|In the Fullness of Time: A Historian Looks at Christmas, Easter, and the Early Church|
Paul L. Maier
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Now in one richly illustrated volume, Paul Maier's classic trilogy on the origins of Christianity takes the reader back to the first Christmas, the first Easter, and the first Christians. In this revised, updated, and expanded edition Dr. Maier's impressive research and brilliant insights correlate history, archaeology, and the New Testament to bring alive the true drama of earliest Christianity.
In "The First Christmas" Maier uses Roman history, Palestinian geography, Jewish Culture, and the most recent archaeological finds to uncover new and fascinating information about the time, the people, and the dramatic events surrounding the birth of Jesus. The accurately detailed background he creates brings a new perspective to a story too often obscured by tinsel, legend, and myth.
"The First Easter" focuses not only the Resurrection but also on those critical years and days preceding it--especially the week that forever changed the course of history. Here the nature of the conspiracy against Jesus is revealed, the politics behind the Crucifixion are unrabeled, and a historically reliable date is established for Good Friday. Maier vividly documents the Last Supper, the capture at Gethsemane, the trial before Pilate, and the process of crucifixion. He also provides important new evidence concerning the empty tomb and the actual events of that first Easter morning.
The unprecedented spread of Christianity across the Mediterranean world was sparked by extraordinary events in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. "The First Christians" fills in the little-known background of this festival and gives a vivid account of the phenomena that took place in the "upper room" in Jerusalem that day. The reader accompanies the apostles on their crucial missionary journeys; follows Paul ont he road to Damascus, Asia Minor, and Greece; is shipwrecked with him on Malta; and stands beside him at his trial before the notorious Roman Emperor.
This skillful narrative sheds a brilliant new light on the light of Jesus and the adventures of the courageous men and women who carried His message throughout a hostile empire. A host of magnificent color and black and white photographs recreate the world, the mood, the people, and the events with an immediacy that sweeps readers into the exciting first years of Christianity.