © Andrew Louth, 1989.  All rights reserved. __________________

(Written: Ca. 320 A.D.)

"The History of the Church from Christ to Constantine"

by Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea

"The Father of Ecclesiastical History"

(Translated by G. A. Williamson.  Revised Edition with a new Introduction by Andrew Louth)

The Only Surviving Account of the Church During its Crucial First 300 Years

Bishop Eusebius, (ca. A.D. 260-339), a learned scholar who lived most of his life in Caesarea in Palestine, broke new ground in writing The History of the Church and provided a model for all later ecclesiastical historians.  In tracing the history of the Church from the time of Christ to the Great Persecution at the beginning of the fourth century and ending with the conversion of the Emperor Constantine, he tried to show the purity and continuity of the doctrinal tradition of  Christianity in its struggle against persecutors and heretics, and supported his account by extensive quotations from original sources to a degree hitherto unknown.

G. A. Williamson's translation puts clarity first.  Tedious repetitions have gone, sentences and sections are kept short, and clear editorial headings signpost the reader.  The History of the Church has always been a source of vital and fascinating information: in this translation (the new edition of which include's a Who's Who in Eusebius) it is also readable.  

(...from the Back Cover.) ______________________________

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Image: Front Cover of the Book: "The History of the Church" by Eusebius.  The cover shows a detail from "Homélies de Saint Grégoire de Naziance," a Greek Manuscript in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris (photo: Edimedia)

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Our Comments:

What happened to the early Believers after The Book of Acts?  

This is a scholarly work, a Primary Source.  If you love history, and like to read Primary Sources, this is a fascinating and compelling work on the Early Church, from Christ to Constantine.  In telling the story of the early Church, Eusebius quotes everyone who came before him, both Christian and non-Christian sources (Josephus, Tacitus, Irenaeus, etc.), even including the legal decrees of the various Emperors, and tells the greatly inspiring stories of many who were martyrs for the Faith; Believers who would not renounce Christ in the face of imprisonment, torture, gladiatorial Games, and finally, death.

-The Prayer Foundation ______________________________

 Copyright © 2002 S.G.P. All rights reserved.

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