A New Eusebius has held an unrivaled position as the standard source book for students of the early patristic period. Stevenson has gathered an impressive compilation of documents, including the Martyrdom of James, the Flight of the Christians from Jerusalem, and Persecution by Domitian, from such writers as Eusebius, Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Polycarp, Justin, and Irenaeus. These primary sources, covering church history up to AD 337, are invaluable for those who desire to understand early church history. In this new edition, Professor W.H.C. Frend has incorporated vital documents that were not available when the original collection was compiled. The notes and references have been amended and updated where necessary, and the entire book has been restructured with documents grouped under helpful subject headings which follow a broadly chronological sequence.
“For we see that you have removed certain men of good behaviour from a ministry blamelessly and honourably fulfilled.” (Page 9)
“For though we are beheaded, and crucified, and exposed to beasts and chains and fire and all other forms of torture, it is plain that we do not forsake the confession of our faith, but the more things of this kind happen to us so much the more are there many others who become believers and truly religious through the name of Jesus. Just as when one cuts away the parts of a vine that have borne fruit, it so bursts forth that other flourishing and fruitbearing branches shoot up—in that very way is it also with us. For the vine that has been planted by God, and Christ the Saviour, is his people.” (Page 59)
“Owing to the sudden and repeated misfortunes and calamities which have befallen us, brethren, we are somewhat late, we think, in concerning ourselves with the matters disputed among you, beloved, and with the sedition, so alien and out of place in God’s elect, so abominable and impious, which a few impetuous and obstinate persons have enkindled to such a pitch of frenzy that your revered and famous 2 name, deservedly loved of all men, has been greatly reviled. For who that stayed with you did not make proof of your virtuous and firm faith? did not marvel at your discreet and gentle piety in Christ? did not proclaim the magnificent character of your hospitality? did not praise your perfect and secure knowledge?” (Page 7)
“‘Swear, and I release you; curse Christ.’ And Polycarp said, ‘Eighty-six years have I served him, and he has done me no wrong: how then can I blaspheme my King who saved me?’” (Page 25)
Here is a first-rate introduction to the history and doctrine of the early Church, a work of scholarship which will serve theologians and historians alike for a long time to come.
—Church of England Newspaper
This book can be warmly recommended to anyone who wishes to learn from primary sources the story of the Early Church.
Mark Keith Hillis