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About the Author
Paul L. Maier is the Russell H. Seibert Professor of Ancient History at Western Michigan University. In 1984 he was named "Professor of the Year" as one of America's twenty-five finest educators. His other works include the award-winning Josephus: The Essential Works, Eusebius: The Church History; In the Fullness of Time; Pontius Pilate; and The Flames of Rome.
Read an Excerpt
If Herodotus is the father of history, then Eusebius of Caesarea (c. A.D. 260-339) is certainly the father of church history. He was the first to undertake the task of tracing the rise of Christianity during its crucial first three centuries from Christ to Constantine. Since no other ancient author tried to cover the same period, Eusebius is our principal primary source for earliest Christianity, and his Church History is the cornerstone chronicle on which later historians would build. The Jewish historian Flavius Josephus provides fascinating addenda to our information about the people, places, and events of the biblical world, and Eusebius does the same for the period up to A.D. 324.
What happened to Jesus' apostles later in life? Did Simon Peter ever to go Rome? Where did John spend the rest of his days? Did Paul survive his trial before Nero? When were the Gospels written? Who wrote them, and where? How did the New Testament canon develop? Why and how were the early Christians persecuted? These questions and many more involve an era no longer covered by the New Testament and could hardly be answered were it not for Eusebius.