The Mission and Expansion of Christianity in the First Three Centuries

by Adolf Harnack free ebooks/ english

No monograph has yet been devoted to the mission and spread of the Christian religion during the first three centuries of our era. For the earliest period of church history we have sketches of the historical development of dogma and of the relation of the church to the state—the latter including Neumann’s excellent volume. But the missionary history has always been neglected, possibly because writers have been discouraged by the difficulty of bringing the material to the surface and getting it arranged, or by the still more formidable difficulties of collecting and sifting the geographical data and statistics. The following pages are a first attempt, and for it I bespeak a kindly judgment. My successors, of whom there will be no lack, will be able to improve upon it.
I have one or two preliminary remarks to make, by way of explanation. The primitive history of the church’s missions lies buried in legend; or rather, it has been replaced by a history (which is strongly marked by tendency) of what is alleged to have happened in the course of a few decades throughout every country on the face of the earth. free ebooks/ english