- 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: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #234,110 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Gospel and the Greeks: Did the New Testament Borrow from Pagan Thought? (Student Library) 2nd Edition
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"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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
From this point, he explains the origins and nature of the various "mystery religions," the Gnostic warpage of the Greek religions from which Christianity supposedly sprang. he then dives into comparing Gnosticism and Chrsitianity directly, specifically showing how Christianity is not related to Gnosticism in any way. Based on the timeing alone, Dr. Nash shows that many of the elements critics claim were stolen into Christian belief systems were, in fact, not even current at the time they were supposedly stolen.
One interesting point the author develops throughout this book is that the book of Hebrews was specifically written to Christians who had been raised in the world of Philo, who merged the mystery religion idea with Torah observance to create a Jewish mystery religion that stood apart from the Greek mystery religions. These Christians were considering moving back into this syncretic world, and the book of Hebrews was written to convince them that Christianity has more to offer than these mystery religions --that Jesus is superior to the angels and the logos as conceived in these mystery systems.
Overall, a well argued expose of faulty beliefs about the origin and development of Christianity, and it's relationship to Greek mystery religions in general, and Gnosticism specifically. Well worth reading in a world captured in the thrall of silly modern myths about lost gospels, the "wife of Jesus," and Gnostic thought in general.
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. He largely glosses over this section almost forgetting that much of Christainity does practice a deifciation commonly called "theosis." He settles to quickly with the Western idea of salvation in refuting salvific issues. While I think it is propoer of him to use this approach, he relies to heavily upon it. The Eastern Tradition is different than the mysetry cults teachings in this area, and a solid refutation here would have been helpful I think for Eastern Christians, regardless if Nash agrees with the Eastern tradition of theosis or not (since Nash is a Reformed Protetstant, I think he probably would not agree with the theosis doctrine, but nonetheless, it was a teaching of the early Church and is distinct from the mystery cults idea of union with God.
A must have book for any Christian who wants to learn more about this subject!