Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford University Press).  Especially strong in Patristics and in the Anglican Church. An indispensable reference for new research.

The New International Dictionary of the Christian Church (Zondervan).  Especially strong in American and evangelical church history.

The New Catholic Encyclopedia.  What is new about this reference work is that it was revised after the Vatican II conference.

Protestant Denominational Encyclopedias (Methodist, Lutheran, Baptist, Mennonite).  A convenient starting point for gleaning a confessional perspective on a topic.


Bainton, Roland.  Christianity.  A brilliant one volume history.

Edwards, David L.  Christianity: The First Two Thousand Years.

Gonzalez, Justo L.  The Story of Christianity, 2 vols.

Kerr, Hugh T.  Readings in Christian Thought.

Latourette, Kenneth Scott.  A History of the Expansion of Christianity.  Older and somewhat dry, but still a very usable standard survey in seven volumes.

Hussey, J. M.  The Orthodox Church in the Byzantine Empire.

Lohse, Bernhard.  A Short History of Christian Doctrine.  Somewhat technical but very readable history of theology by a capable German scholar.

McIntire, C. T.  God, History and Historians.

McManners, John.  The Oxford Illustrated History of Christianity.  Modern, glossy, seven hundred page history with each chapter contributed by a widely recognized specialist.

Monk, Robert C.  Exploring Christianity: An Introduction.  Slender volume intended for use as an introduction to Christianity text contains many good treatments of selected themes.

Moynahan, Brian.  The Faith: A History of Christianity.

Neill, Stephen.  A Short History of Christian Missions.

Schaff, Philip.  A History of the Christian Church.  Seven volume standard work.

Shelley, Bruce L.  Church History in Plain Language.

Walker, Williston.  A History of the Christian Church.

Jesus Studies:

Borg, Marcus J.  Jesus:  A New Vision.

_____.  Jesus and Buddha:  The Parallel Sayings.

_____.  Jesus at 2000.

_____.  Jesus in Contemporary Scholarship.

_____.  Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time.

_____.  The Lost Gospel Q:  The Original Sayings of Jesus.

_____.  The Meaning of Jesus:  Two Visions.

Borsch, Frederick Houk.  Many Things in Parables.

Brown, Raymond E.  The Birth of the Messiah.

Buechner, Frederick.  The Faces of Jesus.

Cameron, Ron.  The Other Gospels:  Non-Canonical Gospel Texts.

Carlson, Jeffrey.  Jesus and Faith:  A Conversation on the Work of John Dominic Crossan.

Cartlidge, David R.  Documents for the Study of the Gospels.

Charlesworth, James H.  Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls.

_____.  Jesus Two Thousand Years Later.

_____.  Jesus’ Jewishness:  Exploring the Place of Jesus in Early Judaism.

_____.  Jesus Within Judaism.

_____.  Hillel and Jesus:  Comparisons of Two Major Religious Leaders.

Copan, Paul.  Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?

Crossan, John Dominic.  The Birth of Christianity:  Discovering What Happened in the Years Immediately After the Execution of Jesus.

_____.  The Historical Jesus:  The Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant.

_____.  Who Is Jesus?

_____.  Who Killed Jesus:  Exposing the Roots of Anti-Semitism in the Gospel Story of The Death of Jesus.

Dart, John.  The Jesus of Heresy and History.

Ehrman, Bart D.  Jesus:  Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium.

Eisenman, Robert.  James the Brother of Jesus.

Fredriksen, Paula.  From Jesus to Christ:  The Origins of the New Testament Images of Jesus.

_____.  Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews:  A Jewish Life and the Emergence of Christianity.

Funk, Robert W.  Honest to Jesus:  Jesus for a New Millennium.

Grant, Robert M.  Jesus After the Gospels:  The Christ of the Second Century.

Griffith-Jones, Robin.  The Four Witnesses.

Haskins, Susan.  Mary Magadalen:  Myth and Metaphor.

Johnson, Luke Timothy.  Living Jesus:  Learning the Heart of the Gospel.

_____.  The Real Jesus:  The Misguided Quest for the Historical Jesus and the Truth of the Traditional Gospels.

Koester, Helmut.  Ancient Christian Gospels:  Their History and Development.

Loya, Joseph A.  The Tao of Jesus:  An Experiment in Inter-traditional Understanding.

Mack, Burton L.  The Lost Gospel:  The Book of Q and Christian Origins.

Malina, Bruce J.  The Social World of Jesus and the Gospels.

Martin, Raymond.  The Elusive Messiah:  A Philosophical Overview of the Quest for the Historical Jesus.

Meier, John P.  A Marginal Jew:  Rethinking the Historical Jesus.

