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Christianity in the Apostolic Age

Christianity in the Apostolic Age

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Published by glennpease

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Published by: glennpease on Nov 21, 2012
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BY GEORGE T. PURVES, D.D., LL.D.RECETLY PROFESSOR OF EW TESTAMETLITERATURE AD EXEGESIS I PRICETOTHEOLOGICAL SEMIARYEW YORK CHARLES SCRIBER'S SOS1900Copyright, 1900,By Charles Sceibner's Sons.PREFACEA HISTORY of Christianity in the Apostolic Age shouldbegin with an account of the life and teachings of ourLord. In the series, however, to which the presentwork belongs a separate volume has been assigned to" The Life of Jesus," and intrusted to the competenthand of Professor Rhees. I have therefore onlytouched upon the post-resurrection period, so far asit was necessary to set forth the immediate originof apostolic Christianity.
The purpose of this volume, like the others in theseries, is strictly historical. At the same time brief accounts of the ew Testament books, with occa-sionally a defence of their right to be classed withapostolic literature, have been introduced, both be-cause they constitute practically our only sources forthe history and because an examination of them isthe best means of illustrating the history itself. It ishoped, also, that this feature will make the volumeserviceable to a larger number of readers.I have not, except in a few instances, attempted tomention the many works by which my own studieshave been guided and enlightened. To have done soVni PREFACE.would have compelled me to exceed by a copious useof foot-notes the narrow limits within which I havebeen confined. The bibliography at the end of thevolume will, however, indicate the principal booksbearing upon the subject.In writing upon a theme so vital to the interests of our religion, and upon which a vast amount of litera-ture, representing all shades of opinion, has been pro-duced during this century, I have, of course, oftentaken positions which readers of different schools willcondemn. The positions, however, have been takenonly after careful and candid investigation ; and, if theresult is to uphold in all essential points the traditionalconception of apostolic Christianity, it has been be-cause such appears to me to be the inevitable issue of 
unprejudiced inquiry. An account of the course whichthe criticism of the ew Testament and the conse-quent constructions of the history of the apostolic agehave taken in modern times would show that therehas been a steady return on the part of most investi-gators towards the acceptance, in the main, of the datesto which tradition has assigned the origin of the booksout of which apostolic history must be ascertained.This, indeed, does not prevent the most widely differ-ent theories both of the interpretation of the booksand of the forces which entered into the formation of Christianity. But, in the opinion of the author, itdoes not appear possible, if the dates of the origin of PREFACE. IXthe books be thus establislied, to account for the riseand course of apostolic Christianity except by therecognition of those supernatural facts and forces towhich the books themselves testify. The frank ac-knowledgment of the supernatural, together with theperception of the no less truly genetic way in whichthe original faith in Jesus as Messiah was unfoldedand extended, would seem to be required of thehistorian wlio wishes to be faithful to his sources of information and to present apostolic Christianity asit really was.GEORGE T. PURVES.ew York.

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