Heterodoxy Within Second-Temple Judaism and Sectarian Diversity Within the Early Church: A Correlative Study

Author: Russell, Peter J.
Year:2008
Pages:488
ISBN:0-7734-4938-8
978-0-7734-4938-1
Price:279.95
This work overturns previously accepted theories about the rise of the first-
century Church by arguing that it maintained a religious culture of diversity
because of its roots in Judaism.

Reviews

“Just when theologians thought they were secure in their understanding of the development, structure and organization of the post-Resurrection Church in Palestine and Europe, Peter Russell has come along with a new concept to transform, if not overturn, existing models. . . . Russell’s work is certainly innovative and thought provoking; and its value to scholarship lies not only in the fact that it takes a fresh, if exhaustive, look at the establishment and inter-relationship between the diverse groups that emerged in Second-Temple Judaism, but also the way in which this accepted diversity impinged upon the early Church’s system of self regulation and governance. ” - Rabbi-Prof. Dan Cohn-Sherbok, University of Wales, Lampeter

“. . . a fresh look at the diversity that was typical of pre-Christian Judaism. The most imaginative part of Russell’s work is that he draws significant parallels between the diverse groups in Judaism and the (in his view) similar factions within Christianity in its earliest manifestations. . . . This proposal suggests that Christian Orthodoxy has been looking at the wrong model of the earliest Christian groupings. There always was, and there still exists, diversity in the expression of Christian faith. This, Russell rightly stresses, should be accepted as normal in view of the examples clearly attested in Jewish history. Moreover, it makes much more sense of the history of Christianity, which although not based on endless conflict, is by no means a monochrome movement.” - Prof. William S. Campbell, University of Wales, Lampeter

“Some will agree with it, some will not; it is not a text, however, that can simply be ignored.”- Revd. Prof. Kenneth G.C. Newport, Liverpool Hope University

Table of Contents

Foreword by Rabbi-Prof. Dan Cohn-Sherbok
Acknowledgements
Introduction
1. Historical Basis for Diversity in Second Temple Judaism
2. Divisions and the Maccabaean Crisis
3. Religious Diversity within Judaism as a Consequence of the Hasmonaean Monarchy
4. Apocalyptic and the Further Increase in Religious Diversity
5. Diversity in the Early Church: The Church in Jerusalem
6. Antioch and Galatia
7. The Church in Corinth
Conclusion
Bibliography
Index of Biblical and Ancient Sources
Index of Modern Authors
Subject Index