Backgrounds of Early Christianity
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Backgrounds of Early Christianity

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  183 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Widely used as a textbook since its publication in 1987, this work provides an analytical and systematic introduction to the Roman, Greek, and Jewish political, social, literary, and religious backgrounds necessary for a historical understanding of the New Testament in the early church.
Paperback, 632 pages
Published August 1st 1993 by William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
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Jonathan Huggins
Very profitable for understanding the world of the New Testament. highly recommended.
This book took me months to get through. While it has a wealth of information, it's basically a textbook, and it reads that way, which makes it easy to put down and pick it up later - but also difficult to wade through.

It covers all aspects of the several hundred years around the first century Christians, giving background on society and culture, other religions, and the philosophy of the day. All in all, a worthwhile read, but you've really got to want to get through it.

Jake Belder
I've not read this entire book, but probably bit more than half of it. What I read was, for the most part, very interesting. Ferguson provides some very helpful insight into the culture and society of the first few centuries when Christianity was first being established. If you're not into history or sociological and cultural studies, you might find this boring, but the material Ferguson presents provides a lot of insight into the environment Christianity grew up in.
Kent Maitland
Very well-reasearched discussion; Rich bibliography for further study; Comprehensive analysis of the overall subject matter.

A seemingly archaic and difficult read for even the students of history; Correlation with Biblical material scarce at times (though not completely absent).

Bottom Line:
As a book to read from cover to cover, one finds a daunting task; But as a reference for enhancing one's Bible study, there is much to anticipate.
This was a required text for my Paganism class but I loved it! Many of the later sources are from the bible and it made me understand the roots of christainity and Judism. (wasn't awsome enough to make me get up early for church!)
Bruce Morton
Everett Ferguson has a command of the ancient sources and a thoroughness that makes his study a high water mark. Nothing better exists.
Mike Hyatt
Good, especially if you are looking for info on Hellenistic-Roman religions and philosophies.
William M. M.
A vast compendium of knowledge that never gets dull. Really puts you in the first century world.
Oh my goodness. this was a long read, but informative. Maybe I should pick it up again.
Jon Jordan
Incredibly helpful and accessible background studies for early Christian works.
Jeff Noble
Backgrounds of Early Christianity by Everett Ferguson (?)
Mike Fox
As good as it gets in a one-volume background to the NT.
A good reference book
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  • The Early Church (The Pelican History of the Church, #1)
  • The Historical Figure of Jesus
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From Christ to Pre-Reformation: The Rise and Growth of the Church in Its Cultural, Intellectual, and Political Context (Church History #1) Baptism in the Early Church: History, Theology, and Liturgy in the First Five Centuries Early Christians Speak The Church of Christ: Biblical Ecclesiology for Today From Pre-Reformation to the Present Day: The Rise and Growth of the Church in Its Cultural, Intellectual, and Political Context (Church History #2)

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