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Sinners: Jesus and His Earliest Followers Paperback – April 1, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This book surprises the reader with discoveries that make its theme come alive with a renewed appreciation for how rhetorical subjects are embedded inextricably in the human experience. The writing is simple, clear, engaging, and often even exciting. Gary Selby helps us to grasp the power of rhetoric as a lived, experienced phenomenon. His work draws out King's use of Exodus in a manner that provides unsuspected depth of meaning and understanding."―Michael Osborn, University of Memphis, Professor Emeritus, Department of Communication

"Carey effectively challenges and re-scripts common narratives of Jesus's life. After absorbing Carey's interpretations, readers will want to have their views shaken even more."―Brooks Berndt, Ph. D., Homiletic

"Carey writes with an inviting style. Distilling currents in contemporary scholarship, he challenges readers to consider the implications of the identification of Jesus and his followers with and as sinners."―Jennifer A. Glancy, Interpretation

"... students and laypersons will find much food for provocative thought presented in a lively and academically responsible fashion. C[arey] adroitly canvasses key biblical and scholarly sources, spiced with illuminating insights from modern film, literature, and pop culture."―The Catholic Biblical Quarterly

"With economic stress feeding anti-immigrant prejudice, debates over sexuality heating up, and fear of terrorism percolating, Christians would do well to consider that Jesus fraternized with misfits and was himself a social deviant. Greg Carey―winsome communicator and professor of New Testament at Lancaster Theological Seminary―offers us colorful and compelling evidence that Jesus and his early followers often did not fit the mold."―The Christian Century

"In lively prose, this book blends today's cultural idioms with serious biblical scholarship. The result is a provocative read that will surely challenge the many easy assumptions we consumers of American pop culture make about Jesus, Paul, and the early followers of the Christ-movement. Greg Carey is a public theologian of the most serious sort."―Sze-kar Wan, Professor of New Testament, Southern Methodist University, Perkins School of Theology

"Many in our culture seem deeply interested in the question "What would Jesus do?" yet largely uninformed about "what Jesus did" two thousand years ago. In this smart and accessible book Greg Carey offers an illuminating sketch of the first century social landscape, allowing readers to see Jesus as his contemporaries did: as a transgressor of cultural norms. By explaining and celebrating the perception of Jesus as one who associated with fellow "sinners," this book provides a way of understanding the New Testament that can deliver Christians from their crippling tendencies to pursue respectability instead of imitating Jesus."―Matthew L. Skinner, Associate Professor of New Testament, Luther Seminary, Saint Paul

"Greg Carey sets forth an excellent and innovative example of how to read the character of Jesus from a literary, historical, and theological perspective, with an emphasis on ethics of interpretation for the postmodern world."―Francisco Lozada, Jr., Associate Professor of New Testament and Latina/o Church Studies, Brite Divinity School

"Carey's book is written in a lively and engaging manner that offers non-specialists an enjoyable and provocative look at the way in which Jesus and the first Christians frequently violated conventional social norms. ... The book proceeds in some unexpected directions along the way but is very enjoyable and overall succeeds in making the reader think about the unconventional nature of early Christianity."―Gary W. Burnett, Journal for the Study of the New Testament

"Carey's argument challenges contemporary Christians to reconsider the relationship of the church with sin, shame, respectability and risk."―Cynthia Briggs Kittredge, Associate Professor of New Testament, The Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest

About the Author

Greg Carey (Ph.D., Vanderbilt University) is Professor of New Testament, Lancaster Theological Seminary. Carey has also written: Ultimate Things: An Introduction to Jewish and Christian Apocalyptic Literature (2005), and Elusive Apocalypse: Reading Authority in the Revelation to John (1999).

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Baylor University Press (April 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1602581460
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602581463
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #850,421 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Greg Carey is Professor of New Testament at Lancaster Theological Seminary and Scholar in Residence at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity. Greg's most recent book is Sinners: Jesus and His Earliest Followers. He is a contributing editor of Out in Scripture, an LGBTQ-friendly lectionary resource sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign. Greg is frequently invited to speak on ancient apocalyptic literature, sexual ethics, and the use of the Bible in moral reflection.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Ray Luber on April 30, 2009
Format: Paperback
Greg Carey's presentation is clear and straight forward. His writing style is precise. The book presents a unique view of early Christianity in that it seeks to reflect how early Christians saw themselves and how they were viewed by the "general pubic" in the first couple of centuries. His idea the Jesus interacted with and accepted "sinners" (he goes to great pains to describe what this label meant) without requesting repentance is interesting and challenging. This book is a worth while read for anyone (not just clergy) interested in the early days of Christianity.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Barbara A. Pace on May 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
Greg Carey's Sinners: Jesus and His Earliest Followers was a very enlightening dipiction of the reaction of society during His day to Jesus' life, His ministry, and His treatment of all of the people whom He met along the way. This book makes Jesus and His followers much more real to me as I viewed them in Roman times. I teach Sunday School and a ladies Bible class, and I will certainly refer to this book in my future classes. This is a wonderful book for Bible teachers such as I. The Epilogue and the Conclusion are especially entertaining!
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By Dr.ET on June 17, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well written and thought provoking.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By S. Parker on October 13, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book greatly. It was an interesting read and helped me to better understand what it meant to be a sinner during the time of Jesus. This book also brought into perspective how Jesus and his disciples broke social norms.
This book arrived near the beginning of the shipping period, which was very nice. The only downside would be the price, but most books these days are getting to be more expensive.
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1 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Stardust on December 14, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book arrived quickly and that was important since I had ordered it for a class.
I ordered one for myself and one for a friend. I have finished the book and
am working on the book review. It was a successful venture with Amazon.
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