The Birth of Christianity by John Dominic Crossan, expert on the historical Jesus, explores the lost years of earliest Christianity, those immediately following the execution of Jesus. He establishes the contextual setting by an interdisciplinary combination of anthropological, historical, and archaeological approaches. He identifies the textual sources by a literary analysis of the earliest discernible layers within our present gospels, both inside and outside the New Testament. Context and text come together to challenge long-standing assumptions about the role of Paul and the meaning of resurrection, and to forge new understanding of the birth of the Christian church.
In this national bestseller, The Birth of Christianity by John Dominic Crossan, who is the world's leading expert on the historical Jesus, it is revealed how Christianity emerged in the period following Jesus' death. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, The Birth of Christianity by John Dominic Crossan shines new light on the theological and cultural contexts from which the Christian church arose. He argues powerfully that Christianity would have happened with or without Paul and contends that Jesus' "resurrection" meant something vastly different for his early followers than it does for many traditional Christians today--what mattered was Christian origins finally illuminates the mysterious period that set Western religious history in its decisive course.