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by Ronald H. Nash
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Churches & Church Leadership
  • Author:
    Ronald H. Nash
  • ISBN:
    0945241097
  • ISBN13:
    978-0945241096
  • Genre:
  • Publisher:
    W Pub Group (May 1, 1992)
  • Pages:
    318 pages
  • Subcategory:
    Churches & Church Leadership
  • Language:
  • FB2 format
    1568 kb
  • ePUB format
    1376 kb
  • DJVU format
    1275 kb
  • Rating:
    4.8
  • Votes:
    674
  • Formats:
    mobi lit lrf doc


Ronald H. Nash was professor of Christian philosophy at Southern Baptist . Nash makes several powerful cases that the idea of Greek philosophic influence is largely overrated.

Ronald H. Nash was professor of Christian philosophy at Southern Baptist Seminary. He authored more than thirty books and lectured at more than fifty colleges and universities in the United States, Great Britain, and the former Soviet Union. In Part 2, Nash examines claims that Christianity comes from the pagan mystery religions. There is a lot of rich material here. Neverthless, I still believe that Platonic thoughts had significant influence on the early church as evidenced by Plotinus' philosophy and Saint Augustine's theology.

First released in 1992, The Gospel and Did early Christianity borrow any of its essential beliefs and practices from . This is an excellent book

First released in 1992, The Gospel and Did early Christianity borrow any of its essential beliefs and practices from pagan religions and philosophies? No, answers the author of this compelling apologetic for the uniqueness of Christian teaching. This is an excellent book. The book follows this three-fold structure, explaining the case made by the proponents of these views, and then examining their arguments.

First released in 1992, The Gospel and Did early Christianity borrow any of its essential beliefs and practices from pagan .

By: Ronald H. Nash Format: Paperback Number of Pages: 280 Vendor: P & R Publishing Publication Date: 2003. Ronald H. Nash was professor of Christian philosophy at Southern Baptist Seminary

By: Ronald H. Dimensions: . 0 X . 8 (inches) Weight: 12 ounces ISBN: 0875525598 ISBN-13: 9780875525594 Stock No: WW25597. Publisher's Description. ▲. Examines contemporary claims for Christian dependence on Hellenistic philosophy, Greco-Roman mystery religions, and Gnosticism.

Ronald Nash has put to rest the old idea that the Gospels and Paul borrowed ideas from the Greek mystery . This book is well documented and easy to read and understand

Ronald Nash has put to rest the old idea that the Gospels and Paul borrowed ideas from the Greek mystery religions. This book is well documented and easy to read and understand. Nash does a superb job of explaining facts and documented scholars in this long debate. I would recommend this book to anyone.

Good news - You can still get free 2-day shipping, free pickup, & more. Nash sees it as a dead issue, in part because we know so little about the mystery religions before the third century. Try another ZIP code.

Did early Christianity borrow any of its essential beliefs and practices from pagan religions and philosophies? No, answers the author of this compelling apologetic for the uniqueness of Christian teaching. Part 1 investigates possible influences of Hellenistic philosophy; part 2, of pagan mystery religions; and part 3, of Gnosticism. First released in 1992, The Gospel and the Greeks has been retypeset.

This book is the second in a series that attempts to prove that early Christianity did not borrow beliefs and practices from pagan religions and phil. Availability: In Stock. Online family Christian book store. This book is the second in a series that attempts to prove that early Christianity did not borrow beliefs and practices from pagan religions and philosophies of the time. This book includes an annotaed bibliography as well as indexes of persons and subjects. Similar Items you may enjoy!

230 M85 The Christian Religion in its doctrinal expression.

Publication: Richardson : Probe Books, 1992Description: 318 . SBN: 45241-09-7 Subject: Христианство - Происхождение, Christianity - Origin Христианство и другие религии, Christianity and other religions Рим - Религия, Rome - Religion Гностицизм, Gnosticism Философия, Античная, Philosophy, Ancien. 230 M85 The Christian Religion in its doctrinal expression.

Formerly titled Christianity and the Hellenistic World. A critical examination of the claim that Christianity borrowed some of its essential beliefs and practices from Hellenistic philosophy, Greco-Roman mystery religions, and Gnosticism. "Professor Nash has written a lucid and superb book." (Professor Edwin Yamauchi, Miami University - Ohio)

Quendant
The “Book Abstract” of this 1992 book states, “Many scholars still claim that early Christianity (first century A.D.) borrowed some of its essential beliefs and practices from the pagan religions and philosophical systems of that time. Scholars in the fields of biblical and classical studies regard this claim as highly improbable; yet, the claim persists in fields (such as philosophy and history) outside those disciplines which are most familiar with the problem. In this work, the author carefully examines the contemporary claims for Christian dependence on Hellenistic philosophy, the Greco-Roman mystery religions, and Gnosticism…. He finds that case for Christian dependence in the strong sense tenuous, demonstrating this by a philosophical and historical evaluation of the claims and evidence.”

