Bravo, Doug; your Magnum Opus! Eloquent yet plain-spoken; authoritative (well-documented) yet undogmatic.
“The Jesus-followers’ first 200 years”
I have already messaged here to thank Doug mason for his latest work but I will do so again due to how much I appreciated and greatly admire his latest work. I have now, after three days, finished reading it. The period between 33 C.E. And 325 C.E. is a period of religious history which I am more interested in than any other. Doug's work was a real eye opener, and I have read a lot on the matter. This is a must read for anyone who has even the slightest interest in the formation of early Christianity.
We were brought up with a romanticised version of early Christianity from the Jehovahs Witnesses. Everyone in the first century lived in harmony and unity and they kept growing in number and all the New Testament books were written etc. And then after the last apostle died did the apostates begin to take over and led to apostate Christianity.
That really was not the case. At all!
Doug's work will help anyone to see just how diverse Christians were back then and the lack of unity which existed.
Doug is to be commended for this work as he has clearly put in so much time and effort into this work. It is not written in continues prose. Everything in the work is a quote from other sources which speaks about early Christianity and all sources are referenced. In this way what we have is not the thoughts and opinions of Doug himself but what scholars, theologists and others have discovered about this time period.
It is a brilliant piece of work and Doug, you are to be commended for all your hard work.
I'm looking forward to whatever you bring out next.
Thank you for your very kind words. I am embarrassed.
Yes there are many zany things in Thomas, as there are - in our eyes - in all of the writings from those times. But this is exactly what those Jesus-followers believed and how they thought. Reading their material gives us an insight into the melee of thoughts that were flying around, thicker than flakes in a snow storm.
I suggest that familiarity with the canonised texts (Old Testament and New) has blunted our sensitivities - or we tend to make excuses or rationalizations.
BTW, the Watchtower says that all the resurrected heavenly class of 144,000 are not female. All will be changed. I think that's zany, but that's their reality.
"These all must receive a change of nature at their resurrection, being made partakers together of 'divine nature,' in which state none will be women, for there is no female sex among spirit creatures, sex being God's means for reproduction of earthly creatures." (Insight on the Scriptures, Vol 2, page 1196)