Luke Timothy Johnson, “Early Christianity: The Experience of the Divine” (Teaching Company CD, parts 1 & 2)

Some notes:

  • The patronage system was embedded not only in the culture generally but in the religion (polytheism) specifically.
  • Religious strife and division for Jews, with each other and with Rome, was a big deal in the first century, including how to relate to Gentiles.
  • Jews and the early Christians thought that the Septuagint was divinely inspired.
  • Johnson says the most significant division in the history of the church was whether to allow in the uncircumcised; the decision to do so made it possible to go from being a Jewish sect to a potentially world religion.