Ancient Christians invoked sin to account for an astonishing range of things, from the death of God's son to the politics of the Roman Empire that worshipped him. In this book, award-winning historian of religion Paula Fredriksen tells the surprising story of early Christian concepts of sin,... read more
“Jesus of Nazareth announced the good news that God was about to redeem the world. Some 350 years later, the church taught that by far the greater part of humanity was eternally condemned. The earliest community began by preserving the memory and the message of Jesus; within decades of his death, some Christians asserted that Jesus had never had a fleshly human body at all. The church that claimed the Jewish scriptures as its own also insisted that the god who had said "Be fruitful and multiply" now actually meant "Be secually continent." Some four centuries after Paul's death, his conviction that "All Israel will be saved (Rm 11.26) served to support the Christian belief that the Jews were damned.”
“What happened then to Paul's message, to their message, when Time failed to end on time?”
“Valentinus and Valentinian Christianity were easier to describe when scholars knew less.”
Chapter 1: God, Blood, and the Temple: Jesus and Paul on Sin
Chapter 2: Flesh and the Devil: Sin in the Second Century
Chapter 3: A Rivalry of Genius: Sin and Its Consequences in Origen and Augustine
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