History remembers Harnack as one who refused to limit literary and historical study
of the Bible. This work traces the history of the church from the time of the apostles to
the time of the first church councils. In particular, he sought out the influence of Greek
philosophy upon early Christian writings, including its creeds. Ultimately, he would
come to see said Greek influence as a thing that corrupted the gospel message. Because
of this, he rejected the Gospel of John as an accurate portrayal of the historical Jesus in
favor of the three Synoptic Gospels.