Before looking at various categories consider these ten titles of special significance for the study of the church’s past that were published in the United States during the last half of 1977 and the first half of 1978.

The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church edited by E. A. Livingstone (Oxford) is a skillfully done abridgement of the 1974 second edition of one of the standards in its field. School libraries should have the unabridged edition (which includes extensive bibliographies), but most individuals and congregations will find the concise edition adequate. The New International Dictionary of the Christian Church (1974, Zondervan), a revised edition of which is just out, remains our first choice for this type of reference tool, but the concise Oxford Dictionary makes a good second choice.

What do you expect from a title like The Christians? Well in this case one has a pictorial feast illustrating the diversity within Christianity from its beginnings to the present. Author Bamber Gascoigne’s text, striving for neutrality, is not particularly distinguished, but the ancient reproductions and the modern photographs, mostly by his wife, Christina, make the book worth acquiring. The publisher is Morrow.

Two three-volume sets are massive treatments of their respective topics and belong in all theological libraries. Both were originally in French and have previously appeared in British editions but are here mentioned because they have found American publishers: A History of Christian Spirituality by Louis Bouyer (Seabury) and A History of Early Christian Doctrine Before the Council of Nicaea by Jean Daniélou (Westminster).

Of at least as much importance to students of the New Testament as of the early church is The ...

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