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  • Print publication year: 2021
  • Online publication date: January 2021

1 - The Myth of Christian Origins


Chapter 1 discusses how the categories of analysis traditionally used by scholars of the New Testament and early Christianity can be refined, with critical attention paid to terminology, vocabulary, and anachronism. Invoking the work of J. Z. Smith, Stanley Stowers, Eric Hobsbawm, and others, this chapter challenges how Christianity was rhetorically “invented” after the first century and how a figure like Paul the Apostle was transformed into one of the founders of Christianity, despite questions about how effective his so-called ministry was at creating cohesion about presumed Christian “communities.”

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