Meyer, Marvin W.  The Secret Teachings of Jesus:  Four Gnostic Gospels.

_____.  The Gospel of Thomas:  The Hidden Sayings of Jesus.

Miller, John W.  Jesus at Thirty:  A Psychological and Historical Portrait.

Murphy, Frederick J.  The Religious World of Jesus:  An Introduction to Second Temple Palestinian Judaism.

Pagels, Elaine.  The Gnostic Gospels.

Parrinder, Geoffrey.  Jesus in the Qur’an.

Riley, Gregory J.  One Jesus, Many Christs:  How Jesus Inspired Not One True Christianity, But Many.

Rousseau, John J.  Jesus and His World:  An Archaeological and Cultural Dictionary.

Rowland, Christopher.  Christian Origins:  From Messianic Movement to Christian Religion.

Sanders, E. P.  Jesus and Judaism.

Shorto, Russell.  Gospel Truth:  The New Image of Jesus Emerging from Science and History and Why It Matters.

Smith, Morton.  Jesus the Magician.

Spong, John Shelby.  Liberating the Gospels:  Reading the Gospels with Jewish Eyes.

Stanton, Graham N.  The Gospels and Jesus.

Stegemann, Ekkehard W.  The Jesus Movement: A Social History of Its First Century.

Stern, Richard C.  Savior on the Silver Screen.

Theissen, Gerd.  The Historical Jesus:  A Comprehensive Guide.

Throckmorton, Burton H.  Gospel Parallels: A Comparison of The Synoptic Gospels.

Vermes, Geza.  Jesus the Jew:  A Historians Reading of the Gospels.

_____.  The Religion of Jesus the Jew.

Wilson, A. N.  Jesus:  A Life.

Wright, N. T.  Jesus and the Victory of God.

Wroe, Ann.  Pontius Pilate.

Wylen, Stephen M.  The Jews in the Time of Jesus.

Zeitlin, Irving.  Jesus and the Judaism of His Time.

Early Church:

Chadwick, Henry.  The Early Church.

Cochran, Charles.  Christianity and Classical Culture.

Fox, Robin Lane.  Pagans and Christians.

Frend, W. H. C.  The Rise of Christianity.

Kelly, J. N. D.  Early Christian Doctrines.

Lietzmann, Hans.  A History of the Early Church.

Pelikan, Jaroslav.  Christianity and Classical Culture.

Richardson, Cyril.  Early Christian Fathers.

Rowland, Christopher.  Christian Origins.

Schmeman, A.  The Historical Road of Eastern Orthodoxy.

Tesell, Eugene.  Augustine the Theologian.

Medieval Church:

Bainton, Roland.  The Medieval Church.

Barraclough, Geoffrey.  The Medieval Papacy.

Brown, Peter.  Augustine of Hippo.

Gilson, Etienne.  Reason and Revelation in the Middle Ages.

Grenet, Paul.  Thomism: An Introduction.

Hoyt, Robert.  Europe in the Middle Ages.

Runciman, Steven.  A History of the Crusades, 3 vols.

Stacy, John.  John Wycliffe and Reform.

Taylor, H. O.  The Medieval Mind.

Reformation Era:

Aland, Kurt.  Four Reformers: Luther, Melancthon, Calvin, Zwingli.

Althaus, Paul.  The Theology of Martin Luther.

Atkinson, James.  The Great Light: Luther and the Reformation.

Bender, H. S.  The Anabaptists and Religious Liberty in the Sixteenth Century.

Dickens, A. G.  The English Reformation.

Kendall, R. T.  Calvin and English Calvinism to 1649.

Spitz, Lewis W.  The Renaissance and Reformation Movements, 2 volumes.

Modern Era:

Ahlstrom, Sydney E.  A Religious History of the American People.

Barth, Karl.  Theology in the Nineteenth Century.

Dawson, Christopher.  The Gods of Revolution: An analysis of the French Revolution.

Glick, Wayne G.  A Short Life of Kierkegaard.

Hazard, Paul.  European Thought in the Eighteenth Century.

_____.  The European Mind.

Latourette, K. S.  Christianity in a Revolutionary Age.

Marsden, George M.  Fundamentalism and American Culture:  The Shaping of Twentieth Century Evangelicalism.

_____.  Religion and American Culture.

Marty, Martin E.  Pilgrims in Their Own Land.

Noll, Mark.  A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada.

Orr, J. Edwin.  The Light of the Nations:  19th Century Revivals.

Pelikan, Jaroslav.  The Riddle of Roman Catholicism.

Rouse, Ruth.  A History of Ecumenical Thought.

Stoeffler, F. E.  The Rise of Evangelical Pietism.

Tuttle, Robert C.  John Wesley: His Life and Theology.