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Early Christianity

Who Was The Apostle Paul's Thorn?

Robert Orlando | Posted 10.03.2012 | Religion
Robert Orlando

For centuries, Scholars have debated Paul's mysterious "barb." It has been the source of much speculation, including Paul's lusts, sexual preference or physical ailments, including malaria and eye disease.

Yes, James the Brother of Jesus!

Robert Orlando | Posted 09.25.2012 | Religion
Robert Orlando

Paul, in his Galatians autobiography, identifies James as a man who replaced Peter as the head of the early Church. Additional apocryphal and secular sources assume James as heir to the church and rightfully so as his brother.

Constantine Christianity Or The Teachings of Jesus?

Byron Williams | Posted 09.23.2012 | Religion
Byron Williams

Early Christianity was a rebellious underground movement until Roman Emperor Constantine made it his religious practice in A.D. 312. These events did more for the spread of Christianity than any proselytizing efforts conducted by the Apostle Paul.

Jesus Existed

Craig S. Keener | Posted 09.07.2012 | Religion
Craig S. Keener

What movement would make up a recent leader, executed by a Roman governor for treason, and then declare, "We're his followers"? If they wanted to commit suicide, there were simpler ways to do it.

Have We Gotten Heaven All Wrong?

Posted 05.17.2012 | Religion

By John Murawski Religion News Service (RNS) The oft-cliched Christian notion of heaven -- a blissful realm of harp-strumming angels -- has remain...

A Polite Bribe: Paul's Final Journey To Jerusalem

Robert Orlando | Posted 07.07.2012 | Religion
Robert Orlando

Had the Roman army not pulled his bloodied frame from the mob, Paul would have died. Even his ironic journey to Rome as a prisoner -- rather than apostle -- would not have occurred.

The Tale Of The Confused Christian Calendars

Louis A. Ruprecht, Jr. | Posted 06.12.2012 | Religion
Louis A. Ruprecht, Jr.

While western Christians have completed their celebrations of the Lenten season and Easter, eastern Christians are just gearing up for their own. How did that happen?

WATCH: What The Shroud Of Turin Can Tell Us About The Birth Of Christianity

Posted 04.05.2012 | Religion

Jesus may not have risen, but an art historian thinks he knows why the apostles believed. Thomas de Wesselow explains what the Shroud of Turin can ...

Easter Before The Bunny

Garry Wills | Posted 06.03.2012 | Religion
Garry Wills

In early Christian communities, Easter was the day when, normally, all new Christians were baptized, and it was the deepest spiritual experience most of them would ever have.

A New Narrative For Paul And The Early Church?

Robert Orlando | Posted 02.03.2012 | Religion
Robert Orlando

The Apostle Paul was, for much of his life, and abject failure who never knew the success of his Christianizing mission. And yet, Paul was incredibly talented in one key measure: being divisive.

Paul Did Not 'Invent' Christianity

Greg Carey | Posted 12.26.2011 | Religion
Greg Carey

How did followers of Jesus move from a religion focused upon Israel's God and God's kingdom to a religion devoted to the person of Jesus? For many, the Apostle Paul fills that gap.

What Was The Role Of Women In The Earliest Churches?

Greg Carey | Posted 12.09.2011 | Religion
Greg Carey

The answer is, simply, that the early churches did value women's contributions. Not only did women show their strength in numbers, they did so in leadership positions as well

Who Were The First Christians?

Greg Carey | Posted 11.18.2011 | Religion
Greg Carey

An early church meeting must have been a wild scene. Almost all churches included masters and their own slaves, the rich and the destitute, tradespersons and menial laborers.

Imagining The First Christians

Greg Carey | Posted 10.20.2011 | Religion
Greg Carey

The New Testament's very existence testifies to how passionately the earliest Christians kept in touch with one another. It largely emerged organically.

Understanding Jesus' World

Matthew L. Skinner | Posted 07.22.2011 | Religion
Matthew L. Skinner

Think about what has influenced your outlook on the world and what you expect from life. What will your descendants need to know to understand you and your world?

Who Wrote The Bible And Why It Matters

Bart D. Ehrman | Posted 05.26.2011 | Religion
Bart D. Ehrman

Many of the books of the New Testament were written by people who lied about their identity, claiming to be a famous apostle -- Peter, Paul, or James. In modern parlance, that is a lie.

Matthew 5:22: The Forgotten Gospel Passage On Name-Calling

Rev. James Martin, S.J. | Posted 05.25.2011 | Religion
Rev. James Martin, S.J.

It's especially important to hear Jesus's words in our digital age, when snarky blogs, terrible texting, snotty Facebook posts and mean-spirited Tweets can cause serious harm.

With Liberty And Justice For All: Why The Bible Promotes Equality

John Dominic Crossan | Posted 05.25.2011 | Religion
John Dominic Crossan

Faith may have invoked divine justice but experience repeatedly contradicted it. From where, then, did that expectation of a world ruled by a fair and equitable distribution of its resources come?