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New from Polebridge Press
In this one-on-one interview, bestselling author and MacArthur Prize recipient Elaine Pagels tells a wide-ranging story. She explains how Billy Graham’s preaching sparked her interest in religion, and talks of her early encounters with Gnostic texts and with Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead. Through the interconnections between the personal and professional, Pagels addresses the problem of how we are to define Christianity meaningfully in ancient and modern times.
Paul’s letters were written before any other Christian texts, even the gospels. And the earliest text of all is 1 Thessalonians. This new English translation is both intelligible and true to the meaning of the original Greek text. In the accompanying commentary, Lüdemann engages critically with the theology of the early Paul, including Paul’s virulent attacks on circumcision and other Jewish practices. Readers desiring a more in-depth study will find detailed appendices on Pauline chronology and later letters.
Edited by Dennis E. Smith and Joseph B. Tyson
Acts was long thought to be a first-century document, and its author Luke — a disciple of Paul — an eyewitness or acquaintance of eyewitnesses. It was considered history, pure and simple. But Westar’s Acts Seminar concluded that Acts is from the second century, a conclusion that directly challenges the view of Acts as history and raises a host of new questions, addressed in this final report of the Acts Seminar.
Jason D. BeDuhn
The earliest version of the New Testament, now in English for the first time!
History preserves the name of the person responsible for the first New Testament, the circumstances surrounding his work, and even the date he decided to build a textual foundation for his fledgling Christian community. So why do so few people know about him? Jason BeDuhn introduces Marcion, reconstructs his text, and explores his impact on the study of Luke-Acts, the two-source theory, and the Q hypothesis
By Lloyd Geering
Until two hundred years ago, most people in the Western world believed that earth and sky were no more than six thousand years old. Then science brought that date into question. In the pages of From the Big Bang to God, Geering simply and concisely tells the story of evolution and traces the rise and fall of God as a human response to discoveries about the universe.
Volume 5 of the Early Christian Apocrypha series
Clayton N. Jefford
Rediscovered in 1873, the Didache provides a glimpse of early Christian ritual and liturgy. It is the very first manual for Christian life. Here Clayton Jefford presents parallel translations of the original-language manuscripts — from Greek, Latin, Coptic, Ethiopic, and Georgian. His detailed introduction places the Didache in its historical context, and cross references and notes on sources enable in-depth study.
A lecture by Elaine Pagels
Early “Christians” seized on the Book of Revelation as a weapon against heresy and infidels of all kinds—Jews, even Christians who dissented from their increasingly rigid doctrines and hierarchies. But were they its original targets? Elaine Pagels persuasively interprets Revelation as a scathing attack on the decadence of Rome. She argues that its author, John of Patmos, was taking aim at the Roman Empire following the “Jewish War” in 66 CE, when militant Jews in Jerusalem, fired with religious fervor, waged an all-out war against Rome’s occupation of Judea, and their defeat resulted in the desecration of Jerusalem and its Great Temple.
By Harry T. Cook
Have you ever found yourself humming a favorite childhood hymn, only to realize you could no longer embrace its message? Harry Cook explores how hymns reflect the religious beliefs of their times. He revisits the texts of popular hymns, posing such questions as: How true are they to the biblical texts that seem to have inspired them? What aspects of nineteenth- and twentieth-century piety have persisted into the twenty-first century through the singing of those hymns? And, how does one manage the conflict between the emotional appeal and the theological content of such hymns?
By Joseph A. Bessler
The question of the historical Jesus is not only a historical question but also a historic one. And historic questions can be the most scandalous, says Joe Bessler, because they challenge the assumptions governing societies. Each of the three quests of the historical Jesus has opened up new questions. In A Scandalous Jesus, Bessler seeks to capture the historic questions that surround and shape research on the historical Jesus and assess the impact of the differing quests on theological and cultural life.
By Robert W. Funk
Originally published in three volumes in 1973, Robert Funk’s classic Beginning-Intermediate Grammar of Hellenistic Greek utilizes the insights of modern linguistics in its presentation of the basic features of ancient Greek grammar. Now redesigned and reformatted for ease of use, this single-volume third edition makes Funk’s groundbreaking work available once more.