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eBook River of God, The: A New History of Christian Origins download

by Gregory J. Riley

eBook River of God, The: A New History of Christian Origins download ISBN: 0060669802
Author: Gregory J. Riley
Publisher: HarperOne; Reprint edition (March 4, 2003)
Language: English
Pages: 256
ePub: 1708 kb
Fb2: 1701 kb
Rating: 4.3
Other formats: mbr lit txt rtf
Category: History
Subcategory: World

The River of God is yet another great book by Dr. Riley. This is the River of God, the flow over time of the relationship between God and humanity in the ancient Near East.

The River of God is yet another great book by Dr. Riley is one of the foremost New Testament scholars living today. Riley brings a educated perspective that most NT scholars don't have. Riley, is a Christian and a scholar. He says, "Each of these subject areas had a long history of development.

The River of God book.

Top. American Libraries Canadian Libraries Universal Library Community Texts Project Gutenberg Biodiversity Heritage Library Children's Library. Books for People with Print Disabilities. Internet Archive Books. Uploaded by Tracey Gutierres on August 14, 2015. SIMILAR ITEMS (based on metadata).

In The River of God, Gregory Riley shines light on much of the history of Christian origins often ignored by scholars.

The attractive bait is in the subtitle's promise to present a "new history of Christian origins. Luke-Acts) to countless textbooks. His "new history" is mounted on a tripod of ual terms which Riley too unjustifiably calls "models

The River of God. A New History of Christian Origins. An expert on the context in which Christianity arose, Riley maps out a new understanding of the forging of Christianity, and conveys a vital message for today about the true nature of Christian faith as inherently diverse.

The River of God.

You're here Christian Books Index Books Church History The River of God: A New .

You're here Christian Books Index Books Church History The River of God: A New History of Christian Origins. Riley demonstrates that early Christians held widely differing beliefs about God, Jesus, the Devil, and the human soul, and follows these beliefs back to their sources in Greek science and philosophy and the religions of the ancient Middle East.

The River of God: A New History of Christian Origins. HarperOne, 2003, Trade Paperback. Availability: In Stock. The River of God: A New History of Christian Origins. oceedings{Braun2001TheRO, title {The River of God: A New History of Christian Origins}, author {Willi Braun}, year {2001} }. Willi Braun.

Gregory J. Riley, professor of New Testament. Gregory J. Riley joins host Larry Mantle to navigate this Šü riverŠü¦ of god. Gregory Riley's book is called The River of God: A New History of Christian Origins (Harper). By seanph, April 28, 2008 in Spirituality, Religion and Beliefs.

Where did Christianity come from?

Acclaimed author Gregory Riley embarks on a remarkable journey in this readable and persuasive account of the origins of Christianity. Riley demonstrates that early Christians held widely differing beliefs about God, Jesus, the Devil, and the human soul, and follows these beliefs back to their sources in Greek science and philosophy and the religions of the ancient Middle East. An expert on the context in which Christianity arose, Riley maps out a new understanding of the forging of Christianity, and conveys a vital message for today about the true nature of Christian faith as inherently diverse.

Comments: (7)
Burisi
Fun learning experience. There is always more than appears on the surface.
Wat!?
Read this for World Religions course, and it was pretty good. Interesting history of different religions and their connections to Christianity. Author does not insult any beliefs, which was nice.
Terr
The River of God is yet another great book by Dr. Riley. Riley is one of the foremost New Testament scholars living today. Riley brings a educated perspective that most NT scholars don't have.

There are a lot of reviews here into the details of the RIver of God so I don't see the need to go into more details, but realize this: reading this book will help you understand how Christianity has developed over the years. Riley, is a Christian and a scholar. Because of this his unique insight is way beyond most of the dribble out there today.
Gravelblade
Gregory Riley is professor of New Testament at the Claremont School of Theology; he has also written books such as One Jesus, Many Christs: The Truth About Christian Origins and Resurrection Reconsidered.

He wrote in the first chapter of this 2001 book, "In the following chapters, we will look at five major subject areas that make up the core of the Christian faith, the main content of the River of God: the rise of monotheism, the subsequent development of Christianity Trinitarianism, the arrival of the Devil and ideas about eschatology, the development and consequences of the concept of body and soul for humans, and the advent of Jesus as Savior." (Pg. 16)

He explains, "Imagine a great river with several large tributaries enlarging the total flow downstream... If we apply this model of a great river system to the rise of Christianity, we again find contact with the traditional picture of the history of salvation. The river is, of course, the totality of the history and religious background of Christianity. This is the River of God, the flow over time of the relationship between God and humanity in the ancient Near East." (Pg. 8-9)

He says, "Each of these subject areas had a long history of development. In no case were the initial stages of these ideas anything like what they turned out to be in their final forms in the church of the fourth century CE. In fact, it does not appear that these concepts existed at all... at the beginning of the period of our study approximately three millennia earlier: no one we have a record of was a monotheist and certainly not a Trinitarian, there was no Devil, humans did not have souls, and there was no need for a heavenly savior. Nevertheless, there were here and there intimations of each idea---preparations, so to speak, for the eventual rise of the more complex and defined ideas of later times." (Pg. 16)

