The Jesus Movement and Its Expansion: Meaning and Mission

The Jesus Movement and Its Expansion: Meaning and Mission

The Jesus Movement and Its Expansion: Meaning and Mission

The Jesus Movement and Its Expansion: Meaning and Mission


Authoritative account of the Jesus movement's Greco-Roman and Jewish matrix and its development into the second century

In this book Sean Freyne explores the rise and expansion of early Christianity within the context of the Greco-Roman world -- the living, dynamic matrix of Jesus and his followers. In addition to offering fresh insights into Jesus' Jewish upbringing and the possible impact of Greco-Roman lifestyles on him and his followers, Freyne delves into the mission and expansion of the Jesus movement in Palestine and beyond during the first hundred years of its development.

To give readers a full picture of the context in which the Jesus movement developed, Freyne includes pictures, maps, and timelines throughout the book. Freyne's interdisciplinary approach, combining historical, archaeological, and literary methods, makes The Jesus Movement and Its Expansion both comprehensive and accessible.


Several people should be mentioned as facilitators and encouragers as this account of early Christian history and expansion took shape over the past several years.

As always I want to thank my family — my wife Gail and my daughters Bridget and Sarah — for their support and interest in the project. This included travels together at various times to Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Turkey. These journeys will always hold happy memories for me, and hopefully for them also.

I owe a deep debt of gratitude to my doctoral student and colleague Dr. Margaret Daly Denton for her careful reading of the manuscript, despite her own busy schedule. Her recommendations and corrections were invaluable and have ensured that the text reads much more fluently than would otherwise have been the case. Her own excellent knowledge of the field of early Christianity has meant that her suggestions about various topics were invaluable and gladly received. I take full authorial responsibility for any mistakes of fact or style that may have survived her watchful eye.

I must also thank sincerely Mr. Allen Myers, commissioning editor with William B. Eerdmans publishing house. He has been most encouraging about the project from the outset but also embarrassingly patient as various deadlines for the receipt of the manuscript were not met.

Finally, I want to thank Dean Harry Attridge and his colleagues at Yale Divinity School, especially Professors John and Adela Collins, for the warm hospitality I received when delivering the Shaffer lectures at the University in 2010. As I mention in the Introduction it was that experience . . .

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