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Best books on Church Hustory

Best books on Church Hustory

Postby marty » Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:42 am

Can anyone recommend some good books on Church history? I'm especially interested in history from the early church to present but would also like history from the early jewish nation to the present also. Thanks for any replies.
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Re: Best books on Church Hustory

Postby wwalkeriv » Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:10 am

"History of the Christian Church" by Philip Schaff is a set of books on church history. You can purchase the set on christianbook.com or view it free at http://m.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/history/About.htm

I'm just beginning to explore it myself, but was told it's a good source. I can recommend, while not a book, Gregg's lectures on church history.
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Re: Best books on Church Hustory

Postby steve » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:05 pm

When I was teaching my series on Church History, I used a mixture of information I had learned through the years (from who-knows-who?) along with ongoing current research and preparation from a number of books on my shelves. Most weeks (the lectures were given weekly) I used numerous books (some of them no longer on my shelves, and forgotten) to study the relevant period. The series was taught many years ago, and many newer (possibly better?) books on church history may now be available. The principal books on my shelf at that time were:

Foxe's Christian Martyrs of the World — John Foxe
The Spreading Flame — F.F. Bruce
Christianity Through The Centuries — Zondervan
History of the Christian Church — Schaff
Exploring Church History — Vos
No Other Foundation — Jackson
Church History in Plain Language — Shelley
The Torch of the Testimony — Kennedy

In addition to these general works, I had biographies of some important historical characters, as well as books about specific movements, like the Anabaptists. I wish I could have found more materials on the Celtic Christians, the Waldensians and the Moravians. This was before the internet had become such a resource. If I were to re-teach the series, I would definitely want to incorporate material from the more recent "The Lost History of Christianity", by Philip Jenkins, which talks about the little-discussed "Church of the East".
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Re: Best books on Church Hustory

Postby Paidion » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:27 pm

Surely a study of church history ought to include the church history of Eusebius, born about 260 A.D. This work comprises volume I of The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers.
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Re: Best books on Church Hustory

Postby steve » Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:01 pm

I agree with Paidion. I forgot to mention Eusebius, whose work is probably the best for the period of the first three centuries.
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Re: Best books on Church Hustory

Postby marty » Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:24 pm

Thank you all! Some great recommendations here. Steve if you ever feel the urge to update your history series I'm sure it would be of great benefit to very many. I found your current series very informative and have listened to most of the series twice now.
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Re: Best books on Church Hustory

Postby PR » Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:20 am

I found the work of David Bercot very helpful. His journey through the early church writings eventually led him to the Anabaptist church.
http://www.earlychurch.com/

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Re: Best books on Church Hustory

Postby SteveF » Sat Oct 07, 2017 12:48 pm

As an excellent overview of Church History I'd recommend The Story of Christianity by Justo L Gonzalez. I've read through both volumes and i'm currently re-reading them.

While he obviously tells the story of the Western Church, which we are all familiar with to one degree or another, he also delves into the history of the Eastern Church as well.

In addition, he details the story of the Roman Catholic missions to Africa, India, Asia, South America, Central America and what would eventually become parts of the United States (i.e. California, Texas, Florida etc). These stories are often overlooked by Protestants.

I'd recommend the updated 2010 editions as the updates are significant.

I'm mentioning the books at this time because the Kindle version of Volume 1 is currently available at a discounted price (at least in Canada it is).
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Re: Best books on Church Hustory

Postby mattrose » Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:24 pm

I agree with SteveF that Gonzalez is a really good 2 volume history. I'm currently reading his and Needham (4 volumes). They are VERY similar, but I think Gonzalez is better overall.

My other favorites are Bercot (lots of books) and "turning points' by mark noll is a good supplement.

Other than that, I just recommend reading some of the ancients along the way as you study. I find it helpful to make little concise summaries of their writings as I go.
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