Original Christianity

Original Christianity Author Peter Novak
ISBN-10 1612832350
Year 2005-09-29
Pages 336
Language en
Publisher Hampton Roads Publishing
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“Whoever finds the interpretation of these sayings will not experience death.” -from the Gospel of Thomas The work of scholars such as Elaine Pagels and Marvin Meyer have captured the imagination of the public by setting forth the Gospel of Thomas and other lost teachings of Jesus. Now Peter Novak, in Original Christianity, brings forth a critical element essential for fully understanding these scriptures. Novak argues that the authors of these early texts subscribed to the Binary Soul Doctrine--an ancient belief system that allows for both reincarnation and an eternal afterlife. Novak’s interdisciplinary approach offers fresh insights on the beliefs and politics of the early church founders. He points out that reincarnation was a commonly held Christian belief until it was voted out of “official” Christianity and the record expunged. This newfound key reveals the true identities of many mysterious Biblical figures, such as Lazarus, Barabbas, Judas, and especially the Apostle Thomas, who may not only have been Jesus’ identical twin brother, but indeed a second Christ in his own right, who lived to produce a genetically identical bloodline. More important still, the rediscovery of the lost theology of Original Christianity means Christ’s central message of personal integrity can again take center stage.

Backgrounds of Early Christianity

Backgrounds of Early Christianity Author Everett Ferguson
ISBN-10 0802822215
Year 2003
Pages 648
Language en
Publisher Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
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New to this expanded & updated edition are revisions of Ferguson's original material, updated bibliographies, & a fresh dicussion of first century social life, the Dead Sea Scrolls & much else.

Slavery in Early Christianity

Slavery in Early Christianity Author Jennifer A. Glancy
ISBN-10 9780198031130
Year 2002-03-14
Pages 224
Language en
Publisher Oxford University Press
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Slavery was widespread throughout the Mediterranean lands where Christianity was born and developed. Though Christians were both slaves and slaveholders, there has been surprisingly little study of what early Christians thought about the realities of slavery. How did they reconcile slavery with the Gospel teachings of brotherhood and charity? Slaves were considered the sexual property of their owners: what was the status within the Church of enslaved women and young male slaves who were their owners' sexual playthings? Is there any reason to believe that Christians shied away from the use of corporal punishments so common among ancient slave owners? Jennifer A. Glancy brings a multilayered approach to these and many other issues, offering a comprehensive re-examination of the evidence pertaining to slavery in early Christianity. Drawing on a wide variety of sources, Glancy situates early Christian slavery in its broader cultural setting. She argues that scholars have consistently underestimated the pervasive impact of slavery on the institutional structures, ideologies, and practices of the early churches and of individual Christians. The churches, she shows, grew to maturity with the assumption that slaveholding was the norm, and welcomed both slaves and slaveholders as members. Glancy draws attention to the importance of the body in the thought and practice of ancient slavery. To be a slave was to be a body subject to coercion and violation, with no rights to corporeal integrity or privacy. Even early Christians who held that true slavery was spiritual in nature relied, ultimately, on bodily metaphors to express this. Slavery, Glancy demonstrates, was an essential feature of both the physical and metaphysical worlds of early Christianity. The first book devoted to the early Christian ideology and practice of slavery, this work sheds new light on the world of the ancient Mediterranean and on the development of the early Church.

Resurrection and Reception in Early Christianity

Resurrection and Reception in Early Christianity Author Richard C. Miller
ISBN-10 9781317585848
Year 2014-12-17
Pages 218
Language en
Publisher Routledge
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This book offers an original interpretation of the origin and early reception of the most fundamental claim of Christianity: Jesus’ resurrection. Richard Miller contends that the earliest Christians would not have considered the New Testament accounts of Jesus’ resurrection to be literal or historical, but instead would have recognized this narrative as an instance of the trope of divine translation, common within the Hellenistic and Roman mythic traditions. Given this framework, Miller argues, early Christians would have understood the resurrection story as fictitious rather than historical in nature. By drawing connections between the Gospels and ancient Greek and Roman literature, Miller makes the case that the narratives of the resurrection and ascension of Christ applied extensive and unmistakable structural and symbolic language common to Mediterranean "translation fables," stock story patterns derived particularly from the archetypal myths of Heracles and Romulus. In the course of his argument, the author applies a critical lens to the referential and mimetic nature of the Gospel stories, and suggests that adapting the "translation fable" trope to accounts of Jesus’ resurrection functioned to exalt him to the level of the heroes, demigods, and emperors of the Hellenistic and Roman world. Miller’s contentions have significant implications for New Testament scholarship and will provoke discussion among scholars of early Christianity and Classical studies.

Stoicism in Early Christianity

Stoicism in Early Christianity Author Tuomas Rasimus
ISBN-10 9780801039515
Year 2010-11-01
Pages 301
Language en
Publisher Baker Academic
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An international roster of scholars highlights the place of Stoic teaching in early Christian thought.

Early Christianity and Greek Paideia

Early Christianity and Greek Paideia Author Werner Jaeger
ISBN-10 0674220528
Year 1961
Pages 154
Language en
Publisher Harvard University Press
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This small book, the last work of a world-renowned scholar, has established itself as a classic. It provides a superb overview of the vast historical process by which Christianity was Hellenized and Hellenic civilization became Christianized. Jaeger shows that without the large postclassical expansion of Greek culture the rise of a Christian world religion would have been impossible. He explains why the Hellenization of Christianity was necessary in apostolic and postapostalic times; points out similarities between Greek philosophy and Christian belief; discuss such key figures as Clement, Origen, and Gregory of Nyssa; and touches on the controversies that led to the ultimate complex synthesis of Greek and Christian thought.

