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Unity and Diversity in the New Testament: An Inquiry Into the Character of Earliest Christianity
Unity and Diversity in the New Testament is a thorough investigation into the canon of the New Testament, and Christianity's origins. It assumes the reader is familiar with the basic question of who wrote the books, when, why etc and it moves on to look in detail at what were the various emphases in the gospel proclaimed by Jesus, Luke, Paul and John. It also examines prim...more
Published October 18th 2012 by SCM Press
(first published January 1st 1977)
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I'll admit that I did not read every word of this massive tome (520 pages). Dunn takes on a lot of issues in looking for the unity and diversity of Christianity in the NT and the very earliest expressions of Christianity. His lens is mostly issues raised by mode3rn biblical scholarship and some issues debated between Catholics and Protestants. His assumption is these are the only questions that really matter. I hoped he might give some recognition that these contemporary issues of Western Christ...more
I absolutely loved this book. Dunn is a fantastic scholar. The book is written with technical language, so it takes some work at first to read the book, but it is more than worth it. Dunn explores what is the central core of the New Testament and the wealth of diversity it has to offer. No one can read this book without becoming more tolerant of other religions and interpretations.
Dunn examines to what extent the New Testament documents testify to theological unity and diversity. Dunn does not use an overarching theological framework (such as inerrancy) to predetermine his conclusion, but proceeds by rigorous close reading. His interpretations and conclusions are debatable, but this impressive work is certainly the starting point from which the conversation should proceed.
So very readable and yet filled with dynamic insight about the interpretation of "the" gospel...is there one Gospel or have we actually created Another Gospel to fit our current context? This book gives you the tools needed to critically examine our own interpretations and how might the early church had viewed the Gospel.
James D. G. ("Jimmy") Dunn (born 1939) was for many years the Lightfoot Professor of Divinity in the Department of Theology at the University of Durham. Since his retirement he has been made Emeritus Lightfoot Professor. He is a leading British New Testament scholar, broadly in the Protestant tradition. Dunn is especially associated with the New Perspective on Paul, along with N. T. (Tom) Wright a...moreMore about James D.G. Dunn...