Early Christian History

This course is an exploration of Christianity from the late first century through the seventh century. Special emphasis will be given to the early Church Fathers, Christian apologists, ecumenical councils, emergence of the papacy, early Christian missions and monasticism. Course content focuses on the developing historical and theological context that shaped early Christianity.
PDF Downloads:
Audio Listing Downloads: Prefer to use iTunes?
Here's how:
  1. Open iTunes (iTunes is free, download here)
  2. Click on the Advanced menu option at the top and select "Subscribe to Podcast"
  3. Type in this address: www.maxieburch.net/audio/podcast.xml. Click Ok.
  4. Play and listen.

Note about Audio Files:

Current audio files are listed below.

Course Content:
Christianity Becomes a Distinct Faith
Biblical Interpretation in Early Christianity
Threats to Christian Unity
The Church and the Roman Empire
The Ecumenical Councils: Theology from the Top Down
Christian Monasticism: Theology from the Bottom Up
Early Christian Missions
St. Augustine: A Transitional Figure



Primary Sources:

The Apostolic Fathers, J.B. Lightfoot and J.R. Harmer: Baker Books.
The Ecclesiastical History of the English People, Bede: Oxford University Press.
Confessions, St. Augustine, trans. R.S. Pine-Coffin: Penguin Books.
After the New Testament: A Reader in Early Christianity, Bart D. Ehrman: Oxford University Press.
Christianity in Late Antiquity (300-450 C.E.), Bart D. Ehrman and Andrew S. Jacobs: Oxford University Press.
Documents of the Christian Church, Henry Bettenson and Chris Maunder: Oxford University Press.

Secondary Sources:

The Early Church, Henry Chadwick: Penguin Books.
The Rise of Christianity, W. H. C. Frend: Fortress Press.
The Spirit of Early Christian Thought, Robert Louis Wilken, Yale University Press.
Early Christian Doctrines, J.N.D. Kelly: Continuum Books.
The First Christian Centuries: Perspectives on the Early Church, Paul McKechnie: InterVarsity Press.
Classical Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism: Comparing Theologies, Bruce D. Chilton and Jacob Neusner: Baker Academic Books.
The Search for the Origins of Christian Worship, Paul F. Bradshaw: Oxford University Press.
The Power of Sacred Images: A Guide to the Treasures of Early Christian Art, Elizabeth Bruening Lewis: Thomas More Publishing.
In the Shadow of the Temple: Jewish Influences on Early Christianity, Oskar Skarsaune: InterVarsity Press.

Submit a Question (click here)