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Eerdmans Studies in Early Christianity (9 vols.)
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Overview

The Eerdmans Studies in Early Christianity collection gathers nine volumes of modern scholarship on the nascent Christianity of the first century and beyond. Included are works on the earliest development of worship for Jesus as God, including Larry W. Hurtado’s standard-setting Lord Jesus Christ. Other volumes from Hurtado study the origins of Christianity’s sacred texts and liturgy. In The Inspiration and Interpretation of Scripture, Michael Graves explores the beginnings of biblical exegesis and the implications of a divinely inspired text. This collection is a valuable addition to the library of church historians, ministers, and anyone interested in the unique and fascinating spread of the gospel of Jesus.

In the Logos editions, these valuable volumes are enhanced by amazing functionality. Scripture citations link directly to English translations, and important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Bolster your study by cross-referencing and comparing with an extensive library of Jesus studies and church history. Take your study with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Key Features

  • Explores the early church’s approach to Scripture
  • Examines the earliest stages of Christian worship and liturgy
  • Describes the religious landscape of the first century
  • Includes Larry W. Hurtado’s standard-setting work, Lord Jesus Christ

Individual Titles

The Birth of Christianity: The First Twenty Years

  • Author: Paul Barnett
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Pages: 240

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Contrary to several popular works of Christian scholarship, historian Paul Barnett maintains that the first two decades of Christian history are hardly “lost years.” As he shows in this penetrating book, the period between Jesus and the earliest Christian texts is open to historical investigation, and he richly details the time and setting in which the church was born.

Writing with accessible style, Barnett provides an informative, chronology of the years immediately following Jesus’ crucifixion. He presents the historical sources, biblical clues, and other telling evidence that we have for accurately documenting this crucial period of time. Looking more widely, Barnett also surveys world events during Christianity’s first 20 years and notes their impact on life in the early church.

For a couple of decades the most radical critics have been trying to foster systematic skepticism regarding Christianity based on the 20 year gap between the death and resurrection of Jesus and the writing of the first New Testament documents. Paul Barnett shows that fair reading of the evidence provides us with far more information about those years than is sometimes thought. This is a must-read book for theology students and others who are troubled by the popularized skepticism of a small but vociferous group of radicals. The book is also useful for pastors who need to remember and teach that Christianity is a historically grounded religion.

D. A. Carson, research professor, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Bound to become an excellent resource for Christians looking for a judicious, scholarly, and fair treatment of the history of early Christianity.

Themelios

Paul Barnett is visiting fellow in ancient history at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, and teaching fellow in biblical studies at Regent College.

Backgrounds of Early Christianity

  • Author: Everett Ferguson
  • Edition: 3rd
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Pages: 672

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Having long served as a standard introduction to the world of the early church, Everett Ferguson’s Backgrounds of Early Christianity has been expanded and updated in this third edition. The book explores and unpacks the Roman, Greek, and Jewish political, social, religious, and philosophical backgrounds necessary for a good historical understanding of the New Testament and the early church. New to this edition are revisions of Ferguson’s original material, updated bibliographies, and fresh discussions of first-century social life, of Gnosticism, and of the Dead Sea Scrolls and other Jewish literature.

The text is excellent—rich and amazingly detailed. A standard textbook, it would also be a good addition to a parish library.

Current in Theology and Mission

Everett Ferguson is professor emeritus of Bible and distinguished scholar-in-residence at Abilene Christian University. Among his published works are Backgrounds of Early Christianity and The Church of Christ: A Biblical Ecclesiology for Today.

At the Origins of Christian Worship: The Context and Character of Earliest Christian Devotion

  • Author: Larry W. Hurtado
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2000
  • Pages: 150

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

This volume makes a valuable contribution to the debate about the origins and development of Christianity. Larry Hurtado argues that understanding the nature of Christianity in the first century requires taking full account of the first Christians’ devotional practices because worship was the context in which christological titles and other expressions of faith were given their specific meaning—a fact that has largely been ignored.

Hurtado focuses on two distinguishing characteristics of the earliest Christian worship: its exclusivity (rejecting the worship of other deities) and its “binitarian” shape (the veneration of Christ alongside God the Father). Setting early Christianity within the religious environment of the Roman era, Hurtado describes the features of Christianity that attracted followers and led them to renounce other religions. He then turns his attention to a more detailed discussion of the place of Christ in the monotheistic worship of the earliest Christians, showing that Christ figured in their public and corporate devotional life at a surprisingly early stage. Hurtado concludes with some reflections for Christian worship today based on the historical features of early Christian devotional practices.

Clear, illuminating, and relevant to the modern church, this volume will be of interest to scholars, pastors, students, and general readers seeking insight into the origins of Christian faith and practice.

