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Number of Pages: 320
Vendor: Fortress Press
|Publication Date: 2017|
L. P.5 Stars Out Of 5Judicious (and Ample) Use of Primary SourcesJanuary 9, 2018L. P.Quality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5A problem with a great many books on early Christianity is that they are heavy on strong opinion, but light on evidence. The opposite is true here. The author lays out an astounding amount of evidence to support his case that communal reading events were indeed 'the trend of the day'.
There are some minor editorial slips (like "Markan" for the obvious "Matthean" on page 124), but I didn't see enough to change my rating. This work deserves all 5 stars (IMO).
I hope we will be seeing more books that sidestep lore and gravitate toward facts.
Author: Brian J. Wright
Submitted: November 14, 2017
Tell us a little about yourself. I am a pastor, professor, author, public speaker, and prison chaplain. I'm married and have four amazing children.
What was your motivation behind this project? I know this might sound trite, but my motivation was to discover the truth. Why was there such an emphasis in the New Testament on the communal reading of written texts (e.g., Col. 4:16; 1 Thess. 5:27; 1 Tim 4:13; Rev. 1:3)? Was communal reading a conserving force within literary traditions in the first century AD? To what extent did communal reading control the transmission of the Christian tradition and have an effect on its stability? By knowing the correct answers to these types of questions, as a historian I can better reconstruct the history and culture of Jesuss time, and as an interpreter I can more accurately understand Gods Word.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? I hope historians will better reconstruct the history and culture of Jesuss time. I hope interpreters will more accurately divide Gods Word. I hope believers will better understand and apply the Scriptures to their lives and ministries.
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? As I mention in the preface, my views on a number of issues changed because of this project. But beyond that, it has also affected my own reading practices.
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: I wrote an article for The Gospel Coalition, titled "Don't Just Read Alone," that really highlights some of the implications of my work for the modern church. I'd recommend readers go and read it.