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In the early first century, a small group of illiterate peasants from the backwaters of the Roman Empire proclaimed that an executed enemy of the state was God's messiah. Less than four hundred years later theirs was the official religion of Rome with some thirty million followers. How did this happen?
Christianity didn't have to become the dominant religion in the West. It could have easily been just another forgotten sect of Judaism fated to have the historical importance of the Sadducees or the Essenes. Bart Ehrman, a master explainer of Christian history, texts, and traditions, explores what it was about the Christian message that converts found so compelling.
Through meticulous research and luminous prose, he upends the way we think about one of the most important cultural transformations our world has ever seen – that which has shaped the art, music, literature, philosophy, ethics, economics and law of modern Western civilization.
About the Author
Bart D. Ehrman chairs the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the author of Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew, Lost Scriptures: Books That Did Not Make it into the New Testament, The Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot, Lost Scriptures, Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium and New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings.
"This is the work of a great scholar...a book full of learning and nuance."
Tom Holland, Spectator
"Reading about how an entire culture's precepts and traditions can be overthrown without anyone being able to stop it may not be heartening at this particular historical moment. All the more reason to spend time in the company of such a humane, thoughtful and intelligent historian."
New York Times Book Review
"Ehrman handles splendid raw materials very deftly to produce an engrossing read."
"Drawing on a wealth of ancient sources and contemporary historical research, Bart Ehrman weaves complex questions into a vivid, nuanced, and enormously readable narrative."
Elaine Pagels, National Book Award-winning author of The Gnostic Gospels
ISBN: 9781786074836 ISBN-10: 1786074834 Audience:
Number Of Pages: 352 Published: 1st April 2019 Publisher: Oneworld Publications Country of Publication: GB Dimensions (cm): 19.6 x 12.8
Weight (kg): 0.33