Constantine's Bible by David L. Dungan
Politics and the Making of the New Testament

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Synopsis

Most college and seminary courses on the New Testament include discussions of the process that gave shape to the New Testament. Now David Dungan re-examines the primary source for this history, the Ecclesiastical History of the fourth-century Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea, in the light of Hellenistic political thought. He reaches startling new conclusions: that we usually use the term "canon" incorrectly; that the legal imposition of a "canon" or "rule" upon scripture was a fourth- and fifth-century phenomenon enforced with the power of the Roman imperial government; that the forces shaping the New Testament canon are much earlier than the second-century crisis occasioned by Marcion, and that they are political forces. Dungan discusses how the scripture selection process worked, book-by-book, as he examines the criteria used-and not used-to make these decisions. Finally he describes the consequences of the emperor Constantine's tremendous achievement in transforming orthodox, Catholic Christianity into imperial Christianity.
 

About David L. Dungan

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Dungan is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
 
Published October 1, 2006 by FORTRESS PRESS. 240 pages
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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Beginning with a meticulous study of just what a canon is, Dungan offers a panoramic view of the first three centuries of Christian history and how the major players, both ecclesiastical and civil, contributed to defining the collection of writings we call the New Testament.

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