History of the church/Christianity, etc.

by Joe Grundy 8 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Joe Grundy
    Joe Grundy

    I have learned a great deal from some of the very erudite posters on this site (thank you).

    For many years I've been interested in the history of the development of christianity, not only from its earliest days but through the reformation, etc., and through to the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries when denominations, sects, cults took off in all directions like exploding fireworks.

    I was aware, in broad terms, of Luther, Calvin and the development of protestantism from which so many denominations and sects (including JWs) arose. I was vaguely aware of the schism (1,000 years ago) between the western (catholic) and eastern (orthodox) churches and was tangentially interested as to why it happened (if the 'east' was the home of christianity, how come the 'west' disagreed with it?). I was quite interested to read, while living in Cyprus, a Greek Orthodox English language bible which had a large section in the back about the schism. It explained (of course) why the orthodox church was right and the catholic church was wrong.

    All this stuff is interesting to me as an atheist/agnostic because religion has had such a huge influence in our world and continues to do so.

    Well, I was recently given a book and for about the first time I am coming to understand a little better how all this stuff fits into the context of history, and I recommend it to other interested parties.

    It is (don't laugh) 'European History For Dummies' - ISBN 978-0-470-97818-4 - by Sean Lang, published by Wiley, England 2011. Well written, easy to read, and best viewed as a 'taster' to spark interest for deeper studies. It's certainly helped my understanding (and I'm not ashamed of the label 'Dummy'!).

  • BluesBrother

    The "For Dummies" series of books are a wonderful resource for starting the study of...just about anything. I have had a couple.

    The history of Christianity ( should I call it Christendom?) does not make for faith strengthening reading

  • garyneal

    The history of Christianity ( should I call it Christendom?) does not make for faith strengthening reading

    Agreed but it does explain a lot in ways of why we have what we have today. I highly recommend it for anyone who really wants to learn the truth about the Christian faith.

  • stirred but not shaken
  • stirred but not shaken
    stirred but not shaken


    Good suggestion. The period of time that was fascinating to me was the period from Malachi to the 1st century. Understanding what happened during that time helps understand that the audience of Jesus and the apostles as well, was not the audience of the previous prophets. The Maccadean period and the Herods brought the Jewish world into a sectarian pot luck. By the time Jesus started preaching, there had formed the Pharisees, Saducees, Essennes and a militant revolutionary group. The only group that seemed to survive the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 were the Pharisees. There's a couple of books written by F.F. Bruce on the period mentioned above and then the early Christian period. Both worth a read.

  • Perry

    Here is a page from my website that deals with Christian History, both Apostate and Biblical.

    The book featured there is quite revealing in tracing bible Christians from the first century to the present.

    This chart may also be helpful.

  • MadGiant

    "Here is a page from my website that deals with Christian History, both Apostate and Biblical." -

    Just to balance the research.



  • kaik

    I have read good deal of books on Roman and Greek history, christianity, and philosophy from Penguin Classic and from Loeb Classical Library. My father used to collect a lot of books on christianity, we had hundreds of books on this topics, on life of saints, catholic church, etc. I heard that he got them from a monastery that commies closed down in 1950's and wanted to set them on fire. My father read every single of them. I remember my elders were extremely displeased with the collection and we had to double stacked books so only approved showed upfront.

  • Pants of Righteousness
    Pants of Righteousness

    I would recommend 'A History of Christianity - The First Three Thousand Years' by Diarmaid MacCulloch.

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