This classic work has been widely regarded as an invaluable introduction to the early Church since it was first published in 1965. Professor Frend has written extensively in this area over the last fifty years, and is one of the foremost Church historians in the English-speaking world. Frend outlines fully the social, geographical, historical and cultural contexts in which the Christian faith emerged and traces the ways in which it became the official religion of the Roman Empire. He then goes on to chart how the Church emerged from Judaism as a distinct sect; its experience of persecution and conflict; and the dogmatic formulation of its beliefs in creeds and councils.This book is an essential resource for all students of Church history. 'The reissue of this book...is a welcome return to availability of a vade mecum for the near-beginner in Church history that is at once lucid, reflective and enjoyable...The most welcome and memorable feature of Professor Frend's survey is that, instead of peppering his narrative with vacuously impressive names and dates, at every turning-point, whenever the climate of thought changes, he will give extended treatment to some church father or heresiarch in whose writings and career all the issues are embodied,' (The Tablet) '.
..simple, straightforward, uncluttered-It would be an idea! text book...or a "good read" for someone who has studied the subject before and wants to refresh the memory: (The Methodist Recorder)