The birth of christian history-Eve-Marie Becker   Leave a comment

 

This is a Netgalley book, with which I initially struggled, merely due to the format I was sent. This is a serious academic work of christian history during the 1st 2 centuries, containing many bible references and footnotes. My copy had no numbers, each being replaced with a question mark, so my appreciation of the book was very compromised.

I was very interested in the subject, which the author herself, claimed was the first survey of this type. Being married to a theologian and a serious christian myself, I am very interested in books of this type. I decided to push on through, despite the lack of numbers, as I was convinced I would still benefit from what I would learn from the book.

The author, Eve-Marie Becker, is professor of New Testament Exegesis at Aarhus university in Denmark.

She examines the relationship between Christian thinking, as seen in the gospels of Mark and Luke and the Book of Acts, with the history writing traditions of Roman and Hellenistic society during the 1st 2 centuries AD.

She explains how the Gospels differ in emphasis. She draws attention to Luke’s intention to stress the importance of the Eucharist.

She talks about how both Gospels are dominated by the personality of Jesus. She shows that Jesus character is shown purely through his actions.

She discusses the fact that both Gospels place the narrative within a definite itinerary, in order to place the narrative firmly in context.

The books examined, fit into the style of the time, differing mainly only in ways due to the purpose of the documents:- to be read by a large varied audience, and to plan to spread the Gospel to as many as possible.

Becker considered that many speeches must have been constructed by the authors from other accounts of Jesus words, but were not recounting actual speeches.

She acknowledged the use and importance of eye witness accounts in the boks, but noted that Luke chose to distance himself but describing himself as an author.

The study is deep and complex, but not totally inaccessible. I expect it will be read mostly by students and professionals, but any determined reader could learn much from the work.

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Posted January 10, 2018 by dianne7 in book review

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