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The Early Church at Work and Worship:

Volume 1: Ministry, Ordination, Covenant, and Canon

By Everett Ferguson

The Early Church at Work and Worship

The Early Church at Work and Worship:

Volume 1: Ministry, Ordination, Covenant, and Canon

By Everett Ferguson

Essays on the practices of the early church by a leading scholar, focussing on aspects of ministry, ordination and the emergence of the canon.

Trade Information: JPOD
Available as: Paperback, PDF

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Print Paperback

ISBN: 9780227174890

Specifications: 229x153mm (9x6in), 352pp

Published: August 2014


PDF eBook

ISBN: 9780227903742

Specifications: 311pp

Published: August 2014

Many recognise Everett Ferguson as the definitive voice on early Christianity, patristic writing and ecclesiology. The Early Church at Work and Worship is a challenging collection, broad in scope and formidable in depth.

This is the first volume of Ferguson's collected essays, which include some of his most memorable work, especially on "laying on of hands". Practices of Ordination and attitudes to religious schism in antiquity are analysed by the scholar in this collection, which not only includes articles and publications from various sources, but also previously unpublished material.


1. Images of the Church in Early Christian Literature
2. Attitudes to Schism at the Council of Nicaea
3. A Note on Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses IV.8.3
4. Ordination in the Ancient Church, I: Greek, Roman, and Jewish Backgrounds
5. Ordination in the Ancient Church, II: The Ceremony of Ordination
6. Ordination in the Ancient Church, III: Ordination in the Second and Third Centuries
7. Ordination and the Early Church, IV: Ordination in the First Century
8. Selection and Installation to Office in Roman, Greek, Jewish, and Christian Antiquity
9. Jewish and Christian Ordination: Some Observations
10. Qumran and Codex D
11. Origen and the Election of Bishops
12. Eusebius and Ordination
13. Laying on of Hands: Its Significance in Ordination
14. The Covenant Idea in the Second Century
15. Justin Martyr on Jews, Christians, and the Covenant
16. Canon Muratori: Date and Provenance
17. The Muratorian Fragment and the Canon: Review of Hahneman
18. Pseudepigraphy: Post-Canonical Letters
19. Factors Leading to the Selection and Closure of the New Testament Canon

Index of Ancient Documents
Index of Subjects

Everett Ferguson is Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Abilene Christian University. He was editor of The Encyclopedia of Early Christianity (2nd ed, 1997) and is author of many works including Early Christians Speak (2 volumes, 1999, 2002); Backgrounds of Early Christianity (3rd ed, 2003); Inheriting Wisdom: Readings for Today from Ancient Christian Writers (2004); Church History, Vol. 1: From Christ to Pre-Reformation (2005); and Baptism in the Early Church: History, Theology, and Liturgy in the First Five Centuries (2009). Ferguson received the "Distinguished Service Award" from the North American Patristics Society (2008) and the "Vestigia Award for Excellence in Early Christian Studies and Service to the Church" from the Wheaton Center for Early Christian Studies (2002).

These essays, spanning four decades of Ferguson's scholarship, sum up major discussions of ministry and canon in early Christianity. Especially useful for exploring the terminology surrounding ordination, these essays are vintage Ferguson. Elizabeth A. Clark, Professor of Religion, Duke University, North Carolina
This volume contains much insight and common sense in a field beset by rival theories. Liviu Barbu, in The Expository Times, Vol 127, No 6