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DavidH
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« on: September 19, 2013, 11:41:10 PM »

I have been asked by someone for a book recommendation that shows our claim as Orthodox to have an unbroken theological link to the early church.

What would be the best book to recommend, he has already read The Orthodox Church by Ware and wants something along the lines of patristic quotes showing the early Christians believed what we believe. Here is how he put it:

"Do you know of a Church History written from an Eastern Orthodox viewpoint? I'd be interested in investigating the "historically unbroken" claim."

And, "I am aware of Ware's book and am familiar with the highlights already. I am more interested in something that points out distinctives and further elaborated the claims of Orthodox as to "historically unbroken."

Any ideas for an inquirer?
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Mor Ephrem
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« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2013, 12:00:46 AM »

My initial impression, upon reading the words "an unbroken theological link to the early Church", is to recommend The Mystery of Christ and/or The Way to Nicaea, both by Fr John Behr. 
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« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2013, 02:24:53 AM »

Try reading early holy fathers, then go further and further and further through time and you will notice, what changes?
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« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2013, 02:26:47 AM »

also, there are quite a few "church history" books written by byzantine monks/historians if you like, but not sure how many are translated.

Church history, as in they go from (sometimes Adam to) Christ and go all the way to their present day. Sometimes, adding to previous writings after the time has moved on, in order to continue the writings.

cyrillic probably knows more about those kinds of books.

i will try to look for some of them in the mean time
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« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2013, 02:59:03 AM »

Ok here is an example:

George Hamartolos, byzantine monk

His second book is dedicated to church history. But I don't know where to find a translation of it.

It appears, that church history chronicles fell out of fashion around the 13th century and none more were created

Also, it seems more scholarly research on byzantine chroniclers and their books are german, not much on english translations or scholarship.

Cyrillic! halp!
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« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2013, 04:36:52 AM »

There are, of course, the Church Histories written in the Early Church which, of course, show that the early Church was not Roman Catholic or Protestant but Orthodox. Here are some of them:

  Eusebius of Caesarea - Ecclesiastical Histories
  Sozomen - Ecclesiastical Histories
  Theodoret - Ecclesiastical Histories
  Evagrius Scholasticus  - Ecclesiastical Histories
 
Then you have the more modern ones.

  Aristeides Papadakis - The Christian East and the Rise of the Papacy
  Aristeides Papadakis - Crisis in Byzantium
  Andrew Louth - Greek East and Latin West
 
Another book I really recommend:

  Vladimir Lossky - The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church

There are a lot more, of course, but these would be a nice start.
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« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2013, 04:52:37 AM »

also, there are quite a few "church history" books written by byzantine monks/historians if you like, but not sure how many are translated.

Very few of them are

Church history, as in they go from (sometimes Adam to) Christ and go all the way to their present day. Sometimes, adding to previous writings after the time has moved on, in order to continue the writings.

John Malalas did that. But his work is mostly nonsense or copied from earlier writers. Byzantine (secular) writers in general, with the possible exception of Nicetas Chroniates, are to be avoided. The books listed in the post above are more helpful.
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« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2013, 08:34:43 AM »

Thanks for the suggestions- I think what he is looking for is something written by a modern Orthodox Christian that says this is what we believe about our doctrinal distinctives and here are the early Fathers teaching the same thing.
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« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2013, 01:03:03 PM »

My initial impression, upon reading the words "an unbroken theological link to the early Church", is to recommend The Mystery of Christ and/or The Way to Nicaea, both by Fr John Behr. 
Fr. John is modern (current dean of St. Vladimir's Seminary).
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« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2013, 01:48:05 PM »

He's even alive! 
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« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2013, 01:53:00 PM »

He's even alive! 

I forgot to write "Not the current zombie dean of SVS."  Grin
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« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2013, 08:12:43 PM »

Not a book, but you may want to listen to Fr Thomas Hopko's Series on Bishops at ancient faith radio.
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