In the Introduction he further explains, “there is a need for one book that will review deliberations over this question since 1900 and bring the discussion up to date… I do not plan to say much about Christians who wrote in the years after the close of the New Testament canon… one’s commitment to defend the New Testament writers against charges of essential accommodation to pagan ideas does not necessitate defending Christian thinkers who wrote following the close of the New Testament canon… My major concern is with problems that appear to undermine the fundamental Christian conviction that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book… Even the presence of real parallels between the New Testament and pagan literature does not necessarily prove dependence. Nor do undeniable instances where a New Testament writer is aware of pagan ideas and terminology prove that he actually derived his concepts from his pagan milieu… It is important to recognize different senses of the words ‘influence’ and ‘dependence’.” (Pg. 12-16)

He observes, “Paul… never taught that his body was evil or the source of his sinning. Human beings commit acts of sin because they are born with a sinful nature… The claim that Paul believed that matter is evil is also refuted by his belief that the ultimate destiny of redeemed human beings is an endless life in a resurrected BODY, not the disembodied existence of an immortal soul… [This] is clearly incompatible with a belief in the inherent wickedness of matter.” (Pg. 62)

About the Johannine use of the “Logos,” he comments: “Most contemporary New Testament scholars see no need to postulate a conscious relationship between Alexandrian Judaism and the New Testament use of ‘Logos’ … Many scholars… note that the phrases ‘The Word of God’ and ‘The Word of the Lord’ are used throughout the Old Testament in ways that suggest an independent existence and personification… It is a mistake, then, to assume that the early Christian use of ‘logos’ had to be derived from Alexandrian Judaism. There are at least two separate Old Testament traditions that could have given rise to the teaching found in the Prologue to the Fourth Gospel.” (Pg. 85-86)

He suggests, “It is clear that the writer of Hebrews knew personally the language and teachings of Alexandrian Judaism. In all likelihood, he knew the writings of Philo. But… the author uses the language and ideas he knew before his conversion to confute the Alexandrian philosophy and theology and to prove the superiority of Christ and the Christian message… attempts to prove the dependence… of the first-century church on alien ideas or terminology require far more than the discovery of parallels…. The Book of Hebrews demonstrate that there was a circle of believers who knew and used terms like ‘logos’ early in the history of the church… perhaps [the Fourth Gospel’s] use of such terminology only points to its authors personal contact with such Christians.” (Pg. 111-112)

He points out, “The mere fact that Christianity had a sacred meal and a baptism is supposed to prove that it borrowed their ceremonies from similar meals and washings in the pagan cults. By itself, of course, such outward similarity would really prove nothing. After all, religious rituals can assume only a limited number of forms, and they will naturally relate to important or common aspects of human life. Alleged similarities might reflect only common features of a time or culture, rather than genetic dependence. Consequently, we need to dig below the surface of apparent similarities and ask the more basis question, What did the pagan practices mean?” (Pg. 150)

He acknowledges, “Granted, there is a similarity between Paul’s writings and Hellenistic thought on the human need for redemption. But does the mere presence of this similarity prove Paul’s dependence?... The independent appearance of a doctrine of redemption at different times and in different cultures is well established. Thus, the mere fact that Paul teaches that human depravity must be delivered by a divinely conferred redemption and that this view is superficially similar to other views of his time fails to prove anything.” (Pg. 179)

He argues, “Paul would never have borrowed from the pagan religions. All of our information about Paul makes it highly unlikely that he was influenced by pagan sources. He placed great emphasis on his early training in a strict form of Judaism (Phil 3:5). He warned the Colossians against the very sort of things that advocates of Christian syncretism attribute to him---namely, letting their minds be captured by alien speculations (Col 2:8)… Even if we suppose that Paul had borrowed from pagan religions, his enemies among the Judaizers would have quickly attacked him for such a serious compromise. Such attacks would have made it necessary for Paul then to explain or defend his use of such ideas. But his writings contain no hint either of such attacks or Paul’s need for a defense.” (Pg. 195-196)

He notes, “For anyone unfamiliar with the skimpy historical foundation for Bultmann’s speculation regarding the Redeemer myth, his claims can carry some clout… One of the more serious objections to Bultmann’s view is the fact that there are absolutely no pre-Christian texts that support the existence of the Gnostic myth before the beginning of Christianity. Bultmann reconstructs his picture of the allegedly pre-Christian myth from literature that is at least one hundred years after the Gospel of John! … If any borrowing took place, then, it is far more likely that this later Gnostic literature borrowed from the New Testament.” (Pg. 227)