This book proves to be pointed and helpful in coming to a greater understanding and appreciation of the origins of Christian worship. I recommend it especially to those wanting to better understand worship’s roots.

Worship Leader

This brief, scholarly, and readable book considers—as its subtitle accurately puts it—the context and character of early Christian devotion. Larry Hurtado, a leading scholar of evangelical background, seeks to describe the setting in which the earliest Christian worship arose and certain of its features, and then to reflect on issues for contemporary Christian worship.

Anglican Theological Review

Larry W. Hurtado is professor emeritus of New Testament language, literature, and theology at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

The Earliest Christian Artifacts: Manuscripts and Christian Origins

  • Author: Larry W. Hurtado
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Pages: 262

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Much attention has been paid to the words of the earliest Christian canonical and extracanonical texts, yet Larry Hurtado points out that an even more telling story is being overlooked—the story of the physical texts themselves.

Widely recognized for his outstanding scholarship, Hurtado combines his comprehensive knowledge of Christian origins with an archivist’s eye to make sense of these earliest objects of the faith. He introduces readers to the staurogram, possibly the first representation of the cross, the nomina sacra, a textual abbreviation system, and the puzzling Christian preference for book-like texts over scrolls. Drawing on studies by papyrologists and palaeographers as well as New Testament scholars—and including photographic plates of selected manuscripts—The Earliest Christian Artifacts astutely introduces the distinctive physical features of early Christian manuscripts, illustrating their relevance for wider inquiry into the complex origins of Christianity.

A landmark study, clearly explained, cautious, yet intriguing. Why the experimental, indeed pioneering, exploitation of the book form (actually more awkward than dignified rolls)? Why try out punctuation and spacing? Why the novel signal for words given divine meaning? Why convert the word ‘cross’ itself into the earliest image of Christ? The many unknown Egyptian scribes prove more independent, yet more of a common mind, than had earlier been thought.

—E. A. Judge, emeritus professor of history, Macquarie University

Larry W. Hurtado is professor emeritus of New Testament language, literature, and theology at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

How on Earth Did Jesus Become a God? Historical Questions about Earliest Devotion to Jesus

  • Author: Larry W. Hurtado
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Pages: 246

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

In How on Earth Did Jesus Become a God? Larry Hurtado investigates the intense devotion to Jesus that emerged with surprising speed after his death. Reverence for Jesus among early Christians, notes Hurtado, included both grand claims about Jesus’ significance and a pattern of devotional practices that effectively treated him as divine. This book argues that whatever one makes of such devotion to Jesus, the subject deserves serious historical consideration.

Mapping out the lively current debate about Jesus, Hurtado explains the evidence, issues, and positions at stake. He goes on to treat the opposition to—and severe costs of—worshiping Jesus, the history of incorporating such devotion into Jewish monotheism, and the role of religious experience in Christianity’s development out of Judaism. Hurtado provides compelling answers to queries about the development of the church’s belief in the divinity of Jesus.

Larry Hurtado is changing the face of New Testament studies through his persistence in searching out the origins of the extraordinary devotion to Jesus by his earliest followers. Here he presents his arguments with force and clarity while adding an important chapter on the high cost of Jesus-devotion to first-century believers within their sociopolitical and family systems.

John Koenig, professor, General Theological Seminary

The pendulum has finally swung back! In stunning and dramatic fashion, Larry Hurtado has shifted the Christian world away from tired questers into the direction of high Christology.

Calvin Theological Seminary

Larry W. Hurtado is professor emeritus of New Testament language, literature, and theology at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity

  • Author: Larry W. Hurtado
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Pages: 768

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

This outstanding book provides an in-depth historical study of the place of Jesus in the religious life, beliefs, and worship of Christians from the beginnings of the Christian movement down to the late second century. Lord Jesus Christ is a monumental work on earliest Christian devotion to Jesus. Larry Hurtado, widely respected for his previous contributions to the study of the New Testament and Christian origins, offers the best view to date of how the first Christians saw and revered Jesus as divine. In assembling this compelling picture, Hurtado draws on a wide body of ancient sources, from Scripture and the writings of such figures as Ignatius of Antioch and Justin to apocryphal texts such as the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Truth.

Hurtado considers such themes as early beliefs about Jesus’ divine status and significance. He also explores telling devotional practices of the time, including prayer and worship, the use of Jesus’ name in exorcism, baptism and healing, ritual invocation of Jesus as Lord, martyrdom, and lesser-known phenomena such as prayer postures and the scribal practice known today as the nomina sacra. The revealing portrait that emerges from Hurtado’s comprehensive study yields definitive answers to questions like these: how important was this formative period to later Christian tradition? When did the divinization of Jesus first occur? Was early Christianity influenced by neighboring religions? How did the idea of Jesus’ divinity change old views of God? And why did the powerful dynamics of early beliefs and practices encourage people to make the costly move of becoming a Christian?

