After Jesus, Volume 1 - The Birth of Christianity: The First Twenty Years  -     By: Paul Barnett
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After Jesus, Volume 1 - The Birth of Christianity: The First Twenty Years

Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. / 2004 / Paperback

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Product Description

Some critics claim that we have little reliable knowledge of Christianity's early development during the 20-year gap between Jesus' resurrection and the first New Testament writings. Barnett disagrees. In this illuminating study, he mines Paul's writings, Acts, Mark and John's Gospels, and Q to present a biblically based, historical reconstruction of this much-debated period. 230 pages, softcover from Eerdmans.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 230
Vendor: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Publication Date: 2004
Dimensions: 9 X 6 (inches)
ISBN: 0802827810
ISBN-13: 9780802827814
Availability: In Stock

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Author Bio

Paul Barnett is Visiting Fellow in Ancient History at Macquarie University, and teaches at Moore College in Sydney and Regent College in Vancouver. His many other books include The Second Epistle to the Corinthians (NICNT) and The Birth of Christianity: The First Twenty Years (both Eerdmans).

Publisher Description

Contrary to several popular works of Christian scholarship, historian Paul Barnett maintains that the first two decades of Christian history are hardly "lost years." As he shows in this penetrating book, the period between Jesus and the earliest Christian texts is open to historical investigation, and he richly details the time and setting in which the church was born.

Writing in a very accessible style, Barnett provides an informative, reliable chronology of the years immediately following Jesus' crucifixion. Just as important, he presents the historical sources, biblical clues, and other telling evidence that we have for accurately documenting this crucial period of time. Looking more widely, Barnett also surveys world events during Christianity's first twenty years and notes their impact on life in the early church.

The Birth of Christianity: The First Twenty Years is Volume 1 of a trilogy titled After Jesus. Volume 2 will be Paul, Missionary of Jesus, and Volume 3 will be Finding the Historical Christ.

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  1. Dick Harfield
    Sydney NSW
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: male
    2 Stars Out Of 5
    Written to confirm tradition rather than inform
    July 12, 2013
    Dick Harfield
    Sydney NSW
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 1
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 1
    Barnett opens with a citation from John Dominic Crossan, 'The Birth of Christianity', provides a number of criticisms of Dominic's views and even (perhaps subconsciously) chose the same title for this book, so we can say he was influenced by Crossan. However, there is a difference in approach. For example, Crossan reviewed the available evidence for Jewish literacy in the first century and concluded from this that it was quite low by modern standards and hardly different from literacy elsewhere in the Roman Empire; Barnett ignores this and simply assumes that Jewish literacy was relatively high, and requires his readers to accept this information.

    .

    The book does not follow argument rigorously. It acknowledges that we do not know who the anonymous author of Luke-Acts was, but insists he must have been an associate of Paul, because of the use of 'we' in some passages - from here on it becomes fact, then the associate of Paul becomes Luke the physician. "For convenience," Barnett limits the letters of Paul to 1 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians and Romans., which he notes are not disputed, but proceeds to use 2 Thessalonians and 2 Timothy as evidence about Paul. I would feel more comfortable if he adopted a single position, even if he chose not to support that position, rather than adopt different positions in different texts.

    .

    I found the lists of parallels between Paul's epistles and the gospels useful, although I could debate the direction of flow. Much of this short book is concerned with explaining the New Testament texts, including authorship and chronology, so there is not a lot of material about the early years of Christianity.
  2. Rich Bland
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    March 8, 2006
    Rich Bland
    Paul Barnett's work is worth your consideration. His writing style is very much the way a reader thinks in terms of logical organization. He has several books now in circulation and I have them all. If you are looking for easy to read NT background material that is also detailed and exhaustive, then this guy's work is for you.
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