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A Dictionary of Christian Biography, Literature, Sects and Doctrines (4 vols.)

, 1877–1887

Digital Logos Edition

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Print list price: $99.99
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In this four-volume set, editors William Smith and Henry Wace provide a comprehensive collection of biographical material: more than 4,000 pages of articles and historical information on the early Christian church. An excellent resource for identifying significant people and events, this in-depth tome covers the first eight centuries of Christianity, picking up where Smith’s Bible Dictionary leaves off. Smith and Wace’s dictionary attempts to provide an impartial, ecclesiastical history, paying special attention to the church history of England, Scotland, and Ireland.

Gleaned from the work of distinguished Cambridge, Oxford, and Trinity College scholars, this work is a valuable compilation of classical scholarship. A comprehensive dictionary, it includes the names of all people connected with the history of the church from the apostles to Charlemagne.

Founded on a careful examination of original sources and scholarship, this is one reference work that any serious scholar of church history will be excited to have in their collection. The Logos edition of A Dictionary of Christian Biography, Literature, Sects and Doctrines helps you reap the maximum benefits from this volume. Completely searchable and easily accessible, the text is linked directly to your preferred English translations and original-language texts. Subjects and events are cross-referenced with the other digital resources in your library.

Please note that these four volumes will display as a single resource in your digital library.

Resource Experts
  • Preface by the editor
  • Lists of abbreviations and contributors
  • More than 4,000 pages of articles and historical information

Top Highlights

“GNOSIS, one of the mythical beings who, in the Barbelite system described by Irenaeus (i. 29, p. 108), answer to the Valentinian Aeons. From her is represented to have sprung the ‘Tree,’ also called knowledge. With this is to be compared that part of the system of Justinus (Hippol. Ref. v. 26) which counts the trees of paradise as angels, and in particular the tree of knowledge, as the angel Naas. In Pistis Sophia also one order of celestial beings is designated as trees (pp. 18, 192).” (Volume 2, Page 677)

“an obscure retirement from further attacks.c In the persecution of Valerian” (Volume 1, Pages 850–851)

“The System of Arianism.—The Father alone is God; He alone is unbegotten, eternal, wise, good, unchangeable. He is separated by an infinite chasm from man, and there is no real mediation between them. God cannot create the world directly, but only through an agent, the Logos, who is himself created for the purpose of creating the world.” (Volume 1, Page 156)

“The term expresses conveniently the opinions and practices of the descendants of the Judaizers of the Apostolic age, and is very little removed from Judaism. Judaism was to them not so much a preparation for Christianity, as an institution eternally good in itself, and but slightly modified in Christianity. Whatever merit Christianity possessed was possessed as the continuation and supplement of Judaism. The divinity of the Old Covenant was the only valid guarantee for the truth of the New. Hence the tendency of this class of Ebionites to exalt the Old at the expense of the New, to magnify Moses and the Prophets, and to allow Jesus Christ to be ‘nothing more than a Solomon or a Jonas’” (Volume 2, Page 25)

  • Title: A Dictionary of Christian Biography, Literature, Sects and Doctrines (4 vols.)
  • Authors: William Smith, Henry Wace
  • Publisher: Little, Brown, and Company
  • Volumes: 4
  • Pages: 4,122

William Smith (1813–1893) was educated in classical literature, Greek, and Latin before turning his attention to lexicography. Smith was the editor of five subject dictionaries, including the Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography,the Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, and Smith’s Bible Dictionary. He was the editor of the Quarterly Review from 1867 until his death.

Henry Wace (1836–1924) was a professor of ecclesiastical history at King’s College London.


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  1. MattGZat



    I have found this to be a storehouse of information. There are Latin quotes that are not translated which are minimal when compared to the many that appear only in english. Much like Logos the authors include relevant quotes and their sources.An example - and a personal favorite - "In the words of St. Cyprian: “If any were able to escape who were outside the ark, he may, who is outside the church” (De Unit. Eccl. c. 6)." Of course, all the refinement of being a Logos resource is tied into it. This is more of an encyclopedia than a dictionary! I bought it because of the material that is otherwise inaccessible and/or unknown. A word to the frugal among us: check to see what 'package' this might be found in before simply buying this resource!


Print list price: $99.99
Save $65.00 (65%)