Fascinating History Marred By Prooftexting And Dearth Of Bibliography. This was an utterly fascinating look at the first few hundred years of the Christian Church as it related to its world’s dominant government – and religion. I genuinely learned quite a bit from reading this book, and Gupta kept the overall tone scholarly enough to be sufficiently serious without going into pretentiousness. Indeed, the *only* problems I had here, that are automatic star deductions when I encounter them, are the rampant prooftexting – the practice of citing Bible verses out of context in order to “prove” a particular point – and the dearth of a bibliography, clocking in at just 12% or so of the overall text when 20-30% is more normal in my experience across hundreds of nonfiction titles over the last several years. Even with being more willing to at least *slightly* lower that given more recent experiences, 12% is still simply too low.
But for anyone interested in the history of the early Church, for any reason: read this book. Christians, no matter your bent, read this book and consider its words in relation to your existing governments and their religions.
Very much recommended.