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The book explores and unpacks the Roman, Greek, and Jewish political, social, religious, and philosophical backgrounds necessary for a good historical understanding of the New Testament and the early church. New to this edition are revisions of Ferguson's original material, updated bibliographies, and fresh discussions of first-century social life, of Gnosticism, and of the Dead Sea Scrolls and other Jewish literature.

Excerpt The historical setting for the New Testament and early Christianity may be described as a series of concentric circles. Read preview Overview. Korpel Brill, Can Gnosticism Be Derived from Christianity? International Bulletin of Missionary Research, Vol.

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The Christian Science Monitor, August 20, Radical Islam vs. His current volume primarily includes twenty-four previously published book chapters, lectures, and journal articles that span almost fifty years, from — A second volume will follow that focuses on Christian Life, Scripture, and Restoration. He writes as an apologist for the free churches. Ferguson demonstrates the way the teaching office in the church shifted from the inspired apostles, itinerant missionaries, and prophets to local church leadership of bishops, deacons, and evangelists, including women in certain contexts.

In the first essay, Ferguson explores many motifs of baptism in the ancient church Faith and Repentance, Washing, Death and the Devil, Resurrection and Rebirth, and The Seal and Illumination , and while he finds later understandings helpful, he warns about the dangers of simply reading later concepts back into the NT. The second essay discusses the ceremo- ny, action, subjects, and purpose of baptism in the patristic period.

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Section three discusses how Justin Martyr and Origen understood demonology in light of biblical texts and Greco- Roman understanding. The last two parts pertain to worship, the assembly, and singing. In one essay, Ferguson summarizes Jewish religious music in the first century as the background for the early church. He demonstrates that early Christian singing had its roots in the psalmody of the temple, and the singing of the Psalms likely shift- ed to unaccompanied singing in the synagogues and carried over to Jewish singing in homes and sectarian groups.

In two other essays, Ferguson uses this Jewish background, in addition to NT texts, sources from church history, the contemporary example of the Eastern Churches, and theological approaches to argue for a cappella worship in the Christian assem- bly.

Other Books by Dr. Everett Ferguson

While those in the Christian Churches independent and Disciples of Christ likely will not take instruments out of their churches, Ferguson makes the argument for a cappella wor- ship more understandable and relatable to those outside of the Churches of Christ. Despite this, most chapters simply state what early Christians thought about a variety of issues without providing any advice on how their thought should be applied.

What titles should be used for church leaders? What role do women have in the contemporary church?


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It would not only benefit scholars, undergraduate and graduate stu- dents, and pastors, but interested church members as well. Related Papers. Add To Cart.

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A Concise New Testament Theology. Being Disciples: Essentials of the Christian Life.

Four Views on the Church's Mission. Twelve Ordinary Men. The New Testament and the People of God. Baptism: A Biblical Study.

Books by Everett Ferguson (Author of Backgrounds of Early Christianity)

Toward an Exegetical Theology. Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit: Growing in Christlikeness. By systematically examining the New Testament's teaching on the existence, meaning and purpose of the church, providing responsible coverage of the traditional topics in ecclesiology, and carefully grounding ecclesiology in the person and work of Christ, Ferguson unveils a comprehensive model of the church that is both biblically centered and relevant to a world on the verge of the 21st century.

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