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When Christians Were Jews

The First Generation
Narrated by: Matthew Lloyd Davies
Length: 6 hrs and 59 mins
Categories: History, Ancient
4 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A compelling account of Christianity’s Jewish beginnings, from one of the world’s leading scholars of ancient religion

How did a group of charismatic, apocalyptic Jewish missionaries, working to prepare their world for the impending realization of God's promises to Israel, end up inaugurating a movement that would grow into the gentile church? Committed to Jesus’s prophecy - “The Kingdom of God is at hand!” - they were, in their own eyes, history's last generation. But in history's eyes, they became the first Christians.

In this electrifying social and intellectual history, Paula Fredriksen answers this question by reconstructing the life of the earliest Jerusalem community. As her account arcs from this group’s hopeful celebration of Passover with Jesus, through their bitter controversies that fragmented the movement’s midcentury missions, to the city’s fiery end in the Roman destruction of Jerusalem, she brings this vibrant apostolic community to life. Fredriksen offers a vivid portrait both of this temple-centered messianic movement and of the bedrock convictions that animated and sustained it.

©2018 Paula Fredriksen. (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

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Profile Image for Mark Bellingham
  • Mark Bellingham
  • 09-05-2020

If you are a believer in Jesus don’t waste your time with this book

I was looking forward to this book it sounded very interesting. Sadly, the author is not an Orthodox Christian believing in the historic Christian faith. He’s an academic that does not believe the account of the New Testament. His so-called discoveries of contradictions in the New Testament and his reasons for believing this are quite embarrassing actually. And there is quite an arrogant tone in his writing. I listened for 30 minutes and I was done.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-06-2019

Poor narration.

The narrator starts every sentence with a loud voice then trails off to a whisper for the final words of a sentence. It seemed over-dramatic to me. I found his narration distracting. That said, I loved the book content.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 14-12-2019

Awful narration

I had to return the book because of the bad quality of the narration. I couldn't focus even for one minute because of how confusing the narrator was in reading the book.

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  • Jack
  • 18-09-2019

Oh for the narrator.

How could the recording company be so tone deaf as to hire this narrator. His voice is for fiction, not a scholarly work on early Christianity. His voice is perfect for 19th British novels such as The Mayor is Casterbridge or the like. What we’re thinking? Actually unlistenable because of this. Need a drier narrator .

1 person found this helpful

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  • Edmo11
  • 05-03-2019

How Christianity Began

The author presents an excellent and engaging history of the beginning of Christianity and the belief of the early companions of Jesus of the imminent return of Jesus to end the world, raise the dead and render Judgment. Great rendition of a captivating story.

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  • Magnus Briem
  • 13-01-2019

Great book

Great book, a fantastic intro to the contradictions of the New Testament. Really helps the historian / reader get an understanding of the time period and also the fact thatChristianity was forged much later. Some of the arguments were over interpreted, nonetheless great audiobook !

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  • Ben
  • 01-01-2019

Loved it!

Thanks to professor Fredriksen we are one step closer to discovering and revealing the truth about the early very Jewish Jesus movement.

1 person found this helpful

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  • A Self Proclaimed Thinker
  • 05-01-2019

Wery interesting and enterteining presentation.

Maybe time has come to reconciliate the Jews with the Christians (in fact, reform Jews).

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-12-2018

nothing to see here, nothing to read here

If you are considering this book to further your understanding as a Christian believer: don't bother. The author's obvious lack of faith or understanding of the Scriptures is apparent and contains very few historical assertions worth mentioning. In fact, I feel sorry for her. As far as the speaker/reader, he came across as gleefully smug and petulant during sections where the author criticizes Christian theology and/or Biblical accounts.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Kenneth Benjamin
  • 26-12-2018

Title misleading

In my estimation this is an academic pursuit to fulfill a need to be published. it lacks understanding of the Hebrew scriptures and prophecies there of. It is an exercise in trying to "get into the heads" and motivation of 1st century Messianic believers. It misses because they are not motivated by human endeavor but by the Spirit of the Messiah and faith which the author seems to discount as she does most of the Biblical text. The author does not demonstrate an understanding of the difference between Judaism, Judah and Israel as it pertains to the biblical narrative.
I was disappointed by the narration because of dramatic voice inflections. That and the narrator speaking English, which I would normally enjoy, rather than "American" that I'm familiar with, I was unable to listen to this book in the car while traveling. At times, because of pronunciation, I missed terms and titles I am familiar with. I had great expectations because of the title but overall disappointed.

4 people found this helpful