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Publisher's Summary

Often called the "Father of Church History", Eusebius was the first to trace the rise of Christianity during its crucial first three centuries from Christ to Constantine. Our principal resource for earliest Chrisitianity, The Church History presents a panorama of apostles, church fathers, emperors, bishops, heroes, heretics, confessors, and martyrs.

This audiobook edition includes Paul L. Maier's clear and precise translation, historical commentary on each book in The Church History, and numerous maps, illustrations, and photographs. These features promise to liberate Eusebius from previous outdated and stilted works, creating a new standard primary resource for listeners interested in the early history of Christianity.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

Public Domain (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about The Church History

Average Customer Ratings
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Superb footnotes add to brilliant history

The modern day commentary and footnotes enhance the incredibly pleasurable writing of Eusebius.

I always wonder why more modern day believers don’t explore the fundamental roots of their own modern day beliefs from some of the original foundational documents such as this book. I don’t think I’ve ever read an Early Medieval history book, or an Early Christian history book which did not quote extensively from Eusebius.

I know I now have to read Josephus because of Eusebius. Hoopla has an audio version of his book that I will borrow for free. Though, I would much prefer a version like this book that has explanatory footnotes and commentaries. The translator, Maier, had a fairly good discussion on Josephus’ mentions of Jesus and what scholars believe to be extrapolations or not, and the footnotes and commentary overall did not go wasted on me.

The only fault with this audible version is that I wasn’t always able to distinguish the footnote or commentary from Eusebius’ writings. I wish that the reader had been told to say ‘footnote’ and ‘end of footnote’ in the narration. But, that tells me how good of a writer Eusebius really was because his writing flows like a modern day conversation between friends.

To understand who we are today it sometimes requires understanding where we came from. Why is what we call the bible today the bible, or what does Jesus’ nature mean or what’s this about the Arian controversy, what’s all this about martyrs and why it is so important for the church’s history, and why are the Donatists so cool to understand (I’m going to give you a hint, it has something to do with the reformation and Martin Luther, but of course Eusebius and Augustine don’t know that), and how does the ‘catholic church’ (i.e., ‘catholic’ means ‘universal’ and the early ‘catholic church’ meant all are welcome) become a ‘Catholic Church’ (i.e. ‘universal’ means everywhere). Eusebius explains how the early orthodox Christians world thought about itself and allows one to anticipate the transition to Augustine who mostly defines the medieval Catholic world until Thomas Aquinas comes along in 1250. Eusebius always takes an orthodox (mostly from a Greek perspective) position, but all of these kinds of things lurk within the text and is incredibly well presented and are necessary for understanding where we are toda

24 people found this helpful

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Good Overview of Early Church History

This is a very good history of the early Christian church which is difficult to obtain otherwise. There are some minor flaws in content which are clearly laid out since it was an early written history by an author that didn't use modern modes of history writing but the vast majority of it is balanced and fair and gives interesting details of early Christian saints and martyrs(of which some grisly details are also exposed.) The narration is excellent, clear, with good diction and just enough inflection to convey the import of some stories. This is well worth listening to.

17 people found this helpful

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Excellent, but hard to distinguish footnotes

It would have been very helpful if the footnotes had been voiced by a different narrator from the original text.

13 people found this helpful

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Truly Excellent Audiobook!

This is truly a superb translation of Eusebius's "The Church History". I am so very grateful to Paul L. Maier for doing a masterful job in bringing this ancient work to English speaking people! Indeed I will unhesitatingly say, that this is a precious addition to my growing audiobook library (10/10).

In addition to my gratitude to Paul L. Maier, I am very grateful for the excellent performance of John Lescault; he truly did an exceptional job in reading the text! Also, I would be negligent if I did not say thank you to Audible for making this audiobook available here...many, many thanks!

7 people found this helpful

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Awesome book would recommend

Great book for any church history buff and really well read and translated. Easy to follow despite quite a heavy topic.

6 people found this helpful

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Of Limited Value

For those that study church history, this work by Eusebius has value as added background and perspective. There are many modern works that summarize this time frame and are much more accessible to the casual reader. While I appreciate Eusebius and his work, his thoughts are not as orginized as one would hope in this particular work. If you want to read a work on church history Eusebius would be several books down the line of preference for me. YMMV

4 people found this helpful

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Difficult to follow

Unfortunately this version of this important text is quite difficult to follow, as it includes a running scholarly commentary on the original text without differentiating between text and comment in any obvious way. Eusebius' factual claims (say, about the alleged conversion of Philo) will be immediately followed by scholarly retraction, and the narrative will then careen forward another step, only to be followed by a half-shuffle back, etc. This would be easy to follow with the physical text at hand, but as this is an audiobook, the narrative needs clearly audible delineation. (Just saying "note" and "end note" before and after each interpolation would help a lot.) I found it all too confusing and gave up, which is a shame, because the translation and commentary both seem valuable as such.

1 person found this helpful

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Excessive Commentary and Undifferentiated Narration

The value of primary sources comes from their witness of both the events described and how they were received contemporaneously. The translator adds so much current-day commentary that it diminishes the work to be more like a college research paper where he spends half the time refuting the author. This is made much worse by the narrator seamlessly shifting between the author and the commentator.

Eusebius may have been very biased himself, as his book clearly reads as an homage to Constantine as an open Christian emperor with the intent of gaining further favor with future emperors, but this is his book and readers are looking for his narrative and insight. The translator's biased commentary, however, adds little other than conjecture, and in this audio format it is extremely confusing. Mr. Meier's analysis is based solely on his personal theological stances (he's a well-known Lutheran scholar and high ranking church official) and modern-day sensitivities, making it of very limited value for the likely types of people that would seek this kind of material.

If one is interested in historical primary source study, I can think of few more counterproductive additions than excessive personal opinion on the source material by a commentator, regardless of his or her credentials. One studies this kind of material to form one's own opinion, and hopefully gain insight on how others' opinions came to be on these subjects. Instead, all I gained is insight on the commentator's and modern theological academia's perspective, which is precisely what I want to avoid by reading primary source material.

Perhaps if the narrator would have clearly distinguished between source and comment - or foregoing the commentary altogether and adding it as a set or appendices - it would have made this less painful, but I'm not so sure. I made it all the way through, especially since this is the only version of Eusebius' work in audio I can readily access. By the halfway point one gets to know the tone and opinion of the translator, so it becomes a bit easier to distinguish, but it adds so little value that I would not recommend anyone put themselves through this if they have another, less opinionated version to read/listen to.

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A must read for all Christians in this day and age

A great historical accounting of the early church and the adversities the body had undergone. Every Christian in this century should make reading this book a priority.

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Great Historical Value

A must for Christians and valuable for all as a look at early Christian History.

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  • ChangePro
  • 11-24-18

A second narrator helpful?

Whilst mellifluous, having a single narrator for both author and commentator can sometimes be confusing.
That said I, a lay person, have found this educational, accessible and inspiring.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Joshua
  • 11-27-20

Convicting

What an excellent work! ‘The Church History’ is worthy of the praise it has enjoyed. Above even it’s technical excellence and historical insight, the depiction of the early church’s endurance through persecution is astonishing and inspiring. Eusebius urged by the Holy Spirit has convicted me to mature my childlike faith. Thanks be to god.