The Birth of Christianity

The Birth of Christianity This book is about the lost years of earliest Christianity about the s and s of the first century about those dark decades immediately after the execution of JesusThe obscurity of the s and

  • Title: The Birth of Christianity
  • Author: John Dominic Crossan
  • ISBN: 9780060616595
  • Page: 394
  • Format: Hardcover
  • This book is about the lost years of earliest Christianity, about the 30s and 40s of the first century, about those dark decades immediately after the execution of JesusThe obscurity of the 30s and 40s can be emphasized by the comparative brilliancy of the 50s From that later decade we have the letters of PaulFrom them, above all else, we receive the temptation to This book is about the lost years of earliest Christianity, about the 30s and 40s of the first century, about those dark decades immediately after the execution of JesusThe obscurity of the 30s and 40s can be emphasized by the comparative brilliancy of the 50s From that later decade we have the letters of PaulFrom them, above all else, we receive the temptation to gloss speedily over the 30s or 40s and move swiftly to those better documented 50sBefore there was Paul the apostle in the early 50s, there was Paul the persecutor in the early 30s What was there for him to persecute from The Birth of ChristianityIn this long awaited companion to his landmark The Historical Jesus, John Dominic Crossan, the world s foremost expert on the historical Jesus, explores the lost years of earliest Christianity, those immediately following the execution of Jesus He establishes the contextual setting by an interdisciplinary combination of anthropological, historical, and archaeological approaches He identifies the textual sources by a literary analysis of the earliest discernible layers within our present gospels, both inside and outside the New Testament Context and text come together to challenge long standing assumptions about the role of Paul and the meaning of resurrection, and to forge an eloquent and powerful new understanding of the birth of the Christian church.John Dominic Crossan, one of the most influential figures in biblical scholarship, combines innovative scholarship with compelling insight in illuminating the mysteries of the origins of Christianity Crossan s meticulous research into the anthropological milieu within which Christianity arose, and his study of the emergence of early Christian communities, form the basis for his stunning and original theory Separating history from theology and redaction, he presents a vivid account of early Christianity s interaction with the world around it, and of the new traditions and communities established as Jesus companions continued their movement after his death.With ancient traditional Judaism under increasing pressure from both Roman commercial exploitation and Greek cultural domination, the Kingdom of God movement of Jesus and his followers establish radical but non violent resistance in the Lower Galilee of the late 20s As early Jewish and Greek influenced schools of thought present competing visions of the nature of the spirit and the flesh, it is the message brought by Jesus during his life that creates the spiritual center of the early church.The Resurrection, while essential to the story of Christ as told through the centuries, is understood in a different light when presented in the setting of a Mediterranean culture in which events such as apparitions by the dead and ecstatic visions were far from unusual While the eschatological teachings of Paul play a large role in the growth and development of the church, they are seen to follow, rather than define, the moment of its birth.Ground breaking and brilliantly crafted, The Birth of Christianity is an indispensable addition to our understanding of the origins of the Christian faith.John Dominic Crossan is the author of The Historical Jesus, Jesus A Revolutionary Biography, Who Killed Jesus , and Who Is Jesus He chairs the Historical Jesus section of the Society of Biblical Literature and was codirector of the Jesus Seminar John Dominic Crossan, the world s foremost expert and best selling author on the historical Jesus, presents a fascinating and essential inquiry into the rise of Christianity in the years preceding and immediately following the Crucifixion Crossan s interdisciplinary approach sheds new light on the cultural and theological context in which the Christian church arose, and raises essential questions about the role of St Paul and the significance of the Resurrection.

    699 Comment

    • Monica says:

      This book, unfortunatey, is not the compelling read I had hoped for. It is very "learned" - but to me, TOO much so. He spends about the first half of the book asking WHY the actual question "how did Early Christianity (the first 20 years after the Crucifixtion) spread" is important, HOW he plans on figuring out the answer to that question methodologically, what other Biblical scholars think about the subject without necessarily getting down to the nitty-gritty of ANSWERING the QUESTION distinctl [...]

    • Lee Harmon says:

      I've read many of Crossan's books, and although they can be dry, they do always provide something to sink your teeth into. He seems to write two kinds of books: Long, scholarly tomes, and short, interesting summaries. The Birth of Christianity is (unfortunately or fortunately, depending upon your purpose for reading) of the former type.Crossan attempts in this book to initiate more scholarly research into the early years of Christianity, by which he means those years after Christ died but before [...]

    • Steven Stark says:

      You don't have to agree with all of Crossan's conclusions to see that THIS is how you study early Christianity - through anthropology, archaealogy, textual criticism, etc. etc.Read this book only if you are very, very, very interested in what may have happened in between Jesus' life and the letters of Paul. At times it is fascinating (studying oral tradition of different cultures, memory studies, textual criticism, etc.). At times it is really detailed and boring - but that's only because Crossa [...]

    • Tim says:

      Very dense at the start, yet worth finishing. He presents different ways to look at existing evidence and introduces many relevant, yet obscure facts about the world of Jesus in drawing his conclusions. His final point is weak, but many of his intermediate points seem reasonable and well-argued. 600 pages.

    • Chanita.Shannon says:

      Crossan's conclusions come from freshly-minted academic methodologies. He uses anthropology, history, and archaeology to construct his arguments about the essential nature of both Jesus' religion and Paul's. The 25-cent summary of his conclusion is that Jesus did not recognize the dualism between spirit and flesh that formed the basis of Paul's apocalyptic Christianity. The ramifications of this argument are huge. Crossan says much of Christian worship--and many of the world's injustices--are ba [...]

    • Charlotte says:

      I can't really count this one as read since I didn't finish it. I found Crossan's premise interesting and short passages were intriguing but, overall, I found it too scholarly and very slow going. He spends a lot of time setting up his arguments (repetition) and defending himself against past criticism and attempting to avert possible future criticism. In the end, I decided it wasn't worth slogging my way through. An interesting look at the "missing" years between the crucifixion and Paul's conv [...]

    • Geoff Glenister says:

      Personally, I would not recommend this book to non-scholars. It is a very painstakingly detailed, thorough exploration of the relationships between the historical context of early Christianity, the texts of the synoptics, the Gospel of Thomas, and the Didache. There are many places where the differences between single verses in various sources is explored in detail, and at times this is quite fascinating. But it's a very dry book, and as such is very difficult to read. So I would definitely reco [...]

    • Frostik Dar says:

      Although this appeared after Crossan's _Historical Jesus_, and although he says this is all about the "lost years" of AD 30 - 50, it's much more. I keep coming back and re-reading chunks of this -- especially on Paul's re-interpretation of Jesus. Crossan is never afraid to toss out controversial points of view -- and if one simply dismisses them as sensational, or ill-founded in history, he does at risk.

    • Sally says:

      A very detailed treatment by one of the foremost scholars of the historical Jesus movement. I disagree with his conclusions, and many of his assumptions, but he provides you with the data he bases his views on, so you can form your own opinion. Very transparent, confident scholarship.

    • Mark Matzeder says:

      This was the second time I read it, and I always find Crosson informative, stretching, and thought-provoking.

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    • Anders says:

      It is long and thorough, something that delights a scholar's heart. But in the end, too much details that do not go anywhere. As if it were a first draft that needs much tightening.

    • John says:

      Okay, great book, but he sure gets defensive about his position vis a vis other NT scholars. Touchy!

    • Michael Powe says:

      A tough read, really meant for readers with a solid background in Biblical archaeology. Informative if you can make the effort.

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