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IT has been a long time and my copy was never returned after loan to a friend, but this is the only well-researched book I know of on the topic which, to me, has credibility. It is tragic that this very obscure topic, and the crucial time-period in question, do not receive the very best and most thorough scholarly research.
I do wish Dr. Pritz would re-publish the work, perhaps updating it with scholarship that has yielded more data in the intervening years.
Without a thorough understanding of this most-authentic group of Jesus Followers from the apostolic handoff era, how can we hope to complete our understanding of the evolution of the revolution? This small and tattered group was squeezed and torn by the Jews, the Judaizers, the Roman authorities, and the Hellenistic fledgling "church". They were truly obscure lambs without much shepherding, set upon by wolves.
As dry and difficult as this read is, the careful observer will be impressed with Pritz's painstaking skullduggery. The evidence he turns up is just very difficult, if not impossible, to find well-documented elsewhere. I wish it were not so.
I rate this a 5 not because of the literary elegance, but because of the importance and obscurity of the subject matter.
Chapter Three Epiphanius
Chapter Four Jerome
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