B.H. Streeter on the Origins of Christian Ministry

B.H. Streeter, The Primitive Church Studied with Special Reference to the Origins of the Christian MinistryBurnett Hillman Streeter [1874-1937] is probably best remembered for his work on the Synoptic problem (available here). In this study of the the early church’s ministry he argues that the evidence portrays a diversity in church structures. My thanks to Book Aid’s London bookshop for providing me with a copy of this book to digitise. This title is in the public domain.

B.H. Streeter, The Primitive Church Studied with Special Reference to the Origins of the Christian Ministry. The Hewitt Lectures, 1928. London: MacMillan & Co., Ltd., 1930. Hbk. pp.312. [Click to download complete book in PDF]



  1. History and Legend
  2. The Apostles and the Churches
  3. The Evolution of Church Order in the New Testament
  4. The Church of Syria
  5. The Church of Rome
  6. Alexandria nd the Patriarchates


A. Pionius’ Life of Polycarp
B. The Letters of Ignatius and Polycarp
C. Origin and date of the “Didache”
D. Irenaeus and the Early Popes
E. A Gnostic Hymn

Index of Names
Index of Subjects


When I first began to read Theology more than thirty years ago, I found Church History, so dull-especially after reading Greek and Roman history for ‘Greats’ – that I dropped the subject, and offered for examination Textual Criticism instead. I discovered later what the matter was; it was not that’ Church’ history was dull, but that what was then presented to me as such was not really history. Whether the present volume is dull, or even history, it will be for others to pronounce. I only know that I have enjoyed the writing of it – the hue and cry after new discovery, the following up of hitherto unnoticed clues, the delimitation of conflicting tendencies, envisaging the interaction between personality and circumstance in testing situations, noting the intermittent ironies emergent in all things human. [Continue reading]

Rob Bradshaw

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Rob Bradshaw

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