Book Review: Why on Earth Did Anyone Become a Christian in the First Three Centuries? (Larry W. Hurtado)


spoiledmilks

Just a few years before his death, Larry Hurtado gave a 50-minute lecture at the 2016 Père Marquette Lecture in Theology at Marquette University. Larry Hurtado was Emeritus Professor of New Testament Language, Literature and Theology at University of Edinburgh. He made contributions to New Testament textual criticism, the origins of devotion to Jesus in early Christianity, the Gospel of Mark, Paul, and Christian distinctiveness in the Roman world.

Whereas Christianity has been popular in the West for a long time (with Christians always at risk of being “culture Christians”), it was not so in the beginning. Hurtado does not inquire over why Christianity grew as a movement, “but why did individuals commit to Christian faith?” Instead of looking at Christianity as a movement, he gets down to the level of individuals and the results of their religious choices.

Having come from a lecture, this book has no table of…

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