Irenaeus lived during one of the most critical times of church history. The twelve apostles appointed by Jesus had all died. At the same time, there were other people who called themselves Christians but taught a very different message, claiming it was passed down secretly by Jesus and His apostles to some “spiritual” people. It was often confusing. To help people understand what the Bible and these other teachers were each saying, Irenaeus conducted a careful research, including first-hand interviews, and wrote a series of five books (known as Against Heresies) that is still very useful today.

Irenaeus is remembered for his work in helping the church to preserve the faith handed on by the apostles and to defend it when it was attacked. In Against Heresies, he taught Christians how to read Scriptures faithfully and with humility, taking both Old and New Testaments as one unified story. He also urged them to use their God-given reason to distinguish what he knew were historical events from imaginary stories. These lessons continue to be as important to us as they were to the early Christians.



✦✦ “Writing church history in a way that appeals to children is not at all easy; but Simonetta Carr has done it time and again with these gorgeous books on various figures from the glorious company of believers who have gone before us. And this new one on Irenaeus is no exception. We know his thought well, because of his literary works, but much of his life is in the shadows. But Simonetta handles this adroitly and the result is an excellent presentation for children of a key figure in the history of God’s people. Well done, Simonetta!” – Dr. Michael A.G. Haykin, Professor of Church History & Biblical Spirituality and Director of The Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky.

✦✦ “I love Simonetta Carr’s books. I know of no other volumes on Christian history which are so wonderfully accessible and beautifully illustrated. Now Simonetta brings to us the story of the second century pastor and defender of orthodoxy Irenaeus of Lyon. The author skillfully weaves together historical facts and biblical meditations to produce a compelling account. I lament that my children are now too old to place on my lap that I might read to them this excellent book about a most excellent man.” —Todd PruittPastor, Covenant Presbyterian Church, Harrisonburg, VA, Co-Host of Mortification of Spin
 ✦✦ “This is a beautiful book, introducing St Irenaeus of Lyons to young readers and opening up for them the world of early Christianity and the thankfulness it had towards God in the middle of all the trials they endured; it offers both an inspiring history and beneficial lessons.”
Fr. John Behr, Dean of St Vladimir’s Seminary, Professor of Patristics, and author of Irenaeus of Lyons: Identifying Christianity


The location of Lyon in the map of the Roman empire (on page 4) is incorrect. The wrong file was accidentally sent to the publisher. Please refer to this map instead. Sorry for the inconvenience. It will be corrected in future editions.