The pathway to understanding the New Testament leads through the vibrant landscape of the first-century Greco-Roman world. The New Testament is rooted in the concrete historical events of that world.
In Jesus the Rise of Early Christianity Paul Barnett not only places the New Testament within that world of caesars and Herods, proconsuls and Pharisees, Sadducees and revolutionaries, but argues that the mainspring and driving force of early Christian history is the historical Jesus. We cannot understand the rise of Christianity apart from this Jesus, the messiah of Israel and the spiritual and intellectual impact he had on his immediate followers and those who succeeded them.
From his intimate acquaintance with the sources, the evidence and the problems of New Testament history, Barnett offers fresh insights. His telling of the story skillfully avoids the encumbrance of extraneous details and side journeys. From the brith of Jesus to the founding of the messianic community, from the rise of Paul's mission to the Gentiles to the writing of the Gospels, Barnett offers a comprehensive account of the movement that would change the face of world history.
Jesus the Rise of Early Christianity is a comprehensive survey of New Testament history that will meet the needs of students and teachers of the New Testament. In its engagment with contemporary scholarship and its emphasis on the propelling role of the historical and risen Jesus in the rise of Christianity, it provides a timely rejoinder to current revisionist exploration of Christian origins.
Maps and Tables
1. The New Testament as History
Excursus 1A: New Testament Chronology
Excursus 1B: History and Myth
2. The Impact of Christ
3. The Hellenistic Background to Jesus
4. Herod, Idumaean, King of the Jews
5. Jesus' Birth Boyhood
6. Jesus' Context: Galilee Peraea
7. Jesus' Context: Judea
Excursus 7A: The Search for the historical Pontius Pilate
8. Jesus of Nazareth (c. 29-33)
Excursus 8A: Working Assumptions
Excursus 8B: The Criterion of Dissimilarity
Excursus 8C: Did Jesus Make Claims to Deity?
9. Resurrection, Exaltation the Spirit
10. The Community of the Messiah in Jerusalem
Excursus 10A: The Use of Acts 1-5 for Historical Reconstruction
11. The Scattering of the Community the Conversion of Saul (c. 34/35)
12. Peter in Palestine (33-47)
13. The Apostolate of Saul in the "Unknown Years" (c. 34-47)
Excursus 13A: Paul's Mission Strategy According to Rainer Riesner
Excursus 13B: Jews, Proselytes and God-fearers
14. The Inclusion of the Gentiles (47-49)
Excursus 14A: An Early Dating for Galations
Excursus 14B: The Missionary Agreement and the Jerusalem Council
15. James, Cephas John
16. Paul's Later Ministry (c. 50-65)
17. Churches Evangelists (33-100)
18. The Four Gospels
19. The Kindgom of Christ
Excursus 20A:The Birth of Christianity According to J. Dominic Crossan