Folly to Gentiles

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 3/10/2016
  • Publisher: Baker Academic

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In recent decades, scholars have often presented earliest Christianity as a radically diverse assortment of communities, only some of which ascribed significance to the death and resurrection of Jesus while others treasured only his sayings. Jeffrey Peterson argues that such radical diversity arose only after the first Christian generation and that the evidence for the earliest decades points to an early and widespread consensus regarding the centrality of Jesus's death and resurrection. Paul's characterization of the gospel of the crucified and resurrected Messiah as "a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles" anticipates the varied interpretations that would appear later and were first attested and opposed in the Johannine Letters. Peterson shows that while Jesus's earliest followers interpreted the story of his death and resurrection in a variety of ways, they agreed on it as the foundation of their faith.

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