Heikki Risnen offers a historical survey of the “roots and first growth” of the thoughts, values, and practices of the early Christians and explains the evolution of Christian belief in terms of vital adaptations to specific challenges. An ideal textbook for university introductory courses on the New Testament and Early Christianity, The Rise of Christian Beliefs offers chapters discussing “paradigmatic events” -the life and death of Jesus and experiences of Easter, principal figures and groups, last things and afterlife, savior figures and the human condition, ethnicity, identity, and morality, and ritual community life.
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