Backgrounds of Early Christianity (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2003 - History - 648 pages
20 Reviews
Long serving as a standard introduction to the world of the early church, Backgrounds of Early Christianity is now available in an expanded, up-to-date third edition. Featuring 95 photographs of the ancient world, this book explores--now in even greater depth -- the Roman, Greek, and Jewish political, social, religious, and philosophical backgrounds necessary for a good historical understanding of the New Testament and the early church. New to this edition are substantial revisions of Everett Ferguson's original material, an updated bibliography, and fresh discussions of social life in the first-century, of Gnosticism, and of the Dead Sea Scrolls and other Jewish literature.
  

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Review: Backgrounds of Early Christianity

User Review  - Jake Belder - Goodreads

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 ... Read full review

Review: Backgrounds of Early Christianity

User Review  - Mike Hyatt - Goodreads

Good, especially if you are looking for info on Hellenistic-Roman religions and philosophies. Read full review

Contents

Characteristic Features
309
Gnosticism in the New Testament
312
The Hermetica
313
Chaldaean Oracles
315
MONOTHEISM AND SUN WORSHIP
316
HELLENISTICROMAN PHILOSOPHIES
319
INTRODUCTION
320
Philosophy as Ethics
321

Ptolemies Egypt
16
Seleucids Syria
18
ROME
20
Rome and the West
22
Rome and the East
23
Civil Wars
24
Augustus 31 BCAD 14
26
The Early Empire
31
The Later Empire
40
Provinces
43
Client Kingdoms
45
POLITICAL CONNECTIONS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
46
SOCIETY AND CULTURE
48
INTRODUCTION
49
Emblems Weapons and Dress
51
Auxiliaries
54
Other Units
55
The Senatorial Order
56
The Equestrian Order
57
Plebeians and Other Free Persons
58
SLAVERY
59
ROMAN CITIZENSHIP
62
ROMAN LAW
63
SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS
66
PatronClient Relationship
67
Social Networks
68
Honor and Shame
69
Marriage and Family
72
Place of Women
77
Children
80
ECONOMIC LIFE
82
Trade and Travel
86
Coinage
90
Taxation
95
CLOTHING AND APPEARANCE
96
ENTERTAINMENT
97
Athletics
100
Arenas
102
Circuses
103
Gymnasia and Baths
104
Banquets
106
Music
107
EDUCATION
109
LITERATURE AND LANGUAGE
113
Rhetoric
119
Literary Forms and Genres
120
Making of Books
128
Reading and Studying of Books
132
Inscriptions and Papyri
133
Language
135
ART AND ARCHITECTURE
137
CLUBS AND ASSOCIATIONS
142
Roman Colleges
143
Egyptian Associations
145
Conclusion
147
HELLENISTICROMAN RELIGIONS
148
ANCIENT GREEK RELIGION
149
Homer
150
Hesiod
157
The Archaic Period
160
Signs of Dissolution in the Classical Age
164
ANCIENT ROMAN RELIGION
165
Deities
167
Religious Observances
169
Soul and the Dead
171
GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS
173
DOMESTIC AND RURAL RELIGION
177
Greek
178
Roman
180
CIVIC CULTS
182
Priesthood
184
Ritual Prescriptions
186
Sacrifice
188
Votive Offerings
192
Prayers and Hymns
193
Festivals
195
Other Features
197
Ephesus and Artemis
198
RULER CULT
199
Antecedents and Presuppositions
200
Historical Developments
204
Forms of the Imperial Cult
211
PERSONAL RELIGION
213
Dreams and Divination
220
Healing Cults
221
Magic and Maledictions
227
Imprecations and Oaths
235
Demons and Superstition
236
Astrology Astral Religion and Fate
238
Death and the Afterlife
243
GREEK MYSTERIES AND EASTERN RELIGIONS
251
Local Mysteries
253
Eleusinian Mysteries
254
Dionysiac Mysteries
259
Isis Osiris and Sarapis
266
Astarte and Adonis
277
Atargatis and Others
278
Cybele and Attis
281
Mithras
287
Mystery Religions and Christianity