Hurtado has swum against the prevailing currents of scholarship in locating a well-developed Christology at the well springs of the Jesus movement in the Jewish community. His arguments may prove to be the most significant advance in New Testament studies in our times.

Concordia Theological Quarterly

Hurtado has provided scholars with a study of impressive scope and erudition that should be read and engaged by all those seeking to understand the origins of Christianity.

Theological Studies

The present volume is a veritable tour de force, as Hurtado wends his way through the New Testament, the writings of the apostolic and apologetic Fathers of the Church, and second-century Christian apocrypha. . . . Lord Jesus Christ is a book that deserves to appear on the reading list for comprehensive examinations in theology, not to mention that it also deserves to appear on the library shelves of those who consider themselves veterans in New Testament study.

Catholic Biblical Quarterly

Hurtado approaches the early church with an integrity and thoroughness that should be a model for historians and theologians working in this area. . . . His writing is uncomplicated and illuminating, and his sensibilities are evangelical in the best sense of the term.

First Things

Larry W. Hurtado is professor emeritus of New Testament language, literature, and theology at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

The Lost Gospel of Judas: Separating Fact from Fiction

  • Author: Stanley E. Porter
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Pages: 135

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

In The Lost Gospel of Judas Stanley E. Porter sifts through the ocean of popular media and extreme rhetoric surrounding the supposed Gospel of Judas. The Lost Gospel of Judas: Separating Fact from Faction is disciplined and clear scholarship grounded in established work in church history and the biblical accounts of Judas.

Stanley E. Porter is president, dean, and professor New Testament at McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, Ontario.

Religions of the Hellenistic-Roman Age

  • Author: Antonia Tripolitis
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2001
  • Pages: 175

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Religions of the Hellenistic-Roman Age is a superb introduction to the principal Western religions and their philosophical counterparts. . . . Antonia Tripolitis, a noted scholar of Late Antiquity, examines the rise of the Hellenistic-Roman world and presents a comprehensive overview of its beliefs and practices, their socio-psychological and historical development, and the reasons for their success or failure. Her work explores Mithraism, Hellenistic Judaism, Christianity, Gnosticism, and the philosophies of Stoicism, Epicureanism, and Middle Platonism. It also includes a review of the principal mystery cults, Demeter in Eleusis, Dionysus, Isis, and Cybele or Magna Mater.

An excellent volume. The scope is comprehensive, the treatment is detailed and clear, and the individual sections are succinct, incisive, and authoritative. It is especially welcome to have informed introductions to such diverse phenomena as the Greek mystery cults and philosophical schools, the Jewish synagogue and Jewish wisdom and apocalyptic thought, and the origins, theological development, and eventual success of Christianity all treated clearly, fully, and comprehensively in one book—making it ideal for students studying early Christianity or Late Antiquity in general. As a parachutist’s view of the religious landscape of antiquity, this book is able to include all the major religious traditions and see the converging and diverging patterns in the ways they responded to the new world established by Alexander the Great. Highly recommended.

Ronald F. Hock, professor of religion, University of Southern California

If someone is looking for one book which will tell them something about the mystery religions, Stoicism, Middle Platonism, Mithraism, Diaspora Judaism, early Christianity and Gnosticism, then this book does just that. Its strength is in its sweep and its readability.

Expository Times

Antonia Tripolitis is professor of Late Antiquity and director of the modern Greek studies program at Rutgers University. Among her published works are The Doctrine of the Soul in the Thought of Plotinus and Origen, Origen: A Critical Reading, and Kassia: The Legend, the Woman, and Her Work.

The Inspiration and Interpretation of Scripture: What the Early Church Can Teach Us

  • Author: Michael Graves
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2014

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

What is true of Scripture as a result of being inspired? What should divine inspiration cause us to expect from it? The answers to these questions in the early church related not just to the nature of Scripture’s truth claims but to the manner in which Scripture was to be interpreted.

In this book Michael Graves delves into what Christians in the first five centuries believed about the inspiration of Scripture, identifying the ideas that early Christians considered to be logical implications of biblical inspiration. Graves describes in a detailed and nuanced way what the “traditional” view is and explores the differences between ancient and modern assumptions on the topic.

Michael Graves is Armeding Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at Wheaton College. He is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature and the North American Patristics Society. He is the author of Jerome’s Hebrew Philology.

Product Details

  • Title: Eerdmans Studies in Early Christianity
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Volumes: 9
  • Pages: 2,872