Backgrounds of Early Christianity

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 ...
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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.

A thorough and detailed introduction to Roman, Greek, and Jewish backgrounds of early Christianly.

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Editorial Reviews

Church History
This is a book rich in appetizers which tantalize the palate for more substantial fare. The vast scope of the book and the labor involved reflect the author's commendable erudition.This work is imaginatively and painstakingly executed.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802806697
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 8/1/1993
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 611
  • Product dimensions: 6.47 (w) x 9.47 (h) x 1.35 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
General Bibliography
Introduction: Perspectives on Parallels 1
Political History 5
Near East before Alexander 6
Alexander the Great 10
The Hellenistic Kingdoms 15
Rome 20
Administration of the Empire 40
Political Connections of the New Testament 46
Society and Culture 48
The Roman Military 49
Social Classes 55
Slavery 59
Roman Citizenship 62
Roman Law 65
Social Relationships 66
Social Morality 69
Economic Life 82
Clothing and Appearance 96
Entertainment 97
Education 109
Literature and Language 113
Art and Architecture 137
Clubs and Associations 142
Hellenistic-Roman Religions 148
Ancient Greek Religion 149
Ancient Roman Religion 165
Religion in Hellenistic-Roman Times: General Characteristics 173
Domestic and Rural Religion 177
Civic Cults 182
Ruler Cult 199
Personal Religion 213
Greek Mysteries and Eastern Religions 251
Gnosticism, Hermetic Literature, Chaldaean Oracles 300
Later Developments: Monotheism and Sun Worship 316
Hellenistic-Roman Philosophies 319
Sophists and Socrates 326
Plato and the Academy to the First Century 330
Aristotle and the Peripatetics 338
Skepticism 346
Cynicism 348
Stoicism 354
Epicureanism 370
Eclecticism 379
Neopythagoreanism 382
Middle Platonism 387
Plotinus and Neoplatonism 391
Judaism 396
Jewish History, 538 B.C. to A.D 200 399
Jews in the Early Roman Empire 427
Jewish Literature and Other Sources in the Hellenistic and Roman Periods 431
Parties and Sects 513
Beliefs and Practices 537
Organization and Institutions 562
Christianity in the Ancient World 583
Literary References to Christianity in Non-Christian Sources 584
Archaeological Remains Bearing on Early Christian History 585
Some Claimed Archaeological Remains of Early Christianity 589
Attitudes of Pagans toward Christians 592
The Legal Status of Christianity 601
Hindrances to the Acceptance of Christianity 608
Religious Rivals 609
Factors Favorable to Christianity 616
What Was Unique in Christianity? 619
Index of Subjects 621
Index of Scripture References 643
Map of the Ancient World 650
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