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Jesus & the Rise of Early Christianity: A History of New Testament Times Paperback – May 17, 2002

4.7 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Barnett, Anglican Bishop of North Sydney, Australia, seeks to put Jesus back into the story of the early Church's development, in contrast to recent titles that discuss primitive Christianity with only a sociopolitical approach to its founder. Or, rather, it is Barnett's aim to put Christ back into the story: he maintains that it was the Christ of faith, not the mere historical Jesus, who provided the dynamic impetus for the formation of the Church. This providential approach to the early Church, based on Barnett's conviction that "God lay behind this history," unfortunately does not engage other New Testament scholarship or Jesus Studies materials. Rather, he concentrates his efforts solely on biblical text. If the tome were intended as an overall New Testament commentary, it would succeed in its intimate, detailed study of Scripture (especially regarding the Gospels and Acts), but since Barnett here is trying his hand at meta-history, his neglect of the voluminous secondary literature is a glaring omission. Students, particularly those with a similar faith perspective, will find Barnett's account easy to digest, with a user-friendly organization and straightforward writing style that is all too rare in biblical studies. However, scholars and non-Christians will likely be frustrated by Barnett's refusal to even debate social and political interpretations of the Church's origins. (Nov.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Barnett (Ph.D., London University), was until his retirement Anglican bishop of North Sydney, Australia. He remains a visiting fellow in ancient history at Macquarie University (Sydney, Australia) and research professor at Regent College (Vancouver, British Columbia). He has written several books.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Academic (May 17, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830826998
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830826995
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #345,225 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
This review is actually a summary statement on the value of Barnett's three books on NT origins:
Jesus & the Rise of Early Christianity: A History of New Testament Times
The Birth of Christianity: The First Twenty Years (After Jesus, Vol. 1)
Paul, Missionary of Jesus: After Jesus, Vol. 2

I've read a good number of books on the rise of Christianity, yet this book excels in blending interaction with critical/liberal scholarship, rigorous historical analysis and readability. The book is interesting enough that it keeps you reading it. Many books on the rise of Christianity, or "historical" Jesus studies will tend to get bogged down on debates that are meaningless to the overall themes of the gospels, or to the historical discussion of early Christianity. Barnett is able to deal quickly and adequately with some of the more minor critiques, while addressing the major critiques with gusto.

If you are interested in an introduction to the earliest church history, then please read this trilogy. If you are already familiar with the material and are interested in how one can present this information in a way that is both entertaining and insightful, then please read these three fine books on the rise of Christianity.
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By A Customer on December 23, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book does a good job of supplying basic background for a better understanding of the New Testament. NT history,social and cultural, is clearly set out. The genres (gospel,epistle etc.)are discussed and correctives are provided to balance the baleful influence of the 'Jesus Seminar' yahoos. Good, modern, conservative evaluations, not fundamentalist knee-jerk reactions.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you are wanting to add some great research material and powerful insights on the topic of Jesus and the birth of Primitive Christianity then you will find this book a must have. Unlike other books which read more like a conversation this book reads more like a lecture. You will have to carefully read and re-read most sections, not for the controversy but for the facts and detail.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This may be one of the most dense books on my shelves, which is saying quite a bit as I'm mid-thesis at the moment. Barnett is a masterful writer and researcher - his book is fully accessible to someone new to this world and yet his dense footnotes provide hours of fascinating discovery for the advanced student of the first century. His meticulous research and clear presentation of the material makes this a must-read for anyone with even a passing interest in the world from which Christianity sprung. I highly recommend this to both scholar and novice friends alike - this is a true treasure of a book.
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Format: Hardcover
Paul Barnett has written a timely book. There has been much written in recent times about how Jesus and history cannot be ever matched. Barnett who is faithful to the Bible and to history has brought the two together. It is a refreshing approach after the various ultra liberal writers publishings, which seem to just rubbish every aspect of faithful Biblical belief.
this book is a must for every Biblical and theological scholar, and for the faithful Christian who feels that the ultra liberal writers are under-mining their faith.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So much scholarship contained between the covers of this book it was mind boggling, not so much that much of it has been discussed be other authors dealing with the same subject matter, but simply in the authors compelling presentation of material. It proved to be a very fine 'read' and provided much helpful information. I enjoyed it and intend to re-read at some point over the Summer.

Jim G.
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