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The First Christian Centuries [Paperback]

By Paul McKechnie (Author)
Our Price $ 22.10  
Retail Value $ 26.00  
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Item Number 134515  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   270
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.04" Width: 6.1" Height: 0.78"
Weight:   0.85 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 5, 2002
Publisher   IVP-InterVarsity Press
ISBN  0830826777  
EAN  9780830826773  


Availability  72 units.
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Item Description...
Overview
IVP Print On Demand Title 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.

Publishers Description
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.

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More About Paul McKechnie

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Paul McKechnie teaches in the department of classics and ancient history at the University of Auckland in New Zealand.

Paul McKechnie was born in 1957 and has an academic affiliation as follows - Macquarie University.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > General   [6817  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
a valuable critique, but not a book for beginners  Feb 23, 2003
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.
 
A Great Introduction to the Early Church  Jan 15, 2003
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.

 
A book in need of a map.  Apr 8, 2002
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.
 

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