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The Gospel and the Greeks: Did the New Testament Borrow from Pagan Thought? (Student Library) Paperback – February 6, 2003


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"An excellent apologetic . . . showing the insuperable problems of viewing Christianity as an outgrowth of Greek philosophy, the Hellenistic mystery religions, or gnosticism." --Robert C. Newman

"A lucid and superb book." --Edwin Yamauchi

"[Regarding] the substantial debt which Christianity allegedly owes to Platonism, Stoicism, mystery religion, gnosticism . . . Nash has no difficulty in showing that much of the supposed indebtedness is ruled out of court on [several] grounds . . . But Nash is not content with refuting unsound arguments; he makes positive contributions to the subject under discussion." --F. F. Bruce

About the Author

Ronald H. Nash was professor of Christian philosophy at Southern Baptist Seminary. He authored more than thirty books and lectured at more than fifty colleges and universities in the United States, Great Britain, and the former Soviet Union.
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Product Details

  • Series: Student Library
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: P & R Publishing; 2 edition (February 6, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875525598
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875525594
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #590,899 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 35 people found the following review helpful By K.H. on January 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
Ron Nash's book is more than an introduction into the topic of Christainity and the Mystery Religions of the Greco-Roman world, but not so detialed as to loose the laymen. Although most scholars, including liberals, have now discounted a complete comparision between Christianity and Mystery Religions, a small, but vocal neo-pagan and feminists goddess practiciners have re-ignited the debate, partly I think due to the openness of comminication provided bt the internet.
This book introduces the major issues invol and places emphasis in three areas: (1) Hellenistic Philosophy, (2) The Mystery Religions, (3) Christianity and Gnosticism.
All sections involve clear, concise, yet thorough refutation of many Christian/mystery religions as proposed by some individuals, some of whom are academics largely behind the most current standings in the debate. Further, Nash, in order to provide a road map, uses the introducing paragraphs for each chapter brillantly. He gives a clear objective statement and explains where he'll be heading with the material. This I think helps in a text likes this and demonstrates that Nash is knowldgeable on how to present possible new material to people (for many, this is probable the first they have read about the subject).
He also provides a great selection of resource material on the subject. His endnotes provides nice explanations when neccessary and he also has additional non-cited footnotes to give a little additional, though non-esential information.
There is one small crticisms of the book and it is significant enough to deduct a star. Nash barely deals with the idea of defication among many mystery cults and the Christian tradition.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Russ White on August 27, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The gnostic question has plagued Christianity since the beginning of the enlightenment -- given Christ never did claim to be God, given that this man Jesus either never existed, or was simply a "Palestinian wise man who fighting for social justice," as the modern myth has it, where did Christianity come from? If Jesus didn't start Christianity, then who did? This problem is made more urgent in modern times, when Christianity is the "alien," or the "other," which must be brought low if the world is to be "saved." What better way to erode the roots of Christianity than to claim it began with something close to what modern spiritualists believe, simply being corrupted by men like Paul into the form we see today?

This entire line of thinking falls apart in the face of actual study, as Rondald Nash shows in The Gospel and the Greeks. There is not only evidence that the foundational ideas and rites of Christianity were stolen from Gnosticism, an ancient form of the panentheism that envelopes our modern world in political correctness, but that many of the arguments made in the Gospels and Epistles were actually aimed squarely at differentiating Christianity from Gnosticism.

Dr. Nash begins his examination of the evidence by explaining the various forms of Greek religion dominant at the time of the Apostle's writings. This is a necessary piece of the puzzle; how can we determine whether or not Christianity stole ideas from the Greek religions if we don't understand the Greek religions themselves? In short order, the author lays out a high level overview providing a good understanding of the religious environment into which Christ appeared.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Jason Santiago on September 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
On the surface, many folks might think that the topic is very obscure or not all that important. And while it's true that the subject matter is somewhat complicated and can initially appear pretty irrelevant to present day Christianity, it is nonetheless a topic with enormous present day relevance and deserves to be explored. In a nutshell, this book attempts to analyze whether early Christianity was influenced by pagan philosophical systems or by ideas that existed in the pagan mystery religions. There are a number of reasons why such an examination is so important. First, as this book mentions, a link of influence of paganism on early Christianity has been a common tactic among various folks in academia who are looking to discredit the Christian faith in front of an impressionable audience, and while not mentioning it, the Jesus Seminar has also been diligent in advancing such arguments in an effort to dedeify Jesus. And the reason is clear. One can make major inroads in discrediting the authenticity of Christianity if they can demonstrate, for example, that the resurrection of Jesus as described in the Gospels was really a mythical story copied from allegedly similar recountings in the pagan mystery religions. If this could be demonstrated, any number of additional negative ideas could be argued with greater force, such as that Jesus wasn't really God because the resurrection recountings of the Gospels are not historical but mythical and parallel other myths of the time, or that Jesus is no more special or unique than other supposed gods or deities in other religions. It is clear that the ramifications of these kind of theories, if proven, would be devastating to Christianity. Thus, the importance of this book.Read more ›
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