Sample Annotated Bibliography

Annotated Bibliography

Brown, Peter. The Rise of Western Christendom: Triumph and Diversity. A.D. 200-1000. 10th

anniv. Rev. Ed. Maiden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013.

This is the tenth edition of this book and was written by Peter Brown. He is

a celebrated Princeton scholar who is known as the creator of a field of study called,

“late antiquity.” This book provides a clear history of the rise and role of Christianity in

the making of Europe. It details the first thousand years of Christian history and is a

general survey of medieval European Christendom. It details the rise of an institution

that came to have great religious and secular power.

Cadbury, Henry Joel, “Lexical Notes on Luke-Acts: Recent Arguments for Language.”

Journal of Biblical Literature 45, no. 1-2 (1926): 190-209.

Henry Joel Cadbury was an American biblical scholar. He was also a historian, writer, and non-profit administrator. He was a graduate of Haverford College and was a Quaker and

agnostic throughout his life. He offered a report in 1912 of the alleged medical language

in Luke and Acts. This was in response to an 1882 listing of over 400 terms that W. K.

Hobart had listed as technical terms of medicine. The interesting thing here is that

Cadbury disputes that Luke used all of these medical technical terms. He said, “My reply

was that these examples, even the more select ones, could not be called technical, since

they were extensively used in writers who were not physicians” (Cadbury 1926, p. 190).

This source is important because takes a differing view point from that which is



generally accepted. He disputes the technical medical language of Luke and therefore

states that this can no longer be used to show that Luke was definitely the author.

Ferngren, Gary B. Medicine and Healthcare in Early Christianity. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins

University Press, 2009.

Gary Ferngren gives a complete historical account of medicine in the first five

centuries of Christianity. He describes how early Christians understood disease and

examines the relationship of early Christian medicine to the modes of healing found in

the Bible. He argues that early Christians generally accepted naturalistic assumptions

about disease and cared for the sick with medical knowledge gleaned from the Greeks

and Romans. He examines the origins of medical philanthropy in the early Christian

church. He states that early Christians did not view illness as punishment for sin.

Rather, they believed that the sick deserved both medical assistance and compassion.

Christians cared for the sick both within and outside of their community even while

suffering persecution. Their long experience in medical charity led to the creation of

the first hospitals which was a singular Christian contribution to health care.

Healy, John F. Pliny the Elder: Natural History. New York: Penguin Books, 2004.

John Healy put together a varied selection from Pliny’s Natural History work into a clear

and modern translation. Pliny the Elder was a Roman author, a naturalist and natural

philosopher, and a naval army commander of the early Roman empire. Pliny’s Natural

History is a great work that ranges from astronomy to art and from geography to

zoology. It gives a view of the world as it was understood in the first century. Books 20



through 32 focus on medicine and drugs. He discusses many medical recipes and

remedies that seem strange by modern standards. It is interesting that Pliny died while

investigating the volcanic eruption that destroyed Pompeii in A.D. 79. His work, Natural

History, was a highly influential book right up to the Renaissance. Pliny’s nephew, Pliny

the younger, described this book “as full of variety as nature itself.”

Heyne, Thomas. “Tertullian and Medicine.” Studia Patristica, no. 50 (2011): 131-174.

Thomas Heyne is a pediatric doctor and specializes in internal medicine. He graduated

from Dallas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, TX. He wrote an excellent thesis that

examined Tertullian and his influence on early medicine. Tertullian of Carthage is one of

the earliest known Christian authors to show a significant interest and knowledge of

ancient medicine. It is often alleged that Tertullian opposed medicine for Christians.

However, Heyne states that it is clear that Tertullian held physicians and medicine in

high regard. Pliny the Elder seemed to be one of Tertullian’s main source of medical

knowledge. Tertullian is the sole source for reconstructing Soranus’ work entitled De

Anima, which gives a remarkably detailed account of an abortion. He turned to some of

Soranus of Ephesus’ works later in his career and used them in arguments.

Love, John. “The Concept of Medicine in the Early Church.” The Linacre Quarterly 75, no. 3

(2008): 225-238.

