The writings that make up the New Testament stand at the very foundation of Christianity. But while Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the other books of the New Testament are known to almost everyone, the writings that Christians produced in the decades that followed these earliest compositions remain shrouded in virtual anonymity. Who were the Apostolic Fathers? Why were they given that name? And what windows into the shaping of Christianity's canon, church hierarchy, and creed are opened for us with an understanding of works that include the letters of 1 Clement or Ignatius, the Didache of the Apostles, or the Letter to Diognetus?
These 24 lectures introduce what is considered the most important collection of post-New Testament writings. Although largely unknown and unread, these writings provide a treasure trove of insights into Christianity, and they are crucial to understanding the development of a religion that was shaped largely outside the pages of the New Testament itself.
From the struggle for power and the beginnings of church hierarchy to electrifying 19th-century discoveries, this course is an extremely useful addition to the shelves of anyone who is fascinated by the history of ancient Christianity and its evolution into the dominant religion it is today.
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Wow! VERY disappointed. Was hoping for better
Yes to the great courses - in fact, I have listened to several and have several more in my wishlist. My reviews of them have been favorable.
No to Ehrman. He is too subjective and far and away too repetitive. His theological, ideological and historical perspectives could have been stated in about half the time, which would make the actual material only take 1/4 of the time recorded.
In other words, he is awfully wrapped up in his own views and his (almost arrogant) take on history the early church and Christianity.
I understand that the church and Christianity was a theological and spiritual evolutionary process. There are certain paths taken that could have gone another direction - so state it once and move on. Not everyone is an impressionable, malleable college freshman who needs to be convinced that Prof. Ehrman's understanding is the only correct one.
Please, Modern scholar - stop this man before he teaches again!
understandable, tolerable and average
No - it would make a lousy movie - but the biased take is just fanciful enough to make it as a History Channel 'documentary'
Honestly - I cannot recommend this book to Christians, agnostics or atheists. It is so biased toward his 'Historical Jesus' claims that the authority or genuineness of any writings from the Church Fathers cannot come through untarnished.
Overall, I thought this was one of the worst Modern Scholar lectures I have ever listened to and I have listened to a lot from them.
Typical Ehrmanish account of the Apostolic Fathers
Definitely yes. I have tried a few Great Courses and found them to be very interesting and informative. I have read or listened almost all prof. Ehrman's popular books. At this point it feels that a lot of what he teaches is just presented in new packaging.
I think he sometimes fall over his words and begins to 'uhm' especially when he says something that might be a bit controversial. It could be that speaking to an imaginative crowd could enhance his uncertainty.
Yes, though a lot seems to be ideas that I have come across in some of his other works. I hoped to learn more about the Apostolic Fathers than the brief summaries he would give of each book. That said, there are some very interesting comments and facts that made it worthwhile.
While not the best Great Courses lectures series, it is well worth the time to listen to.
- Jacobus "When I drive, I read... uhm listen. I like SciFi, Fantasy, some Detective and Espionage novels and Religion. Now and then I will also listen to something else."