Early Christians in Disarray

Contemporary LDS Perspectives on the Christian Apostasy

This book takes a fresh look at the apostasy of the early Christian church. Most Latter-day Saint scholars and leaders previously based their understanding of the Christian apostasy on the findings of Protestant scholars who provided a seemingly endless array of evidences of apostasy in Christian history.

Since the classic treatments of this topic were written, many newly discovered manuscripts written during the first Christian centuries have come to light, giving a clearer picture of what the early Christian experience was like. Drawing on this material, LDS scholars today are able to shift the focus of study to the causes of the apostasy rather than the effects.

This volume of essays reports new research by several LDS scholars in different fields. They identify common myths and misconceptions about the apostasy and promote better understanding of when and why the apostasy occurred.


Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • About the Authors
  • Introduction: What Went Wrong for the Early Christians?
  • Inheriting the "Great Apostasy": The Evolution of Latter-day Saint Views on the Middle Ages and the Renaissance
  • A World in Darkness — Early Latter-day Saint Understanding of the Apostasy, 1830–1834
  • Modern Revelation: A Guide to Research about the Apostasy
  • The Concept of Apostasy in the New Testament
  • The Corruption of Scripture in Early Christianity
  • The Introduction of Philosophy into Early Christianity
  • Divine Embodiment: The Earliest Christian Understanding of God
  • The Decline of Covenant in Early Christian Thought
  • Appendix A: Guide to Important Christian Documents and Writers for the Early Christian Church to the Reformation
  • Appendix B: Christian Councils
  • Appendix C: New Testament Evidences and Prophecies of Apostasy in the First-Century Church
  • Appendix D: Bibliographical Note on Latter-day Saint Writings on the Apostasy
  • Citation Index
  • Subject Index
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Publication Information

  • Publication Year: 2005
  • Language: English,
  • ISBN 13: 978-0934893022
  • Page Count: 418
  • Price: $ 19.95
  • Imprint: Brigham Young University Press

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The views expressed here and in Maxwell Institute publications are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Maxwell Institute, Brigham Young University, or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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