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Church History, Volume One: From Christ to the Pre-Reformation

The Rise and Growth of the Church in Its Cultural, Intellectual, and Political Context
Everett Ferguson
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Church History, Volume One offers a unique contextual view of how the Christian church spread and grew from its development in the days of Jesus to the years leading up to the Reformation.

Looking closely at the integral link between the history of the world and that of the church, Church History paints a portrait of God's people within its setting of times, cultures, and events that both influenced and were influenced by the church.


  • Maps, charts, and illustrations spanning the time from the first through the thirteenth centuries.
  • Overviews of the Roman, Greek, and Jewish worlds and how they developed or declined.
  • Insights into the church's relationship to the Roman Empire, with glimpses into pagan attitudes toward Christians.
  • Explanations of the role of art, architecture, literature, and philosophy—both sacred and secular—in the Church.
  • Details on the major theological controversies of the periods.

Each chapter also contains callout passages from Scripture to assist in understanding the narrative of the Church, even to the present day, as part of the greater narrative of the Bible.


Scholar and writer Everett Ferguson wrote this history of the church from the perspective that such a history is the story of the greatest movement and community the world has known. It's a human story of a divinely called people who wanted to live by a divine revelation. It's a story of how they succeeded and how they failed or fell short of their calling.

From the Apostle Paul to the apologists and martyrs of the second century to Martin Luther, the historical figures detailed are people who have struggled with the meaning of the greatest event in history—the coming of the Son of God—and with their role in that event and in the lives of God's people.

About the Author

Everett Ferguson (PhD, Harvard) is professor emeritus of Bible and distinguished scholar-in-residence at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas, where he taught church history and Greek. He is the author of numerous works, including Backgrounds of Early Christianity, Early Christians Speak, and Baptism in the Early Church: History, Theology, and Liturgy in the First Five Centuries. He was also general editor of the two-volume Encyclopedia of Early Christianity.

Table of Contents

1. The Setting for the Story’s Beginning

2. Jesus and the Beginnings of the Church

3. The Subapostolic Age

4. The Church and the Empire

5. Heresies and Schisms in the Second Century

6. The Defense against Rival Interpretations

7. The Fathers of the Old Catholic Church and Their Problems

8. Church Life in the Second and Third Centuries

9. Development of the Church during the Third Century

10. Diocletian and Constantine: On the Threshold of the Fourth Century

11. The Church in the Fourth Century: Doctrine, Organization, and Literature

12. Monasticism, Expansion, Life, and Worship: The Church in the Fourth Century

13. Christological Controversies to Chalcedon (451)

14. Augustine, Pelagius, and Semipelagianism

15. Transitions to the Middle Ages: Germanic Migrations, Doctrinal Developments, and the Papacy

16. Eastern and Western Churches in the Fifth and Sixth Centuries

17. The Eastern Churches from the Seventh to Eleventh Centuries

18. The Western Church from the Seventh to Ninth Centuries

19. Decline and Renewal of Vitality in the West: The Ninth to the Eleventh Centuries

20. The Papal Reform Movement and the First Crusade

21. Intellectual Revival: The Rise of Scholasticism

22. Monastic, Literary, Political, and Cultural Activities in the Twelfth Century

23. The Glory of the Western Medieval Church: The Thirteenth Century

24. Portents of Decline

General Bibliography

Timeline from Christ to Pre-Reformation

Church History 1: From Christ to the Pre-Reformation Instructor: Dr. Everett Ferguson

Church History: From Christ to the Pre-Reformation offers an introduction to church history that integrates the events and developments of the church with the social, economic, and intellectual history of the broader world around it.

Course Details
  • 15 Units
  • 6 hours of video
  • Self-paced
  • Beginner
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  • Product Details
  • Page Count: 544
  • Format: Hardcover, Printed Caseside
  • ISBN: 9780310516569
  • Release: November 26, 2013
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