How Did Christianity Begin?: A Believer and Non-Believer Examine the Evidence
Bird, Michael F. and James G. Crossley
Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 2008 pp. xviii + 206. $19.95
Description: The objective of How Did Christianity Begin? is to present two contrasting perspectives on the history of early Christianity. The contrast is evidently sharp as one co-author comes from a conservative Christian background (Michael Bird), while the other co-author (James Crossley) approaches the matter from a secular standpoint. The volume works sequentially through Christian origins and addresses various topics including the historical Jesus, the resurrection of Jesus, the Apostle Paul, the Gospels, and the early church. Each author in turn examines these subjects and lays out his historical arguments concerning their origin and meaning.
The volume also includes short responses from two other scholars (Maurice Casey and Scot McKnight) to the arguments of Bird and Crossley so as to give an even handed and broad evaluation of the arguments and debates that unfold.
Subjects: Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Early Church Origins
Review by Leif Vaage
Citation: Leif Vaage, review of Michael F. Bird and James G. Crossley, How Did Christianity Begin? A Believer and Non-Believer Examine the Evidence, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2009).
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