Christianity’s First History Book

‘The Acts of the Apostles’ was written in the first century A. D. and describes a vital thirty years in the expansion of Christianity. J.K. Elliott studies its production and influence.

The ministry and teaching of Christ resulted in his attracting a small group of followers who perpetuated his memory and message after his death. But the origins of Christianity were humble and inauspicious. The religion began with an itinerant preacher in a remote part of the Roman Empire, and seemed to be doomed to failure when the preacher was crucified in Jerusalem, leaving his disciples disillusioned and leader-less.

Yet far from dying with him, Christ’s message not only lived on but spread rapidly. Within thirty years of his death groups of people who believed in him as a new saviour were to be found throughout the Mediterranean lands. The rapid and successful spread of this new religion is for the pious Christian a proof and vindication of its inherent truth, and an indication that the earliest propagators of the faith were divinely inspired.

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