Backgrounds of Early Christianity / Edition 3

Backgrounds of Early Christianity / Edition 3

by Everett Ferguson
     
 

ISBN-10: 0802822215

ISBN-13: 9780802822215

Pub. Date: 08/01/2003

Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company

Having long served as a standard introduction to the world of the early church, Everett Ferguson's Backgrounds of Early Christianity has been expanded and updated in this third edition. The book explores and unpacks the Roman, Greek, and Jewish political, social, religious, and philosophical backgrounds necessary for a good historical understanding of the

Overview

Having long served as a standard introduction to the world of the early church, Everett Ferguson's Backgrounds of Early Christianity has been expanded and updated in this third edition. The book explores and unpacks the Roman, Greek, and Jewish political, social, religious, and philosophical backgrounds necessary for a good historical understanding of the New Testament and the early church. New to this edition are revisions of Ferguson's original material, updated bibliographies, and fresh discussions of first-century social life, of Gnosticism, and of the Dead Sea Scrolls and other Jewish literature.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802822215
Publisher:
Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
Publication date:
08/01/2003
Pages:
647
Sales rank:
364,001
Product dimensions:
6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.38(d)

Table of Contents

Prefacexvi
Acknowledgmentsxviii
Abbreviationsxix
General Bibliographyxx
Introduction: Perspectives on Parallels1
Political History5
Introduction5
Near East Before Alexander6
Persian Empire6
Greece7
Alexander the Great10
Macedonia10
Life of Alexander III (356-323)12
Alexander's Influence13
The Hellenistic Kingdoms15
The Diadochi15
Ptolemies--Egypt16
Seleucids--Syria18
Rome20
The Roman Genius20
Rome and the West22
Rome and the East23
The Later Republic: Civil Wars24
Augustus (31 B.C.-A.D. 14)26
The Early Empire31
The Later Empire40
Administration of the Empire40
Cities40
Provinces43
Client Kingdoms45
Political Connections of the New Testament46
Society and Culture48
Introduction49
The Roman Military49
The Legions49
Emblems, Weapons, and Dress51
Auxiliaries52
Praetorian Guard52
Other Units55
Social Classes55
The Senatorial Order56
The Equestrian Order57
Municipal Aristocracies57
Plebeians and Other Free Persons58
Freedmen58
Slavery59
Roman Citizenship62
Roman Law65
Social Relationships66
Patron-Client Relationship67
Friendship67
Social Networks68
Honor and Shame69
Social Morality69
Marriage and Family70
Place of Women77
Children80
Economic Life82
Trade and Travel86
Coinage90
Taxation95
Clothing and Appearance96
Entertainment97
Theatres97
Athletics100
Arenas102
Circuses103
Gymnasia and Baths104
Banquets106
Music107
Education109
Literature and Language113
Authors113
Rhetoric119
Literary Forms and Genres120
Making of Books128
Reading and Studying of Books132
Inscriptions and Papyri133
Language135
Art and Architecture137
Clubs and Associations142
Greek Clubs142
Roman Colleges143
Egyptian Associations145
The Statutes of an Association145
Conclusion147
Hellenistic-Roman Religions148
Ancient Greek Religion149
The Epic Age: Homer150
Hesiod157
The Archaic Period160
Signs of Dissolution in the Classical Age164
Ancient Roman Religion165
Deities167
Religious Personnel167
Religious Observances169
Soul and the Dead171
Characteristics of Roman Religion171
Religion in Hellenistic-Roman Times: General Characteristics173
Domestic and Rural Religion177
Greek178
Roman180
Civic Cults182
Priesthood184
Ritual Prescriptions186
Sacrifice188
Votive Offerings192
Prayers and Hymns193
Festivals195
Other Features197
A Sample of a Civic Cult: Ephesus and Artemis198
Ruler Cult199
Antecedents and Presuppositions200
Historical Developments204
Forms of the Imperial Cult211
Personal Religion213
Oracles213
Dreams and Divination220
Healing Cults221
Magic and Maledictions227
Imprecations and Oaths235
Demons and Superstition236
Astrology, Astral Religion, and Fate238
Death and the Afterlife243
Greek Mysteries and Eastern Religions251
Local Mysteries253
Eleusinian Mysteries254
Dionysiac Mysteries259
