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Backgrounds of Early Christianity

, 2003
ISBN: 9780802822215
Logos Editions are fully connected to your library and Bible study tools.


Digital list price: $39.99
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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.

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion 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.

Resource Experts
  • Unpacks Roman, Greek, and Jewish political, social, religious, and philosophical backgrounds
  • Includes revisions of Ferguson’s original material
  • Provides a good historical understanding of the New Testament
  • Political History
  • Society and Culture
  • Hellenistic–Roman Religions
  • Hellenistic–Roman Philosophies
  • Judaism
  • Christianity in the Ancient World

Top Highlights

“The contributions of Augustus of significance for early Christianity include peace, economic prosperity, improved communications, stable government, and a sense of renewal. The literature of the Augustan age celebrates the birth of a new age (pp. 114–15). There was a strong sense of a new beginning, an old era of upheaval and warfare ended and a new era of peace and prosperity beginning. Christian authors later concurred in the sentiment, but saw in it an even deeper meaning, for Jesus had been born under Augustus’s reign (Luke 2:1).” (Page 30)

“With the encouragement of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah the Second Temple was completed and dedicated in 515 b.c. (Ezra 1–6).5 Thus began what is called the period of the ‘Second Temple’ or the ‘Second Jewish Commonwealth.’” (Page 401)

“As a very broad generalization, subject to many qualifications, one can say that Palestinian Judaism is the most important background for the ministry of Jesus and the Gospels,1 and the Judaism of the Greek Diaspora is the most important background for the ministry of Paul and his Epistles and the Book of Acts.” (Page 399)

“Temple and Torah. The two great accomplishments of the returned exiles were the rebuilding of the Lord’s house in Jerusalem and the collecting and studying of the law (Torah) with a view to regulating the life of the people by it.” (Page 400)

“The Sadducees accepted only the written law of Moses as authoritative and rejected the oral law of the Pharisees” (Page 520)

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 (1933–) received his Ph.D. from Harvard University and served on the faculty of Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas, beginning in 1962, where he taught church history and Greek. He is now professor emeritus in its College of Biblical Studies and distinguished scholar-in-residence. Although he retired from full-time teaching in 1990 to devote himself to research, he occasionally teaches a few classes at ACU. He is the author of many books, including Backgrounds of Early Christianity.


7 ratings

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  1. Jürgen Wiedmann
  2. Matt Dabbs

    Matt Dabbs


    This is one of the most helpful books I have ever read on the historical backgrounds of early Christianity by a top notch New Testament and church history scholar!
  3. Alessandro



  4. Donnie Vick

    Donnie Vick


  5. JR



  6. Ryan White

    Ryan White


  7. Anthony Sims

    Anthony Sims



Digital list price: $39.99
Save $8.00 (20%)