Backgrounds of Early Christianity

Backgrounds of Early Christianity

Backgrounds of Early Christianity

Backgrounds of Early Christianity

Synopsis

Having long served as a standard introduction to the world of the early church, Everett Ferguson's Backgrounds of Early Christianity has been expanded and updated in this third edition. The book explores and unpacks the Roman, Greek, and Jewish political, social, religious, and philosophical backgrounds necessary for a good historical understanding of the New Testament and the early church. New to this edition are revisions of Ferguson's original material, updated bibliographies, and fresh discussions of first-century social life, of Gnosticism, and of the Dead Sea Scrolls and other Jewish literature.

Excerpt

This book has grown over a long period of time: from the first introduction to the material during student days at Abilene Christian University, through an association as student and graduate assistant at Harvard University under A. D. Nock (whose influence is felt through his lecture notes, writings, and personal observations), through many years of teaching a graduate course in Backgrounds of the New Testament and Early Christianity, to the process of trying to produce the manuscript. As I release it now for publication, I am keenly aware of my limitations. No person can be the master of such a huge body of primary material, much less the enormous secondary literature. a book that touches on so many areas of specialized scholarship is certain to contain many mistakes, and even where it reflects the current consensus, later scholarship will often make revisions. Yet a comprehensive guide will help the student to attain a grasp of the field more quickly than would be possible without an introduction. the introductory nature of the presentation often calls for generalizations to be made: it is hoped that these will aid students; specialists can make the necessary adjustments.

This volume is intended as a textbook, not as a history of the ancient world nor an interpretive synthesis of culture, philosophy, and religion. the reader should not confuse the analytical approach in the presentation with the reality of the time. the approach adopted may give a false sense of compartmentalization — for example, between Hellenism and Judaism — when in fact there was much interaction between the influences discussed separately in this book. Perhaps enough is said in various places in the book to avoid a wrong impression, and books cited in the bibliographies written with other approaches will redress imbalances in this presentation.

This book aims to introduce as many of the primary sources as possible, but is not a substitute for them. To paraphrase the apostle Paul, “Five words in . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.