Schaff’s History of the Christian Church
This week I happened to come across PDFs of each of the volumes in a classic church history text, History of the Christian Church by Philip Schaff. Dr. Schaff was born in Switzerland, educated in Germany, and taught primarily in the United States; he was Reformed in his thought and doctrine. His history text (written between 1858 and 1890), in my opinion, is fair and balanced in how he presents the various factions and parties in Christendom. My biggest regret about the text is that he stopped at the German and Swiss Reformations, around the time of Beza.
CCEL has a very good version available in HTML here, at History of the Christian Church – but if you prefer PDFs here are the various volumes that I have been able to locate:
- Volume I (A.D. 1–100)
- Volume II (A.D. 100–311)
- Volume III (A.D. 311-590)
- Volume IV (A.D. 590-1048)
- Volume V (part 1) (A.D. 1049-1294)
- Volume V (part 2) (A.D. 1294-1517)
- Volume VI (The German Reformation)
- Volume VII (The Swiss Reformation)
At some point in time the volume numbers have changed so the volumes as reprinted today are numbered I – VIII (parts 1 and 2 of Volume V became Volumes V and VI respectively) but as far as I know there is not a major difference in content. If you are looking for a good church history text, Schaff’s is not bad at all.