The Modern Scholar: From Jesus to Christianity: A History of the Early Church Audiobook | Thomas F. Madden | Audible.com
We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
The Modern Scholar: From Jesus to Christianity: A History of the Early Church | [Thomas F. Madden]

The Modern Scholar: From Jesus to Christianity: A History of the Early Church

In the first century of its existence, Christianity was both welcomed and vilified throughout the Roman Empire. Many of Christianity's original adherents were martyred. Christians themselves practiced their religion with great diversity, linked as much to local influences as theology. Political intrigue, theological beliefs, and simple misunderstandings created a need for dialogue between the many practitioners of the growing faith.
Regular Price:$49.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

Entrusting the apostles to continue the work he had started by instructing them to "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit . . .," Jesus kindled the fires of a new religion in a world largely dominated by polytheism, cult leader worship, and mysticism. In the first century of its existence, Christianity was both welcomed and vilified throughout the Roman Empire. Many of Christianity's original adherents were martyred - murdered by those who believed it a danger to their authority or, at the very least, the cause of unrest among an otherwise docile populace.

Christians themselves practiced their religion with great diversity, linked as much to local influences as theology. Political intrigue, theological beliefs, and simple misunderstandings created a need for dialogue between the many practitioners of the growing faith.

Christianity's adoption as the official faith of the Roman state tied it inexorably to the fortunes of the Empire. This also helped to create a gulf between the two main theological branches of the religion, which remain to this day.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2005 Thomas F. Madden; (P)2005 Recorded Books

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (105 )
5 star
 (45)
4 star
 (34)
3 star
 (17)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (6)
Overall
4.1 (62 )
5 star
 (26)
4 star
 (23)
3 star
 (8)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (2)
Story
3.9 (60 )
5 star
 (22)
4 star
 (20)
3 star
 (11)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (2)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    J. A. McCarron 04-16-11 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    54
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    38
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    0
    Overall
    "Great course"

    If you looking for people who want to try to twist history into sensationalist claims then I guess Dr. Madden won't be for you. You won't get the recently popular nonsense about how Mary Magdalene had Jesus's baby on the coast of France or whatever. If missing out on that means it will be boring to you, then this will be boring.


    But he gives allot of the information regarding early church history and doesn't have an axe to grind. With him it seems facts first and then theories. The theories may not be as spectacular but they also aren???t horribly misinformed. And I will say even the seemingly less sensational theories that spring up from listening to his lectures have always given me allot to think about.



    As far as his tone of voice and that sort of thing, I had no problem with it. But then again I find the material interesting.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chi-Hung Riverside, CA, USA 03-13-10
    Chi-Hung Riverside, CA, USA 03-13-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    549
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    239
    104
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    33
    0
    Overall
    "A good lecture"

    This is the first set of lectures by Professor Thomas Madden on the Church History. The lecture starts with the time of Jesus Christ to the Chaucedon and Nestorian expulsion. Madden's lectures are generally consistant in quality and I enjoy them, but for people prefer humourous lecturing styles, some may find him monotonous.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Lawrence, KS, United States 09-30-10
    Jason Lawrence, KS, United States 09-30-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Excellent Introduction to History of Christianity"

    If you are looking for a historical introduction to how Christianity began and spread, this is a great place to start ! The content is solid ! After listening to this book you will be able to understand and explain how Christianity spread after the death of Christ and the early establishment of the Church.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edward LOS ANGELES, CA, United States 05-12-11
    Edward LOS ANGELES, CA, United States 05-12-11 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Talented Educator"

    I have now bought 5 or 6 of Professor Madden's lecture series. The professor is especially talented in making complex subjects easy to understand. I now understand the history of the Church much better than ever, despite having read a number of books on the subject. As others have pointed out, he's not the smoothest speaker, but the content itself is very interesting and entertaining.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tyler Peace River, Alberta, Canada 05-15-13
    Tyler Peace River, Alberta, Canada 05-15-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Review of all the Reviews...and the Lecture"

    Before I purchased this lecture I read all the reviews to make sure it was worth my time and money. I was confused when I saw about 60% positive at 5 stars and then 40% at 1 star. How could such a lecture be so great, and so terrible?! I tried to take into account each persons review but in the end I still had to make the decision based on the reviews. Since this was my first Modern Scholar lecture I figured I should give the positives the benefit of the doubt. Boy am I glad I did! I was looking for something the gave a brief outline, with some half decent detail, to the early church. This course hit that head on. I now have a general understanding of the major themes and situations and can choose which one(s) I want to learn more about and which I'm not so interested in.

    I'm a little disappointed with the negative reviews, especially with such low ratings as 1 star. I'd like to counter each of those negative reviews with my personal thoughts:

    1.) "Boring and Superficial". What are you expecting, a sermon? This is a lecture class, not a church setting. Don't get me wrong, I'm a Christian, and there is a good place for a sermon, and much of this information could and should be used in sermons, but this is not a sermon. This is a history lecture, and for that, I give it 5 stars. If you are interested enough in a topic the lecture does not need to be energetic and zesty, you will get what you want out of it.

    2.) "Boring even to the presenter". Very similar response to #1, not sure what exactly you are looking for?

    3.) "Disappointing". I agree that this course is just a "primer", but how much can you really get into in only 7 hours of audio? This course gives a great overview of the major themes and was great for someone looking at such a broad topic as the title shares.

    4.) "Zzzzzzzzzzz". Not much of a review, maybe you were tired, get some sleep.

