As Christianity crossed national and cultural borders and the number of believers multiplied, the religion showed its revolutionary potential and threatened Roman authority. To suppress the growing faith, the Roman government persecuted Christians in brutal ways.
It’s extremely important to know the context and stories behind Christianity’s early years. Here are seven books to guide you:
1. The Early Persecutions of the Christians
Leon Hardy Canfield walks you through topics like the legal basis of early persecutions, the persecution of Christians under Nero and Trajan, and more. This is a great, broad study on the persecutions faced by the early church.
2. Persecution in the Early Church: A Chapter in the History of Renunciation
This book examines the legal, historical, ecclesiastical, and experiential aspects of the early persecutions of Christians, emphasizing “those aspects of the inner life of the church which led to persecution.”
3. Christianity and the Roman Government: A Study in Imperial Administration
This book takes a close look at Roman history, allowing you to get a feel for what happened on both sides of the conflict.
4. The Conflict of Christianity with Heathenism
Based on the best in early-twentieth-century scholarship, this resource offers valuable insight into the struggles between early Christians and pagans.
5. The Valerian Persecution: A Study of the Relations between Church and State in the Third Century A. D.
Patrick J. Healy examines the conflict between Christianity and Rome in light of scholarship that reveals its roots in state policy and administration. In doing so, he illuminates the magnitude of the challenges early Christians faced in spreading a message with the power to revolutionize Rome and the world.
6. The Decian Persecution
One of few resources of its kind, this book follows the persecution of Christians under the rule of Emperor Decius.
7. The Persecution of Diocletian: A Historical Essay
Built around a paper that won the Hulsean Essay Prize in 1874, this resource presents a vivid picture of the Diocletian persecution and offers several innovative interpretations of the period’s historical records.
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You don’t have to go out and buy all these books on their own. Right now, you can pre-order the Classic Studies on Persecution in Early Christianity collection, which gives you all seven titles, for just $69.95—that’s 30% off! Pre-order yours now.
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