Christian Origins (2nd edition) by Christopher Rowland online

It is not often that I able to offer the latest edition of a major theological textbook. Following my discussions with Professor Christopher Rowland about his Epworth Commentary of Revelation he made the kind offer to allow me to host another of his books, which is now out of print. So, with the blessing of his publisher, Christian Origins (2nd edn.) is now available for free download.

Professor Christopher Rowland

Christopher Rowland, Christian Origins, 2nd edn. London: SPCK, 1985, 1992. Pbk. ISBN: 0281053669. pp.451. [Click here to visit the download page for this title]

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgements for the First Edition
  • Preface to the First Edition
  • Preface to the Second Edition
  • Abbreviations
  • Part I. Introduction
    1. The Rock Whence Ye Were Hewn
    2. An Approach to Ancient Judaism
    3. The Jews After the Exile
  • Part II. Jewish Life and Thought at the Beginning of the Common Era from the Perspective of the Study of Christian Origins
    1. God’s Covenant with the Jews
    2. The God of the Covenant
    3. The Heavenly Host
    4. Angelic Mediators
    5. The Temple
    6. Festivals
    7. The Synagogue
    8. The Torah
    9. The Interpretation of Scripture
    10. Apocalyptic Approaches to Scripture: The Disclosure of Heavenly Knowledge
    11. Schools of Thought: An Introduction to Sectarianism in the Second Temple Period
    12. Schools of Thought: An Outline of Jewish Groups in the First Century CE
      (a) Sadducees
      (b) Pharisee
      (c) The Fourth Philosophy
      (d) Essenes; (e) Christianity in the Context of Second Temple Judaism
    13. Diaspora Judaism
    14. The Expression of Hope
      (a) An Outline of Jewish Eschatology
      (b) Messianic Belief
    15. Pragmatism and Hope in Second Temple Judaism: (a) Activists and Quietists; (b) A Crisis for Eschatology?
  • Part III. The Emergence of a Messianic Sect
    • Section 1: Introduction
      1. Early Christianity: What Kind of Religious Movement?
      2. The Centrality of Eschatology in Primitive Christian Belief
      3. The World of Jesus and the First Christians
    • Section 2: Jesus
      1. The Quest for the Historical Jesus
        Differing Approaches to the Jesus of History
      2. Using the Gospels to Establish the Character of Jesus’ Life and Message
      3. John the Baptist
      4. The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God
      5. The Parables
        Recurring Themes in the Parables
      6. Other Teaching
      7. The Signs of the Coming Kingdom
      8. Jesus and the Future
      9. Jesus and Second Temple Judaism
        (a) The Basis of Jesus’ Authority
        (b) Jesus and the Torah;
        (c) Jesus and Other Jewish Groups;
        (d) Jesus and the Temple
      10. The Death ofJesus
      11. Jesus’ Personal Claim
        (a) The Prophet
        (b) ‘Son of God’
        (c) Messiah
        (d) The Human Figure or the ‘Son of Man’
      12. The Resurrection Narratives
    • Section 3: Paul
      1. Introduction
      2. Christianity Before and Apart from Paul
      3. Situation and System in Paul’s Letters
      4. Major Themes of Paul’s Letters
      5. Apostle to the Gentiles
      6. Paul’s Method as an Apostle
      7. Paul and the Torah
      8. Membership of the People of God
      9. Paul and Israel
      10. The Problem of Authority
    • Section 4: From Messianism to Christian Religion
      1. Early Christian Initiation and Worship
        (a) Baptism
        (b) The Eucharist
        (c) Use of Scripture
      2. The Emergence of Beliefs About Jesus
        (a) The Foundations of Christology
        (b) The Gradual Dissolution of the Eschatological Framework of Primitive Christology
      3. Differing Models of Ministry
        (a) Paul’s Letters
        (b) The Johannine Literature
        (c) The Church in Jerusalem
        (d) Post-Pauline Developments
        (e) Tradition and Charismatic Authority
      4. Coming to Terms with the Old Age
        (a) The Common Life
        (b) The Problem of Ethics in the New Age
        (c) The Delay of the Parousia: was it a Problem?
        (d) The Separation of Church and Synagogue
        (e) You are his Disciples but we are Disciples of Moses
        (f) The Rise of Gnosticism
        (g) Witness against the Beast and Babylon

  • Appendix: The Sources
    1. Jewish Literature
      (a) The Dead Sea Scrolls
      (b) Josephus and Philo Contents
      (c) The Apocrypha/Pseudepigrapha/Non-Rabbinic Writings
      (d) Rabbinic Literature
    2. Early Christian Literature
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Additional Bibliography
  • Index of Ancient Sources
  • Index of Subjects

Main image: Modern reconstruction of what the Second Temple would have looked like after its renovation during the reign of Herod I. Photo credit: Juan R. Cuadra.


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