John W. Love wrote this excellent piece about the concept of medicine in the early

church. This article attempts to reveal an important sample of early Christian thinking



about the nature and end of medicine. He asserts that part of the early Christian

experience with medicine is derived from Greek, Jewish, and Roman cultural influences.

These influences shaped the early church’s understanding of medicine. This

understanding was ultimately to become centered upon the healing Jesus Christ.

Oyemomi, Emmanuel. “The Challenges of the Concept of Medicine and Healing in the Gospel of

Luke for the Church in Africa.” Ogbomoso Journal of Theology 18, no. 3 (2013): 113-127.

Dr. Emmanuel Oyemomi graduated in 2007 from Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary

with a PhD in Biblical Studies. He is a highly regarded minister and lecturer. He states

that healing and health is a divine blessing for man, and that Jesus is all-out

compassionate on the sick and the down-trodden. The healing that Luke described

showed the great compassion of Jesus. He makes the point here that the church also

has that same responsibility. The church has the responsibility to rise up to the

challenges through the ministry of unity and cohesion to the Lord of the church. If the

church does this, he states that it will be able to take the battle to the gate of the enemy

and rescue Africa from corruption. What a great thought that every nation should

contemplate. Medicine and healing has always been needed in the church.

Pilch, John. Healing in the New Testament: Insights from Medical and Mediterranean

Anthropology. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2000.

John Pilch was born in Brooklyn, NY and received a PhD from Marquette University in

1972. He was an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine,

Medical College of Wisconsin from 1974 to 1988. He focused on medical anthropology.



He then taught the Cultural World of the Bible for eighteen years at Georgetown

University from 1993 to 2011. He currently lectures at Johns Hopkins University in

Baltimore, MD. His publications on the Middle Eastern cultural world of the Bible and on

healing in the ancient world are well known all over the world. In this writing, he

examines how the earliest followers of Jesus understood healing, what roles healers

played, and the different emphases on healing among the gospels. He draws on

Mediterranean anthropology to understand peasant societies and their health-care


Porterfield, Amanda. Healing in the History of Christianity. New York: Oxford University Press,


Amanda Porterfield is Professor Emerita of Religion at Florida State University. She is a

historian of American religion with interests in business, law, politics, and modern art.

She has authored many books and is currently working on two more. This book gives a

survey of ideas, rituals, and experiences of healing in Christian history. Christians have

seen this healing as a prominent feature of their faith down through the years. She

states that healing is one of the most constant themes through the entire history of

Christianity. She sheds new light on the universality of religious healing. She also looks

at recent scientific findings about religion’s biological effects, and considers the relation

of these findings to ages-old traditions about belief and healing.

Retief, Francois. “The Influence of Christianity on Graeco-Roman Medicine Up to the

Renaissance.” Acta Theologica, no. 7 (2005): 259-277.



Christianity came onto the scene when religion played a much more important role in

health care than it does today. This is due to the fact that people of that time realized

that much of life, including health, lay beyond their control. Ancient civilizations

believed in a multitude of gods, magical forces, and supernatural powers which affected

their health. However, there also existed physicians who practiced some form of

empirical medicine that formed the foundations of scientific medicine as we know it

today. This made magic and superstition no longer prominent in medicine. Health care

in the New Testament is primarily of a religious nature. This work by Retief analyzes the

interplay between the Christian church and rational medicine (as represented by

Graeco-Roman medical concepts) during the early years of Christendom.

Scott, William A. “The Practice of Medicine in Ancient Rome.” Canad Anaes Soc J S, no. 2 (1955):


Scott begins by stating that the practice of medicine began as a mixture of magic and

religion. Rome was a city where superstition interpreted everything. Tacitus said that

Vespasian once cured a blind man with his spit and a paralyzed limb by walking on it.

Scott makes the point that Western medicine even today has some religious magical

elements. He goes on to say that religious restrictions still exert their influence in

modern practice. He stated that terms such as complexes and conditional reflexes are

used today to describe ideas that the ancients ascribed to magic. It is fascinating that he

states that the idea of magician-priest-physician was a logical concept during these early

times. In early medicine, surgery tended to be more efficient than medical therapy.