Early Christianity and Historical Methods

The focus of this analysis centers on the work of early Christians, prominent theologians, and church historians who have developed and established orthodoxy in Christian theology. Apologetic approaches are analyzed and problems are shown to emerge when there is a lack of distinction made between historical and theological methods. Apologists who approach the study of history the same way they approach theology do both disciplines a disservice. The second part of the narrative argues that Christ is the essence of faith, i.e., this entity is a deity that exists only through faith. Christ’s miracles, his resurrection, and atonement are not consistent with expected realities in history. Moreover, these elements of the deity were never intended to be proofs in a historical sense. Reason, therefore, in this context is not humanity’s salvation. Nothing can be learned about Christ from history, he is a paradox, as Kierkegaard argued–Christ cannot be known (from a historical perspective). Spiritual truths, however, have been developed by theologians and can be learned through the Christian faith. This book will be especially alluring for those interested in understanding some of the most influential developments of early Christianity that morphed into components of the Christian doctrine. It covers textual analysis of ancient writings, historical approaches to studying theology, and methods used for historical inquiry. Emphasis is placed on historical methods and why it’s important to distinguish theology from history.

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