He concludes, “Because that which divides scholars on this issue of Christian origins and originality is basically a difference in presuppositions… evidence and arguments are seldom sufficient to settle the matter… The question that this book has dealt with is this: Was early Christianity a syncretistic faith? Did it borrow any of its essential beliefs and practices either from Hellenistic philosophy or religion or from Gnosticism? The evidence requires that this question be answered in the negative.” (Pg. 270)

This book will be of great interest to anyone interested in the question of Christian “influence/dependence” on Gnostic and/or pagan writings and ideas.
Rit
I consider this book to be a 'must have' because of how critical I think the subject matter is, and how well I think Nash analyzes the subject.
On the surface, many folks might think that the topic is very obscure or not all that important. And while it's true that the subject matter is somewhat complicated and can initially appear pretty irrelevant to present day Christianity, it is nonetheless a topic with enormous present day relevance and deserves to be explored. In a nutshell, this book attempts to analyze whether early Christianity was influenced by pagan philosophical systems or by ideas that existed in the pagan mystery religions. There are a number of reasons why such an examination is so important. First, as this book mentions, a link of influence of paganism on early Christianity has been a common tactic among various folks in academia who are looking to discredit the Christian faith in front of an impressionable audience, and while not mentioning it, the Jesus Seminar has also been diligent in advancing such arguments in an effort to dedeify Jesus. And the reason is clear. One can make major inroads in discrediting the authenticity of Christianity if they can demonstrate, for example, that the resurrection of Jesus as described in the Gospels was really a mythical story copied from allegedly similar recountings in the pagan mystery religions. If this could be demonstrated, any number of additional negative ideas could be argued with greater force, such as that Jesus wasn't really God because the resurrection recountings of the Gospels are not historical but mythical and parallel other myths of the time, or that Jesus is no more special or unique than other supposed gods or deities in other religions. It is clear that the ramifications of these kind of theories, if proven, would be devastating to Christianity. Thus, the importance of this book.
Nash carefully divides the book into 3 sections; analyzing the possibility that early Christianity was influenced by pagan philosophy such as Platonism or Stoicism, analyzing the possibility that early Christianity borrowed some of its stories from the pagan mystery religions such as Isis/Osiris or Mithra, and analyzing whether Christianity was influenced by Gnosticism. In each case, Nash does a good job of beginning his analysis by clearly defining the terms of the debate, and fairly representing the claims made by those who positively assert pagan influence on Christianity. These introductions give the reader a very good starting point for seeing how these arguments, when left unscrutinized, can on the surface appear to be compelling. By presenting the arguments fairly and completely, Nash does a good job of peaking the interest of the reader to read on in order to find out whether these arguments really hold water once we get below the surface. And particularly in the analyses of pagan philosophy and the mystery religions, Nash's analyses are very detailed and meticulous. Nash's analyses are very effective in meticulously discrediting these arguments and in most cases, showing very clearly the lazy scholarship that often fuels such arguments. By doing this, Nash not only puts these arguments in their place, he affirms the historical reliability, uniqueness, and truth of the Christian faith as described in the New Testament and clearly demonstrates that there is absolutely no evidence of a pagan influence on Christianity, and in fact, there is sufficient evidence to suggest a Christian influence on paganism.
In summary, after one reads this book, it is likely that they may scratch their heads in wonder when one thinks about why this book had to be written, given the lazy and even contrived scholarship that is the basis for so many of the arguments affirming a pagan influence on early Christianity. One might reasonably wonder how such ideas ever had any credibility to start with when Nash so completely destroys the arguments with very simple facts and analysis. I applaud Nash for being so thorough in the topics covered and in the analysis. There are over 30 pages of footnotes at the end of the book for the reader who is interested in conducting additional research and examining other pertinent resources. I completely concur with what Nash says in this book when commenting on the alleged influence of the mystery religions on early Christianity, "These..arguments against Christian syncretism help us understand why biblical scholars today seldom claim any early Christian dependence on the mysteries. They constitute an impressive collection of reasons why scholars in such other fields as history and philosophy should rethink their methods and conclusions and finally put such views to rest." This is an excellent book, and one that can greatly help any Christian easily and effectively counter the claims of pagan influence on the early faith. A 'must have' for any apologetics collection.
Gralsa
Ronald Nash has put to rest the old idea that the Gospels and Paul borrowed ideas from the Greek mystery religions. This book is well documented and easy to read and understand. Nash does a superb job of explaining facts and documented scholars in this long debate. I would recommend this book to anyone.