297
GNOSTICISM HERMETIC LITERATURE CHALDAEAN ORACLES
300
Sources for Study
301
Origins of Gnosticism
307
Popular Philosophy
323
Philosophy and Individualism
325
SOPHISTS AND SOCRATES
326
Socrates 469399 BC
327
PLATO AND THE ACADEMY TO THE FIRST CENTURY
330
The Dialogues
332
Platos Thought
333
Platos Influence
335
The Old Academy
336
The Eclectic Academy
337
ARISTOTLE AND THE PERIPATETICS
338
Aristotles Thought
339
Aristotles Influence
342
Strato
343
Later History and General Character
344
SKEPTICISM
346
Aenesidemus
347
CYNICISM
348
Cynic Characteristics
349
Dio of Prusa AD 40 to after 112
352
STOICISM
354
Stoic Physics
356
Stoic Logic and Epistemology
358
Stoic Ethics
359
Middle Stoa
360
Roman Stoicism
363
Stoicism and Christianity
368
EPICUREANISM
370
Lucretius 9455 BC
372
Epicurean Epistemology
374
Epicurean Ethics
375
Estimate and Comparisons
377
ECLECTICISM
379
Cicero 10643 BC
380
NEOPYTHAGOREANISM
382
The Pythagorean Revival
383
Apollonius of Tyana and Philostratus
384
Numenius
386
MIDDLE PLATONISM
387
Plutarch C AD 50after 120
389
PLOTINUS AND NEOPLATONISM
391
Later Neoplatonists
393
JUDAISM
396
JEWISH HISTORY 538 BC TO AD 200
399
The Greek Period 332167 BC
403
The Maccabean or Hasmonean Period 16763 BC
407
The Roman Period from 63 BC
411
JEWS IN THE EARLY ROMAN EMPIRE
427
JEWISH LITERATURE AND OTHER SOURCES IN THE HELLENISTIC AND ROMAN PERIODS
431
The Old Testament in Greek
432
Fragments
439
Apocrypha
440
Pseudepigrapha
448
Dead Sea Scrolls
463
Apocalyptic Writings
475
Philo
478
Josephus
485
Rabbinic Literature
490
Jewish Mysticism
501
Archaeological Sources
503
Pagan References to Jews
512
PARTIES AND SECTS
513
Pharisees
514
Sadducees
519
Qumran Community Essenes and Therapeutae
521
Zealots
532
Herodians
533
Samaritans
534
BELIEFS AND PRACTICES
537
One God
538
Torah Tradition and Scripture
539
Proselytes and Godfearers
546
Messianism and the Glorious Destiny
551
Afterlife
554
Festivals and Holy Days
555
Daily Devotions308
561
ORGANIZATION AND INSTITUTIONS
562
Sanhedrin
567
Community Organization
570
Rabbis
572
Synagogue
573
CHRISTIANITY IN THE ANCIENT WORLD
583
LITERARY REFERENCES TO CHRISTIANITY IN NONCHRISTIAN SOURCES
584
ARCHAEOLOGICAL REMAINS BEARING ON EARLY CHRISTIAN HISTORY
585
Papyri
587
Coins
588
SOME CLAIMED ARCHAEOLOGICAL REMAINS OF EARLY CHRISTIANITY
589
The Cross at Herculaneum
590
Ossuaries
591
The Tomb of Peter
592
THE LEGAL STATUS OF CHRISTIANITY
601
HINDRANCES TO THE ACCEPTANCE OF CHRISTIANITY
608
RELIGIOUS RIVALS
609
Pagan Religion and Philosophy
610
Gnosticism and Other Rival Versions of Christianity
612
Jewish Christianity
613
FACTORS FAVORABLE TO CHRISTIANITY
616
Hellenistic Judaism
617
Religious Quest
618
WHAT WAS UNIQUE IN CHRISTIANITY?
619
Index of Subjects
621
Index of Scripture References
643
Copyright

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Page xix - JRS Journal of Roman Studies JSJ Journal for the Study of Judaism in the Persian, Hellenistic and Roman Period JSNT Journal for the Study of the New Testament JSNTSup Journal for the Study of the New Testament.
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About the author (2003)

Everett Ferguson (PhD, Harvard) is professor emeritus of Bible and distinguished scholar-in-residence at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas, where he taught church history and Greek. He is the author of numerous works, including Backgrounds of Early Christianity, Early Christians Speak, and Baptism in the Early Church: History, Theology, and Liturgy in the First Five Centuries. He was also general editor of the two-volume Encyclopedia of Early Christianity.

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