Exploring Early Christian Identity
Holmberg, Bengt, editor
Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008 pp. viii + 205. €64.00
Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament, 226
Description: The main point of emphasis in the book is that approaching the Christian movement's early history through investigating its identity helps us to understand how the followers of Jesus developed from an intra-Jewish messianic renewal movement into a new religion with a major Gentile membership and major differences from its Jewish matrix - all in only a hundred years. Identity is not simply a collection of beliefs that was agreed upon by many first-century Christians. It is embedded, or rather, embodied in real life as participation in the founding myths (narrativized memory of and accepted teaching on Jesus), in cults and rituals as well as in ethical teaching and behavioral norms, crystallized into social relations and institutions. This is a dynamic feedback process, full of conflicts and difficulties, both internal and caused by the surrounding society and culture.
Subjects: Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Early Church Origins
Review by Cornelis Bennema
Citation: Cornelis Bennema, review of Bengt Holmberg, ed., Exploring Early Christian Identity, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2011).
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