Jesus & the Rise of Early Christianity: A History of New Testament Times  -     By: Paul Barnett
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Jesus & the Rise of Early Christianity: A History of New Testament Times

Inter-Varsity Press / 2002 / Paperback

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Gain new insight into first-century Christianity as you explore the world of Caesars and Herods, proconsuls and Pharisees, Sadducees and revolutionaries. Presenting a well-reasoned response to current revisionist views, Barnett argues that we can't fully comprehend the growth of the Christian faith apart from understanding Jesus' impact on his followers---and ultimately the world. 448 pages, softcover from InterVarsity.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 448
Vendor: Inter-Varsity Press
Publication Date: 2002
Dimensions: 9 X 6 (inches)
ISBN: 0830826998
ISBN-13: 9780830826995
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

The pathway to understanding the New Testament leads through the vibrant landscape of the first-century Greco-Roman world. The New Testament is rooted in the concrete historical events of that world. In Jesus & the Rise of Early Christianity Paul Barnett not only places the New Testament within that world of caesars and Herods, proconsuls and Pharisees, Sadducees and revolutionaries, but argues that the mainspring and driving force of early Christian history is the historical Jesus. We cannot understand the rise of Christianity apart from this Jesus, the messiah of Israel and the spiritual and intellectual impact he had on his immediate followers and those who succeeded them. From his intimate acquaintance with the sources, the evidence and the problems of New Testament history, Barnett offers fresh insights. His telling of the story skillfully avoids the encumbrance of extraneous details and side journeys. From the brith of Jesus to the founding of the messianic community, from the rise of Paul's mission to the Gentiles to the writing of the Gospels, Barnett offers a comprehensive account of the movement that would change the face of world history. Jesus & the Rise of Early Christianity is a comprehensive survey of New Testament history that will meet the needs of students and teachers of the New Testament. In its engagment with contemporary scholarship and its emphasis on the propelling role of the historical and risen Jesus in the rise of Christianity, it provides a timely rejoinder to current revisionist exploration of Christian origins.

Author Bio

Barnett (Ph.D., London University), was until his retirement Anglican bishop of North Sydney, Australia. He remains a visiting fellow in ancient history at Macquarie University (Sydney, Australia) and research professor at Regent College (Vancouver, British Columbia). He has written several books.

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  1. Las Vegas, NV
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    February 24, 2011
    Ricardo Rocha
    Las Vegas, NV
    If you want a great book about the NT background, this is a must for you! Dr. Barnes takes us from the OT's spread of Hellenism worldwide, passing through the Maccabean period preparing our minds for the coming of the Messiah and goes through Jesus' life and ministry, to the early church and its expansion by the Holy Spirit through the apostles and evangelists.

    Go for it, you'll not regret it!
  2. Sacramento, CA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    June 22, 2008
    Philip Tutt
    Sacramento, CA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: male
    This book is a well-annotated argument for the proposition that the "'Christ of faith [is] one and the same as the 'Jesus of history'". This proposition is stated upfront by the author in his Preface. Obviously, it guides both his exposition of historical sources and the inferences which he draws from them.The book, however, is to be read with care, and a critical eye to alternative conclusions.For example, the author, discussing the purported Davidic lineage of Jesus, cites John 7:40-42 to support the inference that "the writer [John] knows ... that Christ was born in Bethlehem." (p.40, hardcover edition). The conclusion is plainly tendentious. It could as well be that some of the people who are discussing the issue among themselves know that Jesus was born in Nazareth, not Bethlehem, and so, to them, he cannot be the Christ. As the author notes: "This is the sole reference to David in the Fourth Gospel. The Christ defined by Davidic descent does not engage this writer [John] as it does Matthew and Luke." (ibid). It may be simply that John is reporting a debate overheard by himself or his source. Likewise, the author fails to note that the famous riddle in Mark 12:35-37 (Matthew 22:42-45; Luke 20:41-44), which I also accept as historically genuine, could be read as Jesus' own repudiation of the idea that the Christ is of the Davidic line. Nevertheless, for those who are serious about a critical analysis of the link between the historical Jesus and the Jesus of faith, the book is worth reading as a strong challenge to current fashions in skepticism, and a primer in advanced reasoning from historical sources.
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