Early Christianity was Different (in the Roman-era context)

Larry Hurtado's Blog

In my posting about Anna Collar’s recent book, I noted the striking differences between the kind of evidence we have for early Christianity in comparison with other Roman-era religious groups.  In the example from Collar’s book (and we could multiply it), we have a body of inscriptions, but scant textual data.  In the case of early Christianity, we have no inscriptions till the 3rd century (and then only a limited number and from few geographical locations), whereas we have a torrent of literary texts composed in the first three centuries.  (Consider, for example, the ten volumes of the classic set, The Ante-Nicene Fathers, for a readily available sample . . . and it’s only that.)  So, why this difference, and what does it reflect?

This particular difference, the prolific production of literary texts in early Christianity, is one of the several distinctive features of the religious movement that I…

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About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. I study the History of Biblical Interpretation at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio, as part of its Ph.D. program. I have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting.
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