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Product details

  • Paperback: 367 pages
  • Publisher: Kregel Academic (1 Jan. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 082543307X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0825433078
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.4 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 119,487 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"There is no book more important to understanding the early church than Eusebius's The Church History. And there is no edition more readable and engaging than this one."--Mark Galli, Managing Editor"Christianity Today" (01/01/2007)

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If Herodotus is the father of history, then Eusebius of Caesarea (c. A.D. 260-339) is certainly the father of church history. Read the first page
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy Bevan TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 25 April 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a lively and clear new translation (with brief commentary at the end of each section) of a classic 4th century account of the early church - that of Eusebius, court historian to Constantine, probably the first `Christian' emperor. Eusebius is especially interesting for his reports on early developments of the canon (the definitive list of Hebrew Bible and Christian New Testament scriptures), and for his detailed accounts (often quoted at length) of the works of early apologists and writers, so many of whose original works are now tantalisingly lost.

Eusebius has his foibles, though - a tendency towards too many lists, and an apparent obsession with the succession of bishops in the various early centres of Christianity; he's not always a great `historian', though he does display the germ of historical method in his work; and he writes a great deal about the martyrs, but too little, for my tastes, about `everyday' life among the early Christians. All of this is gently explored in Maier's knowledgeable commentary at the end of each `book' (the equivalent of what we would call chapters) and his fine translation strives, with the occasional judicious excision of Eusebius' verbiage, to keep the text flowing and the reader interested. I think he succeeds, bringing an ancient and important sourcebook for early Christian history vividly to life once more.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 89 reviews
161 of 164 people found the following review helpful
simply the best translation available 19 Mar. 2000
By Robert Wormley - Published on
Format: Hardcover
For those few brave souls today interested enough in theology and textual criticism to appreciate what a new and modern translation of "Church History" would add to their ability to understand the history of the Church, this is the only book out there. Dr. Maier follows up his classic translation of Josephus with a modern translation of Eusebius. His most important contribution to Eusebian studies is his decision to cut out the repetitiveness in the original work and translate Eusebius' train of thought instead of merely translating all of the asides and rhetorical flowerings of the nearly impossable-to-read and vast Church history. Each chapter of Eusebius is summarized and critiqued by Dr. Maier in an attempt to help the reader recognize both the value and the critical diffuculties in the original work. This kept me in the text and allowed me to skip certain sections that I wasn't interested in. (I challenge anybody to read the entire volume word for word, I made it through almost 8 chapters before starting to skip whole sections) The content of Eusebius is gripping at time, especially his vivid descriptions of the martyrdom of the early Church and his eyewitness biographical details of Origen and other early church fathers who he knew and studied under. Without Eusebius we would know almost nothing of the march of Christianity across the Roman empire and even less about the crucial critical history of the New Testament in the first 3 centuries. Dr. Maier has opened up access to this invaluable source both to lowly theologians like myself, and to the leading scholars of the day. I pray that Dr. Maier will continue to translate other ancient authors who up until this day are only available in translations so old that there are no publishing dates on the title pages!
64 of 67 people found the following review helpful
A superly presented classic Christian history resource. 6 April 2000
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Paul Maier provides a new and welcome translation of the classic history by the first known Christian historian Eusebius (Bishop of Caesarea in Roman Palestine) which is wonderfully enhanced with charts, maps, and color photography. It is Eusebius who informs us as to what happened to Jesus' disciples later in life; when the Gospels were written, who wrote them, and where; answers the question of Peter's arrival in Rome; reveals where John spent the reminder of his life; explains how the New Testament canon developed; and deals with how and why the early Christians were persecuted by Roman authorities, and much, much more. No parochial, personal, academic, or community library Christian history collection can be considered truly comprehensive without the inclusion of Eusebius: The Church History.
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Superb translation of the father of church history 18 May 2006
By David C. Leaumont - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dr Maier, the R. H. Seibert Professor of Ancient History at Western Michigan University, has completed this new and helpful translation of Eusebius. The translation is highly readable and in modern language.

Eusebius is a very helpful book for study of the early church, because many of the writings before he completed this in AD 324 are lost because of the early Christian persecutions. So, Eusebius' quotations of these works are the only extant copies of their works. Papias is one such person, who is believed to have been a contemporary of John the Apostle.

Eusebius is called the father of church history because he was the first historian to attempt to chronicle the Christian church from the beginning with Christ until his time, the early 4th century. His writing is the preeminent history of the church from Jesus' time on earth until AD 324, just before the Council of Nicea, but after Constantine had ended Christian persecution from Rome by passing the decree making Christianity a legal and later a preferred religion in the Roman Empire.

Eusebius' writing is not without slant, but considering he was the first to write on this subject, he is still widely regarded as a superb resource of church history. Again, Papias gives an example of this slant, as Eusebius calls his intelligence into question because of his millennial views. But, in studying the early church, Eusebius is the key resource.

This copy of Eusebius is very well bound in the hardback edition. The binding is stout and the pages are thick and durable. Maier's commentary is easily discernible from Eusebius' writings by either being placed in footnotes or on pages with a beige tint. Maier includes many images and notes that help explain aspects of Eusebius' history.

Anyone from lay-people to theologians interested in church history study would be well served by this reliable, modern and sturdy copy of the most referenced church historian in Christian history.
69 of 77 people found the following review helpful
Too much edited out 20 Jan. 2009
By T. J. Taylor - Published on
Format: Paperback
After discovering an older translation of this book at our library i decided i needed one for my own. I chose this newer translation but the parts that i was interested in on transitions from the first century church were not included. It has a lot of good information, but this edition is not complete or the older translator added stories of his own.
43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
Excellent book 27 July 2001
By Neil - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book is a great addition to any library. Paul Maier translates Eusebius' works into very understandable English with unobtrusive, yet insightful, comments. The book is well organized. You can read by section or by book pretty easily. The book itself is quite marvelous. Eusebius gives us a history of what happened in the church after the writing of the New Testament up to the conferences of his day.
It is from Eusebius that we gain a lot of understanding of Christian thought from that time. Eusebius did have a few factual errors in his works, but that's OK given that they did not have a library system like we have or the internet...
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