Saturday, February 8, 2014

A review of Eusebius, the Church History by Paul L. Maier

Eusebius, the Church History by Paul L. Maier

Publisher's description:

"Next to Josephus, Eusebius is the most widely-consulted reference work on the early church. Much of our knowledge of the first three centuries of Christianity—the terrible persecutions, the courageous martyrs, and the theological controversies—come from the writings of this first century historian. This sparkling new translation includes more than 150 color photographs, maps, and charts."

The publisher's description just doesn't do justice to this book.  The church owes a huge debt to Eusebius who left us this invaluable history of the early church.  He starts with Jesus and His disciples and ends with Constantine in the early fourth century.  If you want to learn more about this crucial period in church history, this is where you should start. In fact, without Eusebius history, much of what we do know about this period would be lost to us.  Avail yourself of this gift to the church.

To read of the disciples after the death of Jesus and to read of the men who came after was riveting.  As I read of the church advancing through persecution and martyrdom from the outside and saw brave men stand firm against false teaching and heretics on the inside, it was glorious to see myself in this long line of redeemed sinners and to understand that all of us are part of this story for truly we stand in a long line of godly men and women.  This story is our story, the story of Christ's church.   I was edified and encouraged as I read this book.

I personally wasn't very familiar with this period, so this book was very helpful to me.  I enjoy studying church history but this was a period I hadn't read much on, in fact I didn't even know who Eusebius was.  I am so glad I read this book!

Paul Maier has done a great job with Eusebius here.  His footnotes and supplementary notes are so helpful not only in clarifying areas where Eusebius wasn't at the top of his game as a historian, but also in fleshing out the events we are reading about.  There are over 150 full color photographs that were very helpful to me.  The layout of this book is well done and very easy on the eyes and the quality of this book is excellent.  Also, the translation of Eusebius here is very readable and not at all a dry, dusty textbook style.

This is a high quality translation of a classic historical work, I can't recommend this book enough.  I give it 5 out of 5 stars!

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review.

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