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The Gospel and the Greeks: Did the New Testament Borrow from Pagan Thought?

4.20  ·  Rating Details  ·  55 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Did early Christianity borrow any of its essential beliefs and practices from pagan religions and philosophies? No, answers the author of this compelling apologetic for the uniqueness of Christian teaching. Part 1 investigates possible influences of Hellenistic philosophy; part 2, of pagan mystery religions; and part 3, of Gnosticism. First released in 1992, The Gospel and ...more
Paperback, 296 pages
Published February 1st 2003 by P & R Publishing (first published May 1992)
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Colin Smith
Oct 12, 2013 Colin Smith rated it it was amazing
In THE GOSPEL AND THE GREEKS, Ronald Nash reviews the contention that Christianity and the theology of the New Testament is dependent upon Greek philosophy, Greek mystery cults, and/or Gnosticism. The book follows this three-fold structure, explaining the case made by the proponents of these views, and then examining their arguments. In each instance, Nash provides refutation from respected experts in the field, and from the historical evidence itself.

This is an excellent book. The writing is no
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Eric
May 25, 2016 Eric rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Bible study teachers
The book states that it is written for (somewhat well read) Bible students and not for Biblical studies experts (professors I suppose). As such the narrative flows well and is easy to follow. I think the book would be strengthened though by inclusion of notes quoting the texts in question and giving citations where the texts may be found (especially online). The lay reader would be unimpeded, but the semi-literate would have access to the quotations relied upon in the book itself.

The argument of
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Rodney Harvill
Feb 20, 2016 Rodney Harvill rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy, theology
Over the years, academics have made a series of claims that Christianity derived its teaching from Greek and Hellenistic philosophy, Greco-Roman mystery religions and from gnosticism. In general, a claim would be in vogue for a few years before being refuted by scholars. Then it would be replaced by another claim that would be refuted in turn. Because the claims made it to popular culture but the refutations took place in arcane Classics departments and their literature, people, including schola ...more
Lee Harmon
May 13, 2011 Lee Harmon rated it really liked it
Did the New Testament borrow from Pagan thought? Nash approaches the topic of outside influence in three parts, approaching the question of dependence from a traditional Christian viewpoint.

Part I: Hellenistic Philosophy. How much Hellenistic influence do we see in the Gospels? From Paul’s quoting of Stoic philosophers to John’s interpretation of the Logos, there are unquestionable connections. The most fascinating passage in this section is Nash’s “test case” in the book of Hebrews. There, Jesu
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Neil Steinwand
Apr 25, 2015 Neil Steinwand rated it really liked it
The book is an excellent overview of the issues surrounding the New Testament writers and the influence of the surrounding culture. I wish there was more discussion of Jesus being accused of being a Cynic.
Jeffrey Backlin
Mar 15, 2014 Jeffrey Backlin rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy, history
Good book arguing against the popular thesis of rising and dying gods and Jesus.
Timmy Tim
Jul 26, 2015 Timmy Tim rated it liked it
(His answer was "no," in case you were wondering.)
Jon Sorensen
Feb 08, 2013 Jon Sorensen rated it it was amazing
Jesus "mythers" often claim that Christianity is warmed-over paganism. This book is a very good answer to that claim. Unfortunately, from a Catholic perspective, this book lacks a defense for the claim that the post-biblical Christians also adopted pagan beliefs (even though the same arguments that the author uses to defend the New Testament authors could also be applied to the Church Fathers).
Mike Jorgensen
Outstanding little book. Great overview of the dominant philosophies of the day in the 100 BC - 100 AD era. He presents reasonable and cogent defenses of the biblical writers and will more than likely aid the reader in weeding out some of their dormant platonism or stoicism.
Kyle
Oct 30, 2010 Kyle rated it really liked it
Very good introduction to the debate concerning the alleged influence of Hellenistic culture upon the NT. Nash writes in a very readable and accessible style for the layperson.
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141177
Ronald H. Nash (PhD, Syracuse University) was a longtime professor at Western Kentucky University, Reformed Theological Seminary, and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

He was an heir of the theological tradition of Carl F.H. Henry, and was an lifelong admirer and student of Augustine of Hippo, his favorite philosopher.

He was the author of numerous books, including The Concept of God, Life'
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