He emphasizes "an aspect of the teaching of Jesus that often goes unnoticed: he was preaching something new to his culture. There were certainly other Jews who agreed more or less with him in one or another aspect of his teaching: Pharisees, Essenes, Hellenistic Jews, and others. These, however, were but a very small minority of the people as a whole... In the main, Jesus' message was something different from what his contemporary Jews believed." (Pg. 160)

He concludes, "The River of God contains simultaneously what is new and what is very old. Because people are slow to change, at any one moment what is old in the River predominates." (Pg. 223) Then, "What we know of God today is again being challenged and forced to respond. That has forever been the divine Plan. That is the process of the River of God." (Pg. 237)

This book will be appreciated by those who look for more "diversity" in not only the early church, but in the modern one, as well.
Kabei
This work by Gregory Riley of the Claremont School of Theology, also author of "One Jesus, Many Christs," makes the case that the major doctrines of the New Testament and early Christianity came from the Jewish Gnostics, who were centered in Galilee, Jesus' home base.
The peoples of the Mediterranean world, including the Hebrews, all believed that the earth was a flat disk sitting on top of a disk of water. Over that was a hard dome, not more than a few thousand feet high, on top of which sat the gods. All the gods had bodies, including the Chief One. The Hebrews, like everyone else, never believed that God was an immaterial spirit or that people had spiritual souls that could unite with God after death. People just lived out their lives on earth under the gaze of the gods and the fates.
This view was challenged by the great mathematician Pythagoras in the 6th century b.c., who stated the earth is a sphere, and by Eratosthenes, who in the 3rd century b.c. computed that the earth is 40,000 kilometers in circumference, wonderfully close to its actual size. Riley says we cannot over emphasize the dramatic effect this new Greek science had on religious beliefs (the whole premise of his book is that religious beliefs are constantly changing in response to their times). For one thing, these discoveries made the material universe immense, infinite. For another thing, there was a commensurate change in the idea of God. The Greeks developed the via negativa method of describing the new God as immaterial, ineffable, and unknowable. Plato extended this idea of God to humans, describing their bodies as shells from which the soul-an emanation of God of sorts-would escape after death and return to God.
Riley says that these ideas were slow to catch on, but they did. In Jewish society they took root among the very well educated class, especially in Galilee-a true crossroad of many cultures and religions. (Jerusalem was in the isolated highlands). Riley says that at the time of Jesus, all the Pharisees, Essenes, Gnostics, and Hellenists together were a very tiny fraction of Jewish society. The educated classes among the Jews, especially the Gnostics, were very interested in the new Greek ideas of God. If God was all perfect, however, what caused evil in the world? For that answer, the Jewish Gnostics relied on Persian Zoroastrian religion, which proposed a cosmic conflict between the god of good and the god of evil.
The Gnostics had to demote the Evil One from a god to a fallen angel, but he served the purpose of drumming up all the evil and suffering in the world. In their scenario, a lesser emanation of God had created a very imperfect world, which God allowed the devil to corrupt and control in order to test his human creations. The New Testament teachings of Jesus embody the doctrines of the Jewish Gnostics almost verbatim. Riley emphasizes what revolutionary teaching this was at the time. People did not know they had immortal souls. Neither did they suspect what great danger they were in. This constituted the "new wine" of Jesus' teaching. Riley writes:
"Fundamental to the teaching of Jesus was the dualism of body and soul. From the point of view of religious studies, Jesus was a genius-what scholars call a master figure-and his dualism was unique. In many ways it was similar to that of Orphism, Pythagoranism, and Plato, yet it is fair to say that the cosmos of Jesus had a darker side, for he was also conscious of the spiritual warfare inherent in the kingdom of God. No Greek philosopher believed in the Devil, nor did the Zoroastrians have a view of body and soul based in science (as did the Greek philosophers), Jesus brilliantly combined both traditions into something new."
Riley says that the signature parable of the NT was the first parable seen in the Gospel of Mark (4:3-8, 14-20) of the sower going out to sow his seed. The seed that fell beside the road was picked up by the birds (the devil), on rocky ground (persecution), and in the weeds (cares and temptations of the world).
Riley states that the new doctrine overturned the values of the world, making death, suffering, and persecution the means of eternal happiness. Jesus himself would submit to "persecution" (orchestrated by the Devil, no less) to demonstrate his belief in the afterlife. The Devil would use every means of tripping up people, including the use of "false prophets and religions." This warning gave impetus to the desire of bishops from the beginning to stamp out religious dissent and other religions-all seen as instruments of the devil.
This negative view of the world goes a long way in explaining the incipient violence of Christianity and its ability to alienate people from the world, nature, and their own bodies and emotions. These doctrines still have a powerful grip on western society.
Riley is also able to point out where the writers of the New Testament and later Church councils were picking and choosing among Gnostic doctrines. For example, Plato had assigned five concentric shells that would isolate the Monad from the world, emanations of the godhead that did his bidding. The Gnostics extended this divine group, called the "pleroma" or "fullness," to 365 beings. The author of John limits these intermediary gods to the Word. The author of Colossians states twice that in Jesus alone "is the "pleroma" of God (The Holy Spirit would be worked in later.)
Jesus as springing from the Jewish Gnostics makes him a much more interesting character. Just his being from Galilee sets the authorities of Jerusalem on edge. And how did Jesus as the (perhaps illegitimate) son of a tradesman ingratiate himself with the well-educated Gnostic Hellenists of Galilee? He could have distinguished himself by his special talents or beauty or both.