Where Did Early Christianity Come From?

A Listmania! list by Josh R.
The list author says: "What is Christianity? Where did the Church come from? How was the Bible compiled? Who chose what to believe? How does Judaism fit in with all of this? The following books take you back to the beginning to get some perspective on these issues."
From Jesus to Christianity: How Four Generations of Visionaries & Storytellers Created the New Testament and Christian Faith
1.  From Jesus to Christianity: How Four Generations of Visionaries & Storytellers Created the New Testament and Christian Faith by L. Michael White
The list author says:
  "White provides a rather even and clean introduction to the ancient history behind the early movement, and manages to encapsulate the entire early textual tradition, from Paul to the Church Fathers, in well-organized chapters. Helpful info boxes give potential dates and settings for each text."
$17.22   Used & New from: $2.48
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

How Did Christianity Begin?: A Believer and Non-Believer Examine the Evidence
2.  How Did Christianity Begin?: A Believer and Non-Believer Examine the Evidence by Michael F. Bird
The list author says:
  "In a series of back-and-forth articles, Bird and Crossley face off over key questions surrounding the formation of Christianity."
$16.41   Used & New from: $1.39
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew
3.  Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew by Bart D. Ehrman
The list author says:
  "Ehrman emphasizes the distinctness and immense variety of early Christianities as he introduces the faiths, texts and controversies that shaped the religion's earliest centuries."
$16.55   Used & New from: $3.56
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (182 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

Liberating the Gospels: Reading the Bible with Jewish Eyes
4.  Liberating the Gospels: Reading the Bible with Jewish Eyes by John Shelby Spong
The list author says:
  "This book claims that the earliest accounts of Jesus' life can't be understood apart from Judaism. Controversial writer John Shelby Spong conducts a midrashic reading of the gospels to show us why."
$13.63   Used & New from: $0.01
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)

The Reluctant Parting: How the New Testament's Jewish Writers Created a Christian Book
5.  The Reluctant Parting: How the New Testament's Jewish Writers Created a Christian Book by Julie Galambush
The list author says:
  "How did Christianity emerge as a separate religion from Judaism? Galambush argues that the estrangement was long and painful, and brings a distinct Jewish perspective to familiar texts and events."
$6.40   Used & New from: $0.09
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

A.D. 381: Heretics, Pagans, and the Dawn of the Monotheistic State
6.  A.D. 381: Heretics, Pagans, and the Dawn of the Monotheistic State by Charles Freeman
The list author says:
  "In this longer work, Freeman focuses on the real-life struggles and capitulations that led to the orthodox creeds separating right believers from apostates and heretics."
Used & New from: $11.54
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)

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The Birth of Christianity : Discovering What Happened in the Years Immediately After the Execution of Jesus
7.  The Birth of Christianity : Discovering What Happened in the Years Immediately After the Execution of Jesus by John Dominic Crossan
The list author says:
  "Here Crossan investigates the texts to determine what we can learn about early Christians. One of the longest and most detailed works on my list."
$17.15   Used & New from: $0.99
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)

The Five Gospels: What Did Jesus Really Say? The Search for the Authentic Words of Jesus
8.  The Five Gospels: What Did Jesus Really Say? The Search for the Authentic Words of Jesus by Robert W. Funk
The list author says:
  "The introduction gives a perspective on the role of oral tradition in building the "Jesus movement", one form of which would later become Christianity. The fresh translation of the gospels is worth a look, although the voted & coded judgment calls on which statements Jesus did or did not make are notoriously controversial."
$21.17   Used & New from: $2.88
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)

The New Testament: Proclamation and Parenesis, Myth and History
9.  The New Testament: Proclamation and Parenesis, Myth and History by Dennis C. Duling
The list author says:
  "At this point, pick up a solid introduction to the scholarship surrounding the New Testament, including an introduction to the critical method. A textbook like this will help you understand text and history, as well as the academic terminology used in New Testament studies."
Used & New from: $0.01
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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The Gnostic Gospels
10.  The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels
The list author says:
  "Pagels takes a look at Gnostic Christians, and shares how they challenged literal interpretation and questioned the authority of Church Christianity. She doesn't use this to criticize modern orthodox Christians, but instead opens up a rival ancient perspective."
$10.21   Used & New from: $0.01
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (318 customer reviews) | 2 customer discussions

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Josh R.
Last updated: 10/6/11
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