CH305/505 Early Church History 30–451
This period of church history is perhaps the most significant of all. It is the time when the early Christians developed their understanding of the person of Christ, the Trinity, the Scriptures, the nature of the church and ministry. They faced enormous trials of physical persecution and the challenges of false teachings. During this time the creeds, the statements of what we believe, were hammered out and have been the standard of Christianity right through to today.
In studying Early Church History you will have a grounding in where all the key beliefs of Christianity originate, and how these apply today. “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it”. As we study the many heresies that came up in the first few centuries after Christ’s resurrection and ascension, and how the Church has dealt with them, you will be equipped to counter similar heresies in our own context today. (It is particularly helpful to have this historical understanding prior to studying any subjects in theology.)
Assessment will consist of a major essay and an exam.
Required Text Books
I. J. Davidson, The Birth of the Church: From Jesus to Constantine AD 30-312 (2004), and
A Public Faith: From Constantine to the Medieval World: AD 312-600 (2005).