    5.) "Doesn't sound very scholarly". This was the only review that I found was slightly correct in it's analysis. However, this review would only possibly be for the first 3-4 lectures. I agree there was a slight bit of jumping around from topic to topic, for this I would rate it 3.5 stars, but even then, not as terrible as you make it. As for his Bible content, again, this is not a sermon. He uses the Bible for it's history, not it's spirituality. This is fine to do for a history lecture. There's a place for each.


    Overall I would give this 4.5 stars. I'm going to listen to a few more modern scholars and then perhaps I can have a view of some others to compare it to, but stand alone I thought it was a great overview of what the title promised.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David P. McGivern Vancouver, BC Canada 02-25-09
    David P. McGivern Vancouver, BC Canada 02-25-09 Member Since 2007

    retired litigation lawyer; I read history; historical fiction; literary fiction. Narrator ++ important. Story equally so

    HELPFUL VOTES
    229
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    85
    29
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    37
    5
    Overall
    "Agree this is very boring and superficial"

    I agree with the previous reviewer (Doug). The content is superficial, good for only those who have never read any religious studies ( in which case, you would not start with this anyway). I totally agree with his criticism of the "Professor" - he exudes boredom. He scans dates and people and events in a "bare bones" dry and tedious presentation, adding nothing of color or background to help the listener connect or understand people who lived 2000 years ago.

    Download and scan the accompanying study guide - you can finish this in an hour, thereby saving the other 7 hours and one credit

    13 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doug Columbus, NC, United States 02-20-09
    Doug Columbus, NC, United States 02-20-09 Member Since 2004

    Retired teacher of literature with an interest in religion and in science and in history. I have loved reading for 50 years.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    342
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    169
    45
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    13
    0
    Overall
    "Boring, even to the presenter"

    Remember the worst lecture class you had in college or the most boring speech you ever heard? This audio is so bad that even the presenter/lecturer seems bored and distracted.

    The content is pretty superficial. But you may not notice that because you will not listen more than half an hour.

    I love religious studies, especially the New Testament. It amazes me that this professor could ruin what should have been an exciting audio.

    13 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mike golden, CO, United States 03-28-12
    mike golden, CO, United States 03-28-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Zzzzzzzzzzzz......."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Forced my way through 5 chapters, couldn't take it any more. My first Modern Scholar program, hoping the next is more entertaining.


    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caroline United States 03-06-13
    Caroline United States 03-06-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointing"
    Would you try another book from Thomas F. Madden and/or the narrator?

    Not after this one. I first bought and liked his lectures on the Reformation. Like other reviewers have said, this book is just a primer. That would be ok, I guess, if Madden himself didn't sound so bored by it all.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Thomas F. Madden again?

    Not after this one.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Bored and boring delivery.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Strathroy, ON, Canada 01-06-12
    Jeff Strathroy, ON, Canada 01-06-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    77
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    34
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    11
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Doesn't sound very scholarly"

    I was very disappointed in this book. Not recommended at all.

    The lectures felt like he was jumping around and not following a logical progression through history.

    It sounds like he doesn't really study the bible as one would expect from a person giving lectures on the history of the church.

    There are comments that make it sound as if he really is not a deeply interested in the subject.

    To be honest (and I hate to be so negative) I thought it sounded more like he just quickly skimmed through the bible before recording this. There are errors in some of his statements concerning what is actually written.

    1 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 10 results
Sort by:
  • Catriona
    Lincoln, United Kingdom
    5/8/11
    Overall
    "fascinating"

    Initially I just dipped into this audiobook when I'd
    finished others and was waiting for the next
    download, but then I got hooked. The lecturer has a
    rather hesitant style at first, probably because
    it's quite difficult giving a lecture without faces
    in front of you, but he does pick up.
    The history covers from the time of the apostles up
    to the seventh century when much of the Eastern
    Roman empire fell. It talks about the organisation
    of the church, why the church relied on apostolic
    succession (to ensure continuity of the message),
    the disputes about the nature of Jesus and the
    rivalry of the various patriarchies.
    There were a couple of points where I felt I wanted
    more information. In an early lecture he refers to
    which apostles were known to have gone to particular
    places and which are later legends, but doesn't go
    into the sources of the information.
    In a much later lecture he touches on the Celtic
    church, referring to it having been in Ireland and I
    think mentions Scotland, but then moves immediately
    to St Augustine's mission to Canterbury. There's no
    suggestion that the Celtic church was not only well
    established in the north of Britain, including
    Northumbria, but was also sending missions out to
    Europe. In fact when he refers to the Germanic
    tribes as receiving missionaries he only talks of
    those who came from Byzantium. I would have liked to
    have known how influential the Celtic church was in
    those missions as my understanding had been that a
    lot of settlements in Germany and Switzerland owe
    their names to Celtic saints.

    Those are only minor quibbles and this is well worth
    listening too.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Tout en chantant
    Paris, France
    5/4/12
    Overall
    "Rather dull"

    I have to disagree with the other review as I find TF Madden speach and ways most off-putting: his tone of voice was monotonous and lifeless as if he was really very tired and bored with the things he was saying, he speaks very slowly and with lost of 'ummmm' and 'ahhh' which meant that it took him for ever to finish a line of thought or story. As a result my attention wondered away constantly and it was a real effort not to get distracted. All in all a very dull experience.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-2 of 2 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

CANCEL

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.