8/28/10

DEVELOPMENT OF THE EARLY CHRISTIAN CHURCH

by Chris B. Hartshorn

The historical development of the Church in the early Christian Era is subject to numerous interpretations. The exact time and place is not known, but there is abundant testimony that a fellowship of believers, an organization of disciples, was in effect during the days of Jesus.

The tremendous growth of the Church and its widespread acceptance throughout the then known world started with this nucleus, and many of the historical facts of this era come to us through those writings in the Bible now known as the "Acts of the Apostles" and the "Epistles."

It is with these writings that the author deals in this volume. Only the events covered in the New Testament are included. The time and place of these events, though significant, are not given primary importance. Rather, the meaning and value of the Christian message for us today is emphasized as a knowledge of the conditions under which that message was originally written is revealed.

This book is made up of fifty chapters. It follows the Scriptures closely and provides a commentary on the important passages of the Acts and the Epistles in such a manner as to give a chronological overview of the events of this historical period. Naturally, theological concepts are discussed and interpreted by the author.

Each chapter has a section of questions for discussion, so it can be easily adapted to home study. A topical index will help the reader quickly find comment on subjects of special interest. This book will prove to be a valuable asset to those who are wanting to make preliminary studies of the New Testament period in relation to the basic Scriptures.