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

InterVarsity Press / 2002 / Paperback

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Product Description

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: InterVarsity Press
Publication Date: 2002
Dimensions: 9 X 6 (inches)
ISBN: 0830826998
ISBN-13: 9780830826995

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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. Michigan
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: Male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    May 7, 2016
    John M Kight
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: Male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Review Jesus and the Rise of Early Christianity: A History of New Testament Times by Paul Barnett

    Paul Barnett (Ph.D., London University) is recognized by many in the field of New Testament studies as one of the most respected historical scholars on the origins of Christianity. As well as being an Emeritus Faculty member of Moore Theological College, Barnett is currently a fellow in ancient history at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia and a teaching fellow at Regent College, Vancouver, Canada. Barnett has authored numerous books, including a number of commentaries and monographs related to the various aspects of New Testament studies.

    Jesus and the Rise of Early Christianity: A History of New Testament Times has been long acknowledged as a quintessential classic at the top of Barnetts lengthy literary corpus. Barnett guides the reader through the complexities of the Hellenistic backdrop that characterized much of the culture during the ministry of Jesusfrom the incarnation to the resurrectionand the development of the New Testament Church. The approach is both comprehensive and readable, and Barnett firmly roots his research in primary source material. This affords the reader a better grasp of the New Testament from within its historical context, and thus, allows for a better recognition of the significance of the early Jesus movement within the first century world.

    The scope of this volume is quite impressive. Not only is the reader exposed to the historical landscape of the New Testament, but Barnett has likewise interwoven detailed interaction with contemporary critical scholarship concerning the Historical Jesus and other related issues. It is here that Barnett does well in demonstrating the historical shortcomings of the critical attempt to construct a chasm between the Jesus of history and the Christ of faith. Moreover, the reader will certainly appreciate the emphasis Barnett places on the Christological motivation that underlined the missionary effort of the early Christian community, as well as the imperative nature of a bodily resurrection in early Christian worship. This is by any measure a breath of fresh air brought to a table that is far too often plagued with canonical discontinuity and confusion, and for this readers everywhere should rejoice!

    Jesus and the Rise of Early Christianity: A History of New Testament Times by Paul Barnett is an invaluable resource that should be read and re-read by anyone interested in the origins of early Christianity. Barnett is judicious and clear as usual, and his treatment therein is nothing short of comprehensive. Barnett leaves the eager reader with nearly no stones left to turn. This is a volume that should be consulted by many and done so often, both in the church and in the academy. It comes highly recommended!

    I received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
  2. 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!
  3. 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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