Erik Graff's Reviews > Earliest Christianity: A History of the Period AD 30-150, 2 Vols

Earliest Christianity by Johannes Weiss
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's review
Nov 16, 14

bookshelves: religion, history
Recommended to Erik by: Walter Wink
Recommended for: those interested in the early church or in the development of Christian historiography
Read in January, 1975, read count: 1

Weiss is representative of the best German scholarship as regards the history and theology of the early Christian movement. A seminal thinker, he is responsible for the development of both form criticism and the Q hypothesis. Like Albert Schweitzer, he traces the theology of the church back to an original eschatological faith, a belief which gradually moved into the background as it became evident that the world was not about to end.

The memory of reading these two volumes is a pleasant one. My work-study job at seminary was as a security guard. Given that the campus ranged from 120-125th Street and from Riverside Park to the block just past Broadway in Manhattan, it was often 'interesting'. My regular shift was at night, when I'd be alone on duty, ranging the campus on four rounds, reading the rest of the time in the Women's Center on the ground floor of Knox Hall. That's where I did Weiss over the course of several days, his text being dense--so dense, in fact, that some of his footnotes had footnotes. Ah, those Germans!
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