Thursday, October 25, 2007

A History of Early Christianity: From Jesus to Constantine

buddy_christ_bigFor those who are interested, I just finished watching the 24-part lecture series by Misquoting Jesus author Bart Ehrman on the first three centuries of Christianity. Just a little background, I attended a Christian school from Kindergarten through the end of high school and studied everything from the traditional canon to fundamental apologetics, but the topics Professor Ehrman covers was only addressed tangentially and in less detail. It doesn't matter if you're a God-fearing believer, a snarky atheist or somewhere in between the origins of Christianity should be understood by everybody. Ehrman answers questions that are rarely even asked such as: Why did the early Christians want to adopt the Old Testament books as their own if they had no intention of keeping the law? Is modern Christianity based on the teachings of Jesus or Paul? What did Christianity have to offer pagans? Why is the New Testament written in Greek when Jesus spoke Aramaic? And how did the teachings of a poor, Jewish Carpenter spawn the greatest cultural force in Western Culture? Be warned the course is 12 hours, so it's mostly for the unemployed or the terminally friendless, but for those who make it to the end Ehrman's insights are thoroughly rewarding.

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