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The Emergence of the Christian Religion: Essays on Early Christianity

Overview

In this book, Birger Pearson argues for the study of Christianity as "one of the religions of the world." He proposes that the study of the New Testament and the other early Christian literature be moved out of the realm of theology and into the area of comparative research of religion. The book therefore addresses the problematic of Christian origins, that is, the historical process by which a new religion, Christianity, emerges out of an older one, Second Temple Judaism. Included are studies ranging from the ...

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Overview

In this book, Birger Pearson argues for the study of Christianity as "one of the religions of the world." He proposes that the study of the New Testament and the other early Christian literature be moved out of the realm of theology and into the area of comparative research of religion. The book therefore addresses the problematic of Christian origins, that is, the historical process by which a new religion, Christianity, emerges out of an older one, Second Temple Judaism. Included are studies ranging from the prehistory of Christianity (Jesus, together with an illuminating, lengthy, and detailed critical analysis of the work of the Jesus Seminar and the trends in current North American gospel research it reflects) into the New Testament and up to the fourth century. A concluding chapter presents the author's reflections on scholarly methods used in the study of the Christian religion.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781620326374
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/28/2012
  • Pages: 241
  • Sales rank: 1,222,561
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Birger A. Pearson is Professor of Religious Studies Emeritus at the University of Santa Barbara and Professor and Interim Director of the Religious Studies Program at the University of California, Berkeley.

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Table of Contents

Preface vii

Abbreviations and Short Tides ix

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 The Emergence of the Christian Religion 7

Chapter 2 The Gospel according to the "Jesus Seminar": On Some Recent Trends in Gospel Research 23

Chapter 3 1 Thessalonians 2:13-16: A Deutero-Pauline Interpolation 58

Chapter 4 A Reminiscence of Classical Myth at 2 Peter 2:4 75

Chapter 5 The Apocalypse of Peter (NHC VII, 3) and Canonical 2 Peter 88

Chapter 6 Old Testament Interpretation in Gnostic Literature 99

Chapter 7 The Problem of "Jewish Gnostic" Literature 122

Chapter 8 Eusebius and Gnosticism 147

Chapter 9 Unity and Diversity in the Early Church as a Social Phenomenon 169

Chapter 10 Philanthropy in the Greco-Roman World and in Early Christianity 186

Epilogue: Some Personal Observations on Scholarly Method 214

Index of Ancient Sources 226

Index of Modern Authors 238

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