A new book on early Christianity merits serious attention: Early Christianity in Contexts: An Exploration across Cultures and Continents, ed. William Tabernee (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2014). The publisher’s information online here. It’s a hefty (600+ pages) book, but reasonably priced for its size. More importantly, it’s uniquely broad in geographical and cultural coverage, and each component part is written by recognized experts in that particular area.
The publisher’s online description includes the table of contents, which will indicate the impressive breadth of coverage, with extended discussions of all areas of the Roman Empire, but areas beyond the imperial borders as well, including the Caucasus, the Balkan Peninsula, Persia and northern Mesopotamia, China, India, and Nubia. The time-frame seems to be roughly the first 600 years of Christianity.
The particular focus stated by Tabernee is “the earliest available ‘material evidence’,” including “inscriptions, coins, mosaics, remnants of church buildings…
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