The City of God by St. Augustine (translated by Henry Bettenson)

City of God (Penguin Classics) by Augustine of Hippo, (translated by Henry Bettenson) is an amazing book that I highly recommend. It's almost absurd to rate this book, its so famous and influential, and excellent. This particular copy by Penguin Classics is a very affordable and excellent translation by the Augustine scholar, Henry Bettenson that was not only very readable but also had excellent and brief footnotes to supplement the text. I evaluated several other translations and after receiving several recommendations for Bettenson, I decided to read his unabridged translation. Bettenson has also compiled another reader called, "Documents of the Early Church" that I also highly recommend.

Augustine's City of God is 1100pages, and is divided into two parts, the first part addresses claims that Christians were responsible for the fall of Rome. Augustine engages Virgil, Plato and many ancient writers, often quoting long sections of poetry and gives clear, provocative, rebuttals that are still excellent responses to criticisms of Christianity today. I was amazed at the similarity between Greek Mythology and Hinduism and other pagan religions. For instance, Jupiter/Zeus is a chief god that somehow incorporates all sub-deities. So many of the arguments that Augustine uses to defend Christianity against Greek Mythology are also very effective against eastern religions, especially Hinduism and Buddhism.

The second part of the City of God is a long walk through the bible, starting with a long exegesis of the proto-history of Genesis through the final judgment. The City of God corresponds to the line of Seth, which Augustine translates as 'resurrection' and the City of Man which originated with Cain.

Overall, it was an excellent book and I highly recommend it! Go read it now!

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