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Beginning from Jerusalem
Christianity in the Making, Volume 2
PAPERBACK; Published: 3/20/2020
ISBN: 978-0-8028-7800-7
Price: $ 67.99
1363 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6.125 x 9.25
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The second volume in the magisterial Christianity in the Making trilogy, Beginning from Jerusalem covers the early formation of the Christian faith from 30 to 70 CE. After outlining the quest for the historical church (parallel to the quest for the historical Jesus) and reviewing the sources, James Dunn follows the course of the movement stemming from Jesus “beginning from Jerusalem.” 

Dunn opens with a close analysis of what can be said of the earliest Jerusalem community, the Hellenists, the mission of Peter, and the emergence of Paul. Then he focuses solely on Paul―the chronology of his life and mission, his understanding of his call as apostle, and the character of the churches that he founded. The third part traces the final days and literary legacies of the three principal figures of first-generation Christianity: Paul, Peter, and James, the brother of Jesus. Each section includes detailed interaction with the vast wealth of secondary literature on the many subjects covered.

Table of Contents

Part Six: Writing a History of Christianity’s Beginnings
     20. The Quest for the Historical Church
     21. The Sources
Part Seven: The First Phase
     22. Beginning in Jerusalem
     23. The Earliest Community
     24. The Hellenists and the First Outreach
     25. The Emergence of Paul
     26. The Mission of Peter
     27. Crisis and Confrontation
Part Eight: Apostle to the Gentiles
     28. Dates, Destinations and Distances
     29. Paul the Apostle
     30. Paul’s Churches
     31. The Aegean Mission: Phase One
     32. The Aegean Mission: Phase Two
     33. The Close of a Chapter
Part Nine: The End of the Beginning
     34. The Passion of Paul
     35. The Voiceless Peter
     36. Catastrophe in Judea
     37. The Legacy of the First-Generation Leadership

“A wealth of historical insights about the earliest churches reflected in Acts and the letters.”
— Michael J. Gorman in Interpretation
“A truly remarkable achievement, reflecting a lifetime of research, writing, teaching, and supervising. Throughout Dunn maintains a style that is both readable and erudite but also unfailingly courteous. His vigorous running exegesis of the texts is expanded in a veritable mountain of footnotes engaging with (mostly recent) scholarship. The resulting work is every undergraduate’s dream, providing lateral access to a vast array of research interest. In consequence this is a text the scholar and the teacher will want to have in a handy place for frequent use.”
— Paul Barnett in Themelios
Beginning from Jerusalem will not be the last word on a number of issues it raises. However, for a judicious, middle-of-the-road, even conservative-leaning synthesis of the status quaestionis on countless topics, spiced up by Dunn’s distinctive positions at several key points, one could hardly ask for more.”
— Craig L. Blomberg in Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
“Readers will surely express admiration for the learning and scholarly passion this volume displays.”
— L. W. Hurtado in Catholic Biblical Quarterly
“A remarkable book, both in its scope and in its impressive engagement with debates on a huge number of contested matters upon which excessive comment has been passed for well over a century and a half. . . . Dunn’s extensive knowledge of the primary material, and the fact that he constantly brings this to the attention of the reader, often in considerable detail, adds to the appeal of the book.”
— James Carleton-Paget in Journal of Theological Studies
“A magnificently clear and thorough resource for studying the apostolic age.”
— John Proctor in Biblical Studies Bulletin
“Any preacher would do well to get acquainted with this volume with its up-to-date discussion of the early Church story as it emerges from and serves as background for the lectionary selections from Acts and the New Testament Epistles.”
— Adam Gilbert Bartholomew in Homiletic
“A masterly and exciting treatment of the first generation of Christianity.”
— The Pastoral Review
“Reading through this book gives one a powerful sense for the development of Christianity out of Second Temple Judaism. . . . Dunn’s writing always conveys significant information in a readable style; thus a broad range of readers can appreciate his work.”
“Mastery of the primary and secondary sources, creativity balanced by sound judgment, and breadth of treatment based upon thorough attention to the details: this is what we have come to expect from James Dunn, and this is what we have in this book. A magnificent review and evaluation of all the major critical issues regarding the first forty years of the Christian religion.”
— Dale C. Allison Jr.
Princeton Theological Seminary
“This mega-study of earliest Christianity combines panoramic scope, attention to specific issues and relevant evidence, familiarity with current scholarship, and a readable style. The vigorous but cordial treatment of disputed matters will not always convince but is invariably stimulating. One can only admire the bold breadth of coverage. This is vintage Dunn, a harvest of his scholarly career.”
— Larry W. Hurtado
University of Edinburgh
“James Dunn’s Beginning from Jerusalem is a teacher’s dream come true. In this sequel volume to Jesus Remembered, Dunn steers his readers through a whirlwind of beginnings in the most formative period of Christianity, 30–70 CE, visiting both New Testament scenes and significant Greco-Roman sites that bring those texts to life. But unlike the usual broad-brush approach to Christianity’s origins, Dunn probes into the heartthrob of these texts such that his readers experience the historical surprises and existential mysteries of this emerging ‘faith’ as it pulsates from within Judaism and courses out into the Gentile world. Combining both Dunn’s enormous learning and his original insights, this volume will quickly become the preferred textbook of university and seminary classes alike.”
— David P. Moessner
Texas Christian University