The author's intention is to show, by means of what is here called "mystical knowledge," how the source of Christianity prepared its own ground in the mysteries of Pre-Christian times. In this Pre-Christian mysticism we find the soil in which Christianity throve, as a germ of quite independent nature. This point of view makes it possible to understand Christianity in its independent being, even though its evolution is traced from pre-Christian mysticism. If this point of view be overlooked, it is very possible to misunderstand that independent character, and to think that Christianity was merely a further development of what already existed in pre-Christian mysticism. Many people of the present day have fallen into this error, comparing the content of Christianity with pre-Christian conceptions, and then thinking that Christian ideas were only a continuation of the former. The following pages are intended to show that Christianity presupposes the earlier mysticism just as a seed must have its soil. It is intended to emphasise the peculiar character of the essence of Christianity, through the knowledge of its evolution, but not to extinguish it.
It is widely believed that the early Christians copied their texts themselves without a great deal of expertise, and that some copyists introduced changes to support their theological beliefs. In this volume, however, Alan Mugridge examines all of the extant Greek papyri bearing Christian literature up to the end of the 4th century, as well as several comparative groups of papyri, and concludes that, on the whole, Christian texts, like most literary texts in the Roman world, were copied by trained scribes. Professional Christian scribes probably became more common after the time of Constantine, but this study suggests that in the early centuries the copyists of Christian texts in Greek were normally trained scribes, Christian or not, who reproduced those texts as part of their trade and, while they made mistakes, copied them as accurately as any other texts they were called upon to copy.
This volume brings together articles on the cultural, religious, social and commercial interactions among Jews, Christians and Muslims in the medieval and early modern periods. Written by leading scholars in Jewish studies, Islamic studies, medieval history and social and economic history, the contributions to this volume reflect the profound influence on these fields of the volume's honoree, Professor Mark R. Cohen.
Christian Faith Articles
Christian Faith Books