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Constantine's Bible

Constantine's Bible

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Paperback / softback

£14.99

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Publisher: SCM Press
ISBN: 9780334041054
Published: 22/12/2006
Most college and seminary courses on the New Testament include discussions of the process that gave shape to the New Testament. Now, David Dungan re-examines the primary source for this history, the Ecclesiastical History of the fourth-century Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea, in the light of Hellenistic political thought. He reaches startling new conclusions: that we usually use the term "canon" incorrectly; that the legal imposition of a "canon" or "rule" upon scripture was a fourth- and fifth-century phenomenon enforced with the power of the Roman imperial government; and that the forces shaping the New Testament canon are much earlier than the second-century crisis occasioned by Marcion, and that they are political forces. Dungan discusses how the scripture selection process worked, book-by-book, as he examines the criteria used - and not used - to make these decisions. Finally, he describes the consequences of the emperor Constantine's tremendous achievement in transforming orthodox, Catholic Christianity into imperial Christianity.

David L. Dungan

David Dungan is Professor of Religion at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.