Modelling Early Christianity

Modelling Early Christianity Author Philip Francis Esler
ISBN-10 041512980X
Year 1995
Pages 349
Language en
Publisher Psychology Press
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Modelling Early Christianity explores the intriguing and foreign social context of first-century Palestine and the Graeco-Roman East, in which the Christian faith was first proclaimed and the New Testament documents were written. It demonstrates that a sophisticated analysis of the context is essential in order to understand the original meaning of the texts. At the same time, Modelling Early Christianity contains significant new ideas on the relationship between social-scientific and literary-critical analysis, the theoretical justification for model-use, and the way these new approaches can fertilize contemporary Christian theology.

Jesus and the Lost Goddess

Jesus and the Lost Goddess Author Timothy Freke
ISBN-10 9780307565860
Year 2011-08-10
Pages 336
Language en
Publisher Harmony
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Why Were the Teachings of the Original Christians Brutally Suppressed by the Roman Church? • Because they portray Jesus and Mary Magdalene as mythic figures based on the Pagan Godman and Goddess • Because they show that the gospel story is a spiritual allegory encapsulating a profound philosophy that leads to mythical enlightenment • Because they have the power to turn the world inside out and transform life into an exploration of consciousness Drawing on modern scholarship, the authors of the international bestseller The Jesus Mysteries decode the secret teachings of the original Christians for the first time in almost two millennia and theorize about who the original Christians really were and what they actually taught. In addition, the book explores the many myths of Jesus and the Goddess and unlocks the lost secret teachings of Christian mysticism, which promise happiness and immortality to those who attain the state of Gnosis, or enlightenment. This daring and controversial book recovers the ancient wisdom of the original Christians and demonstrates its relevance to us today. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Heretics

Heretics Author Gerd Ludemann
ISBN-10 0664226426
Year 1996
Pages 352
Language en
Publisher Westminster John Knox Press
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According to the commonly held view, early Christianity was a time of great harmony, and heresy emerged only at a later stage. To the contrary, Gerd Ludemann argues that the time from the first Christian communities to the end of the second century was defined by struggle by various groups for doctrinal authority. Drawing on a wealth of data, he asserts that the losers in this struggle actually represented Christianity in its more authentic, original form. Orthodoxy has been defined by the victors in this struggle and it is they who subsequently silenced alternative views and labeled them heretical. Ludemann's findings are important as well as liberating for the understanding of both Christianity and the Bible. Readers will gain a new understanding of Jesus and the early church from this compelling and controversial book.

Regnum Caelorum

Regnum Caelorum Author Charles Evan Hill
ISBN-10 0802846343
Year 2001
Pages 324
Language en
Publisher Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
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Regnum Caelorum is a groundbreaking book that explores the largely overlooked connection in early Christian thought between understandings of the millennium and the intermediate state of the soul after death. Charles Hill traces Christian views of the soul's fate in Jewish texts, the New Testament, and in early Christian writers through the mid-third century A.D. His findings lead to a provocative new assessment of the development of Christian eschatology that corrects many misconceptions of earlier scholarly research. This second edition updates and substantially expands Hill's highly respected original work published by Oxford.

Aliens and Sojourners

Aliens and Sojourners Author Benjamin H. Dunning
ISBN-10 9780812201819
Year 2012-02-25
Pages 192
Language en
Publisher University of Pennsylvania Press
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Early Christians spoke about themselves as resident aliens, strangers, and sojourners, asserting that otherness is a fundamental part of being Christian. But why did they do so and to what ends? How did Christians' claims to foreign status situate them with respect to each other and to the larger Roman world as the new movement grew and struggled to make sense of its own boundaries? Aliens and Sojourners argues that the claim to alien status is not a transparent one. Instead, Benjamin Dunning contends, it shaped a rich, pervasive, variegated discourse of identity in early Christianity. Resident aliens and foreigners had long occupied a conflicted space of both repulsion and desire in ancient thinking. Dunning demonstrates how Christians and others in antiquity capitalized on this tension, refiguring the resident alien as being of a compelling doubleness, simultaneously marginal and potent. Early Christians, he argues, used this refiguration to render Christian identity legible, distinct, and even desirable among the vast range of social and religious identities and practices that proliferated in the ancient Mediterranean. Through close readings of ancient Christian texts such as Hebrews, 1 Peter, the Shepherd of Hermas, and the Epistle to Diognetus, Dunning examines the markedly different ways that Christians used the language of their own marginality, articulating a range of options for what it means to be Christian in relation to the Roman social order. His conclusions have implications not only for the study of late antiquity but also for understanding the rhetorics of religious alienation more broadly, both in the ancient world and today.

A Search for Original Christianity

A Search for Original Christianity Author Charles Stewart
ISBN-10 1424135559
Year 2006-11-01
Pages 200
Language en
Publisher Publishamerica Incorporated
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Some years ago I decided to find out what people meant when they spoke of Original Christianity, and this book exhibits my findings and conclusions. I believe that the term Original Christianity should comprise only that which evolved and was recorded in the Gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and those Church deselected Nag Hammadi codices soon after Jesusa life on earth. From Paul to present-day evangelists, Jesusa innovations have been subjected to empirical distortions. Therefore, instead of Original Christianity, I would identify his life and work as Existential Judaism. Jesusa novel approach was to extract selections of Scripture he termed, aThe Weightier Portions, a interpret them with Oral Torah and thus, introduce a reformation and a new way of living in the present.