The Forgotten Creed: Christianity’s Original Struggle Against Bigotry, Slavery, and Sexism

Stephen J. Patterson. Oxford, $24.95 (184p) ISBN 978-0-19-086582-5
In this academic yet readable exploration of a well-known passage from the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Galatians, Willamette University religion professor Patterson (The Gospel of Thomas and Christian Origins) unpacks the intent behind what he considers the earliest Christian baptismal liturgy. The letter, in part, reads, “As many of you who have been baptized have put on Christ: there is no Jew or Greek; there is no slave or free; there is no male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Diving into scriptures, noncanonical texts (such as the Gospels of Thomas and Mary), and Greek and Roman contemporaneous writings, Patterson offers a comprehensive overview of the Greco-Roman world at the time of the early Jesus movement. He lucidly details the conflicts between Greeks and Jews, the slave economy, and the gender dynamics of the Greco-Roman world. Positing that this creed offers an alternative to “the oldest cliché” (prayers of thanksgiving for not being born a slave, woman, or foreigner that were common in Greco-Roman society of the time), Patterson claims that “the first followers of Jesus were taking on race, class, and gender.” Through Paul’s letter to the Galatians, Patterson’s concise, impressive book perceptively uncovers the divergent tendencies of the early Christian era. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/27/2018
Release date: 10/01/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-68441-712-4
Ebook - 256 pages - 978-0-19-086584-9
Ebook - 256 pages - 978-0-19-086583-2
Digital Format - 978-0-19-087903-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-6651-3084-4
MP3 CD - 978-1-6651-3083-7
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