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Jesus and First-Century Christianity in Jerusalem Paperback – July 1, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dr. Elizabeth McNamer teaches religious thought at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana . She is a co-author of the award winning video series Scripture from Scratch and has contributed numerous articles to the monthly publication of that title. For 14 years she has been a director of the Bethsaida Archaeological Excavations in Israel. She is a popular lecturer on Scripture and Christian history presenting talks in Asia, Europe, Israel and the US. the late Father Bargil Pixner was a Benedictine Monk at Dormition Abbey Jerusalem. He authored numerous articles and books. As an archaeologist he uncovered parts of the Essene quarters on Mount Zion. He was an expert on the topography of Israel.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 100 pages
  • Publisher: Paulist Press (July 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809145235
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809145232
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 8.4 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,367,526 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The origins of Christianity is a compelling subject of interest for every new generation of scholars and believers. Advances in archaeology has made tremendous and on-going contributions to our understanding of how the Christian movement has evolved over its first few decades and centuries of existence. "Jesus and First Century Christianity in Jerusalem" is a close examination of early Christianity. In the beginning, Christianity was considered a fringe sect of Judaism; some even considered it no more than a mad cult. Comprehensive in its coverage, "Jesus and First Century Christianity in Jerusalem" is enthusiastically recommended to anyone curious how one of the most powerful forces in the western world got its start.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael Waddell on July 30, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book covers an area of early-Christian scholarship which receives too little discussion: the history of the Jerusalem church in early Christianity. Scholars often have little to say because there is so little evidence, but this book attempts to make sense of the limited data in a way approachable by undergraduates and non-professionals. The book takes the position that Jesus' family were heavily influenced by Essene beliefs (while not Essenes themselves), and that both Jesus' personal motivations and the actions of the Jerusalem Church (headed by Jesus' family) can best be understood in this context. It's a promising premise, and much of the book is well-written, informative, and beautifully illustrated.

Unfortunately there are two related problems that greatly detract from the book's worth. One is that it treats all of the New Testament record, including Acts, as a completely reliable historical account. This is, obviously, an act of faith to believe, and is not a tenable position for a neutral historian. If you want to read speculative history that attempts to reconcile biblical inerrancy with the archaeological record, then perhaps you would find this a positive attribute. I found that it detracted from the reliability of many of the conclusions.

The other problem is that, although much of the information is solid and reliable, other parts were published in a sloppy and haphazard way. Certain time periods are glossed over, new information is referred to without explanation, etc. In the copy I received, the last fifteen pages were missing, having been bound without a cursory page check. It appears the publishers were too hasty to put this to print, and it would have benefited greatly by additional proofreading.
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By Rachael Meader on June 13, 2013
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This would be a great book for someone who wants a VERY basic understanding of Christianity. I actually had Elizabeth McNamer as a professor and I wish her passion would have been better communicated in this book.
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