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The History and Literature of the Early Church

Format: Digital


This volume is comprised of the revised and expanded lectures on early church history that James Orr originally delivered as professor of church history at the United Presbyterian College, Edinburgh. In 180 packed pages, Orr surveys the history and literature of the Christian church up to Constantine. Includes a detailed table of contents, helpful notes, a table of Roman emperors, and two appendixes with additional material. Lectures include:

  • The Jewish and Gentile Preparations
  • The Creative Beginning: Jesus on Kingdom and Church
  • The Apostolic Age and Later Jewish Christianity
  • Gentile Christianity: Nero to Domitian (AD 64–96)
  • The Age of the Apostolic Fathers (AD 96–117)
  • The Age of the Apologists (AD 117–180)
  • The Age of the Apologists: Gnostiscm and Montanism (AD 117–180)
  • The Age of the Old Catholic Fathers (AD 180–250)
  • The Age of the Great Persecutions: Victory of Christianity (AD 250–324)
Professor Orr has given an interesting, sound, scholarly, well-proportioned sketch, reflecting the latest knowledge—a book that can be cordially commended as giving the facts at once impartially and attractively.

Methodist Review

The breadth of Dr. Orr’s learning and the sobriety of his judgment render it a very admirable guide to opinion through the mazes of this difficult period.

The Presbyterian and Reformed Review

  • Title: The History and Literature of the Early Church
  • Author: James Orr
  • Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
  • Publication Date: 1913
  • Pages: 180

James Orr (1844–1913) was minister of the East Bank United Presbyterian Church in Hawick, Scotland, from 1874–1891, and professor of church history in the Theological College of the United Presbyterian Church of Scotland from 1874–1901. From 1901, he was professor of apologetics and theology at Glasgow College of the United Free Church. He was among the chief promoters for the union between the Free and United Presbyterian Churches in Scotland. He lectured at seminaries all over the world and was a prolific writer and editor.

Orr served as the editor for the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, 1915 Edition, contributed four volumes to the The Pulpit Commentary, and is featured in The Fundamentals (4 vols.).