Summary

The writings that make up the New Testament stand at the very foundation of Christianity. But while Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the other books of the New Testament are known to almost everyone, the writings that Christians produced in the decades that followed these earliest compositions remain shrouded in virtual anonymity. Who were the Apostolic Fathers? Why were they given that name? And what windows into the shaping of Christianity's canon, church hierarchy, and creed are opened for us with an understanding of works that include the letters of 1 Clement or Ignatius, the Didache of the Apostles, or the Letter to Diognetus?
These 24 lectures introduce what is considered the most important collection of post-New Testament writings. Although largely unknown and unread, these writings provide a treasure trove of insights into Christianity, and they are crucial to understanding the development of a religion that was shaped largely outside the pages of the New Testament itself.
From the struggle for power and the beginnings of church hierarchy to electrifying 19th-century discoveries, this course is an extremely useful addition to the shelves of anyone who is fascinated by the history of ancient Christianity and its evolution into the dominant religion it is today.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.
©2005 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2005 The Great Courses
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Michael on 01-11-17

Helpful, biased, informative, broad

I'm impressed with Ehrman's breadth, but his depth is lacking. He manages to give an overview of a vast range of topics, but he often selects narrow possibilities and makes them probabilities and then builds whole theories on them, without properly considering other options or acknowledging the potential flaws in his conclusions. But overall I enjoyed hearing his insights into the writings of the earliest Apostolic fathers and their impact on the development of early Christianity.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Brandon on 11-11-15

Intriguing and engaging

I found this lecture series to be a really helpful guide into early Christianity in terms of development of doctrine, hierarchy, and the rise of orthodoxy. While he may challenge certain people's faith through the lecture, I think the work is in the end a growing experience for both the believer and nonbeliever.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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