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


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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 8.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,042,982 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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Customer Reviews

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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
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jay E on April 30, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Beautiful glossy photographs , clear large type print. ' Jesus and First-Century Christianity in Jerusalem '

Initial introduction ' The Background of Jesus' pg.s 1-12 , is problematic in regards to accuracy. As many Western biblical perspectives are so it is not entirely surprising . Read this like a good proof-reader would and know that there are conflicts in documentation and for consensus with the authors' Christology in general, or with doctrine perhaps. These several examples should suffice.

pg 8 An impossible reference(inferred)is made regarding leprosy ie. ' leper'

Compare with Pentateuch

Lev 13.45 "As for the leper who has the infection, his garments are torn, and his head is uncovered, and he has to cover his upper lip and cry, `Unclean! Unclean!'
46 "He is unclean - all the days he has the infection he is unclean. He is unclean, and he dwells alone, his dwelling place is outside the camp. The Scriptures ISR

So it is not conceivable that a leper would be found or rather (allowed) within the gates of Jerusalem much less hosting parties! If a leper has been cleansed, they no longer are referred to as 'leper' and would be called 'clean' by the Kohan . The reference here to 'leper' has obviously been rendered from mistranslated Eng source text.

The Aramaic words for 'leper' and 'jar maker' are spelled exactly the same way but pronounced differently ; [gimel-resh-beyt-aleph] "GaR-BAh" means leper, " GaR-ah-BAh" means jar maker. Notice,

And when Y'shua was in in Beth Anya, in the house of the potter, Shimon, A woman approached him who had an alabaster vase of ointment which was very precious perfume and she poured it upon the head of Y'shua while he was reclining." Mat 26.
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6 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Miller VINE VOICE on August 10, 2008
Format: Paperback
I recently read Jesus and First-Century Christianity in Jerusalem by Elizabeth Mcnamer and Bargil Pixner that was sent to me for review by Paulist Press. The book starts with an overview of the Essenes and then the Nazoreans and then goes on to give a historical overview that includes Jesus' public years and then concentrates mainly on the Church in Jerusalem up to the year 135. The overview of Jesus and subsequent resurrection is mainly straight-forward account as is the subsequent years of the Church in Jerusalem. The book uses as source materials text such a the Protoevangelium of James and historians of the era such as Jophesus and later Eusebius along with others of that time period along of course with the Gospels. So there is a lot of good information about the early Church specifically in regards to the Christians in Jerusalem.

I was glad to see the retelling of Jesus' public years was surprisingly free of sneering skepticism and it kept to the facts as told in the Gospels, though there were some exceptions. Such as "Jesus may have had a life changing experience as he went to the Jordan near Jericho as he was baptized by John the Baptist." This sentence made me laugh and sounds like the kind of stuff taught by those who say Jesus was ignorant they were God and many of the authors of some of the references do hold to such a view. Later on we get a sentence questioning whether if some of the early presiders were women and then a confusion on the role of women deaconesses. But this type of stuff was mostly the exception.

Also included was the standard fare about the Q document the mythical lost document used by Matthew and Luke. Along with some rather late datings of the Gospels with for example Luke being dated at 85 A.D with the phase "scholars say.
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