“The Jesus-followers’ first 200 years”

by Doug Mason 13 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason

    The archaeologist digs and then sifts through remnants from the past, assembling the discoveries into patterns so that stories of the past may be brought back to life.

    With almost 850 direct quotations from 50 books, my Study sifts remnants from the first 200 years of Christianity and sorts them into patterns that may help others to assemble a vessel that can hold ideas, or to form a skeleton where muscle and flesh, heart and mind, may be applied. A comprehensive Contents listing is provided at the rear of this Study.

    My Study, “The Jesus-followers’ first 200 years” is available at:



  • Magnum

    Got it. Thanks. I really enjoy your work. Keep it coming, please.

  • Mephis

    As ever, a very useful starting place for people wanting to get into the scholarship of a subject.

  • smiddy

    It looks like I`m going to be busy for quite a while , thanks Doug , it looks like something I have been seeking without realizing it.

  • Half banana
    Half banana

    Well done Doug for getting it all down on paper. I agree with your feelings which you mentioned before completion that writing is a route to learning, or words to that effect. Since it is an area I am also very interested in I will read it with great interest.

    The biggest bugbear in looking at historical text is "assumptions" isn't it?

  • truthwillsetyoufree

    Thank you Doug. I really enjoy and appreciate your essays.

  • Phizzy

    Thanks in advance Doug, downloaded but not read yet.

    This is an Era that fascinates me, and though I know there is a paucity of evidence for exact beliefs etc, this Paper

    will be so helpful in pulling together all that we do have, I'm sure.

  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason

    When I set out on this Study, I had no idea that it would turn out like this. When I started, I told a friend that I wanted to discover the “Real Paul”. I wanted to remove the veneers, the assumptions, to remove his clothes and leave him naked. I wanted to know his mind. So my mental working title was “Nude Paul”. As with every Study, this one took me by the hand into places I had never thought about, creating thoughts I had never considered. In the process, I removed many veneers, many clothes, exposing a nudist colony.

    This Study has affected me more than any other I have prepared. The others are intellectual expositions; this one is personal. I am shocked at what I have produced. Its influence on me is shown by the fact that I do not discuss my other Studies in this way. (For those in Australia, I get my copy printed double sided and coil bound at Officeworks.)

    It has shown me that there is so much more that I need to pursue. It is only a stepping stone. For example, I now see that the Gospel of Thomas needs to be explored, especially the people who produced it. It is likely as old as the earliest canonised Gospels, produced by another sect. Indeed the spectrum of the non-canonised documents should be explored. But there are only so many years that remain, so I need to be judicious in considering what to explore. Right now, I am thinking of the influence of Bishop Anselm.

    Only now, after arriving at this picture of the early followers of Jesus, am I able to appreciate the book: “Blaming Jesus for Jehovah: Rethinking the Righteousness of Christianity” by Robert Price.

    I hope that those of you who are expert in this era can add to the story - and provide corrections.


  • EdenOne

    Doug, I'm reading your work; started today and already well beyond page 60. Amazing work and I'm thrilled to be reading it. Congratulations! I have a few questions, but I'm holding them until i finish reading it because they may be answered further into the reading. But, let me share this with you: I'm amazed. Great stuff.


  • shepherdless

    I had a read through, and found it very interesting. Well done Doug!

    It encouraged me to look up a translation of the Gospel of Thomas. It seems to be just a series of "wise" sayings by Jesus, some of which are familiar, and some very wacky zany stuff. For example, this translation of verse 114:

    (114) Simon Peter said to him, "Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of life." Jesus said, "I myself shall lead her in order to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every woman who will make herself male will enter the kingdom of heaven."

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