Other than a chronological ordered Bible, The Dawn of Christianity draws heavily on recent archeological discoveries in retelling Jesus Christ’s life on Earth, and an initial couple of decennia of his Kingdom movement, that became Christianity. Hutchison is convinced of the facts backing up the facts the authors of the gospels, Acts, and the letters to the churches write about. To counter skeptics, the author shares a lot of support to bust myths like simple fishermen following Jesus barely able to express themselves in another language than their thick Galilean Aramaic accent, the crucifixion of Christ, the resurrection of the dead, and doubts of characters like Pontius Pilate and Paul.
Rendering from modern Bible translations the compelling storyline throughout the first twenty years of Jesus’ Kingdom movement really comes to life. Yes, the recent discoveries also turn the traditional understanding of Pilate questioning Jesus and the location of the Via Dolorosa obsolete. The book guides you along Jesus’ and his disciples’ wanderings across Israel, the locations of places were miracle works were done, and where Paul and Barnabas traveled. Up to the important decision to not hinder former pagans too much with Jewish Torah and customs once they became followers of the Way too, Christianity’s initial years are covered. A who is who in the early history of Christianity, and a timeline of important events, are included as an appendix. Dawn of Christianity is an important piece of work, helping both students of religious studies, Christians, and not Christians, to better understand the birth of the world’s #1 religion.
About the author
Robert J. Hutchinson is an award-winning writer and author who studied philosophy as an undergraduate, moved to Israel to learn Hebrew, and earned a graduate degree in New Testament. Hutchinson’s most recent book is “The Dawn of Christianity: How God Used Simple Fishermen, Soldiers and Prostitutes to Transform the World” (Nelson Books, 2017). It’s an attempt to retell the founding of Christianity, in a journalistic way, by taking advantage of recent discoveries in archaeology and New Testament studies that shed light on the first 20 years of the Jesus movement.
Hutchinson is also the author of “Searching for Jesus: New Discoveries in the Quest for Jesus of Nazareth” — an overview of recent archaeological finds and new developments in Biblical scholarship that are calling into question much of what skeptical scholars have assumed and asserted about Jesus over the past two centuries; “The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Bible,” which demonstrates how the ideas embedded in the ancient Biblical texts helped give rise to modern science, the development of democratic government, and the global recognition of human rights; “When in Rome: A Journal of Life in Vatican City,” a Book of the Month Club and Quality Paperback Book Club Selection about life in the Vatican; and “The Book of Vices: A Collection of Classic Immoral Tales,” a parody of William Bennett’s bestseller, The Book of Virtues.
An avid traveler, Hutchinson was once the managing editor of Hawaii Magazine and the Hawaii Bureau Chief for The Hollywood Reporter. He blogs regularly at www.RobertHutchinson.com
I received a free review copy from the publisher Zondervan through Booklookbloggers in exchange for my personal, unbiased opinion upon reading.