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J. N. D. Kelly’s Early Christian Doctrines and Creeds (2 vols.)

, 1977–2006
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Since they were first published, Early Christian Creeds and Early Christian Doctrines have been considered standard texts on the development of early Christianity. With great detail and clarity and abundant research to support his claims, the works of J. N. D. Kelly remain valuable to students, pastors, teachers, and anyone interested in the history and formation of the faith.

Early Christian Creeds outlines the development of the creeds and describes their theological underpinnings. This volume includes discussions of creeds created by early Church Fathers like Irenaeus and Tertullian, the Old Roman Creed, Western and Eastern creeds, The Nicene Creed and its meaning, synodal creeds, and finally, the Apostles’ Creed. Early Christian Doctrines describes the formulation of doctrines during the first major period of Christian thought and describes historical backgrounds in detail. Kelly addresses topics such as the formation of the canon, the Apostolic Fathers, third-century Trinitarianism, Christology, the Sacraments, and more.

With Logos Bible Software, Scripture references link directly to the Bibles in your library—both the original-language texts and English translations. Clicking any word opens your lexicons to the relevant entry, and you can quickly move from the table of contents to your desired section or search entire volumes and collections by topic, title, or Scripture reference.

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  • Presents detailed accounts of the development of Christian doctrine
  • Includes theological explanations and historical context
  • Describes the origins of creeds from the New Testament era to the formulation of the Apostles’ Creed
  • Title: J. N. D. Kelly’s Early Christian Doctrines and Creeds
  • Author: J. N. D. Kelly
  • Publisher: Continuum
  • Volumes: 2
  • Pages: 988
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Early Christian Doctrines

  • Authors: J. N. D. Kelly
  • Edition: 5th
  • Publisher: Continuum
  • Publication Date: 2000
  • Pages: 528

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

This volume presents a history of doctrines of the Early Church, written and arranged with exceptional clarity by a leading patristic scholar. J. N. D. Kelly describes the development of the principal Christian doctrines from the close of the first century to the middle of the fifth, and from the end of the apostolic age to the council of Chalcedon. The doctrines of the Trinity, the authority of the Bible and tradition, the nature of Christ, salvation, original sin and grace, and the sacraments are all extensively treated in these pages.

This book is a clear, precise . . . account of the early history of Christian doctrine. It is invaluable for an understanding of the formative period when the main lines of Christian dogma were laid down; and it presents a balanced picture of the early controversies in light of modern scholarship.

—Cyril C. Richardson, former professor, Union Theological Seminary

Early Christian Creeds

  • Authors: J. N. D. Kelly
  • Edition: 3rd
  • Publisher: Continuum
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Pages: 460

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

This work is a comprehensive study of both the well- and the lesser-known creeds. J. N. D. Kelly presents the rise, development, and use of formularies in the creative centuries of the church’s history. The book opens with an examination of creedal elements in the New Testament and continues with an enquiry into the relation of creeds to the rite of baptism. Kelly then studies the evidence for ‘the rule of faith’ in the second century, discusses the old Roman Creed, and finally, considers the creeds of the Eastern Church and their relation to Western creeds and to those propounded by the fourth-century councils. He pays particular attention to the Council of Nicaea and the Nicene Creed.

In addition, there is a lengthy and largely original reconstruction of the expansion of the Roman Creed and its acceptance throughout Europe as the present Apostles’ Creed. This valuable work emphasizes the liturgical setting of ancient creeds and elucidates their contextual theology.

. . . the standard work on creedal formularies.

The Tablet

J. N. D. Kelly was principal of St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, from 1951 to 1979. He authored The Pastoral Epistles and The Epistles of Peter and Jude for Black’s New Testament Commentaries as well as Jerome, The Oxford Dictionary of Popes, and Golden Mouth.


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Collection value: $89.90
Save $33.91 (37%)