Egyptian Deities: Isis, Osiris, and Sarapis266
Phoenician Deities: Astarte and Adonis277
Syrian Deities: Atargatis and Others278
Phrygian Deities: Cybele and Attis281
A Persian Deity: Mithras287
Mystery Religions and Christianity297
Gnosticism, Hermetic Literature, Chaldaean Oracles300
The Term Gnosticism300
Sources for Study301
Origins of Gnosticism307
Characteristic Features309
Gnosticism in the New Testament312
The Hermetica313
Chaldaean Oracles315
Later Developments: Monotheism and Sun Worship316
Hellenistic-Roman Philosophies319
Introduction320
Philosophy as Religion320
Philosophy as Ethics321
Popular Philosophy323
Philosophy and Individualism325
Philosophy in Its Social Setting325
Sophists and Socrates326
The Sophists326
Socrates (469-399 B.C.)327
Plato and the Academy to the First Century330
Life of Plato (429-347 B.C.)330
The Dialogues332
Plato's Thought333
Plato's Influence335
The Old Academy336
The Skeptical Academy336
The Eclectic Academy337
Aristotle and the Peripatetics338
Life of Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)338
Aristotle's Thought339
Aristotle's Influence342
Theophrastus (370-285 B.C.)342
Strato343
Later History and General Character344
Aspects of the Peripatetic Legacy344
Skepticism346
Pyrrho (C. 360-C. 270 B.C.)346
Aenesidemus347
Sextus Empiricus (C. A.D. 200)347
Influence of Skepticism347
Cynicism348
Beginnings of Cynicism348
Cynic Characteristics349
Dio of Prusa (A.D. 40 to after 112)352
Lucian of Samosata (C. A.D. 120 to after 180)352
Stoicism354
Early Stoa354
Stoic Physics356
Stoic Logic and Epistemology358
Stoic Ethics359
Middle Stoa360
Later Stoa: Roman Stoicism363
Stoicism and Christianity368
Epicureanism370
Epicurus and His School370
Lucretius (94-55 B.C.)372
Epicurean Physics372
Epicurean Epistemology374
Epicurean Ethics375
Estimate and Comparisons377
Eclecticism379
Characteristics379
Cicero (106-43 B.C.)380
Neopythagoreanism382
Pythagoras382
The Pythagorean Revival383
Apollonius of Tyana and Philostratus384
Numenius386
Middle Platonism387
Characteristics387
Plutarch (C. A.D. 50-after 120)389
Plotinus and Neoplatonism391
Life of Plotinus (A.D. 205-270)391
Plotinus's System391
Later Neoplatonists393
Judaism396
Jewish History, 538 B.C. To A.D. 200399
The Persian Period (538-332 B.C.)399
The Greek Period (332-167 B.C.)403
The Maccabean or Hasmonean Period (167-63 B.C.)407
The Roman Period (from 63 B.C.)411
Jews in the Early Roman Empire427
Jewish Literature and Other Sources in the Hellenistic and Roman Periods431
The Old Testament in Greek432
Jewish Literature in Greek: Fragments439
Apocrypha440
Pseudepigrapha448
Dead Sea Scrolls463
Apocalyptic Writings475
Philo478
Josephus485
Rabbinic Literature490
Jewish Mysticism501
Archaeological Sources503
Pagan References to Jews512
Parties and Sects513
Pharisees514
Sadducees519
Qumran Community, Essenes, and Therapeutae521
Zealots532
Herodians533
Samaritans534
Beliefs and Practices537
One God538
Israel, the Chosen People538
Torah, Tradition, and Scripture539
Proselytes and Godfearers546
Messianism and the Glorious Destiny551
Afterlife554
Festivals and Holy Days555
Daily Devotions561
Organization and Institutions562
Temple and Priesthood562
Sanhedrin567
Community Organization570
Rabbis572
Synagogue573
Christianity in the Ancient World583
Literary References to Christianity in Non-Christian Sources584
Latin Authors584
Greek Authors584
Jewish Sources in Greek584
Jewish Sources in Hebrew and Aramaic584
Archaeological Remains Bearing on Early Christian History585
Inscriptions585
Papyri587
Coins588
Some Claimed Archaeological Remains of Early Christianity589
Rotas-Sator Word Square589
The "Cross" at Herculaneum590
Ossuaries591
The Tomb of Peter592
Attitudes of Pagans toward Christians592
The Legal Status of Christianity601
Hindrances to the Acceptance of Christianity608
Religious Rivals609
Judaism609
Pagan Religion and Philosophy610
Gnosticism and Other Rival Versions of Christianity612
Jewish Christianity613
Factors Favorable to Christianity616
External Circumstances616
Hellenistic Judaism617
Religious Quest618
What Was Unique in Christianity?619
Index of Subjects621
Index of Scripture References643
Map of the Ancient World650

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