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Download The First Christian Centuries: Perspectives on the Early Church epub

by Paul McKechnie

The first three centuries of the early church were a period of struggle, transition and growth. Recent attempts by historians and social scientists to understand this era have produced various and conflicting accounts. Indeed, some have sought to overturn the former consensus regarding which texts provide reliable evidence and how they should be interpreted. In The First Christian Centuries, Paul McKechnie, a classical scholar, examines some key issues in the current debate. Which ancient sources are reliable?What was the social makeup of the early Christian movement?What can we determine about the growth rate and persecution of first-century Christians?What do we know about the second generation of Christians? How should we assess the reliability of our various sources from the second and third centuries? What were the nature and extent of persecutions in the second and third centuries? What were the long-term consequences of Paul's making converts within the household of Caesar? Can we gain historical perspective on the diversity that traveled under the name Christian in the early centuries? How were women regarded and what roles did they play? And how was it that a Roman emperor, Constantine, was converted--and what were the implications for the Christian movement? The value of McKechnie's study lies not in providing a comprehensive narrative of the origins and growth of the early church. Rather, it lies in critically examining key historical issues in sustained conversation with contemporary scholarship and the ancient sources. McKechnie will be valued by both students and scholars of early Christianity as an intelligent and informed companion who offers repeated and valuable insights into this critical era of Christian beginnings.
Download The First Christian Centuries: Perspectives on the Early Church epub
ISBN: 0830826777
ISBN13: 978-0830826773
Category: History
Subcategory: World
Author: Paul McKechnie
Language: English
Publisher: IVP Academic; PRINT-ON-DEMAND edition (March 5, 2002)
Pages: 270 pages
ePUB size: 1392 kb
FB2 size: 1724 kb
Rating: 4.4
Votes: 586
Other Formats: mobi lrf doc mbr

assigned text for class...xlnt reading
I found this book to be an outstanding introduction to the major issues surrounding the early church through its first three centuries. Mr. McKechnie directly engages modern scholarhip, such as Frend, Pagels and Meeks, which is very helpful to get a good feeling for where his own ideas fit. I am reading it in preparation for a graduate divinity class in early Christian thought, and I have found it to be an excellent primer. Mr. McKechnie introduces all of the major thinkers of the period in a way that balances readability with sound scholarship. Plus, he uses footnotes (as opposed to endnotes or no notes), which I find very helpful.
I agree with another reviewer that the book can at times wander, but I always found the prose engaging.
I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to get a thorough introduction to the early church.
Deeply flawed presentation of early Christianity that ignores the role of apocalypticism--the term in not even listed in the index. Despite Luke's widely-recognized deficiencies, the author accepts several very questionable passages as historical, notably the apologetic reference at Luke 4:16-20 as evidence that Jesus spoke Hebrew.
On the one hand, McKechnie's prose is often clear and engaging, sprinkled with a sense of humour. There are bits and pieces of valuable insights in the text. On the other hand, it seems evident from the introduction on that the book lacks a clear direction or purpose. Despite some useful comments, it is hard to know what to make out the total picture. I was never clear where McKechine had left, or where he was heading. The book has value, but I came away unsatisfied.
Overall, this is an interesting book. Throughout the book, the author throwed out questions that are good for deeper thoughts. But this book is definitely not suitable for someone who does not know enough about that period to weigh the various sources of evidence.