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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

In the Fullness of Time: A Historian Looks at Christmas, Easter, and the Early Church by Paul L. Maier

Published by Kregel Publications in 1998.
384 pages

Paul Maier is a truly gifted lecturer. I've had the pleasure of watching two of his videos and if I lived anywhere near Western Michigan University, I'd sneak into the back of his classroom (he is a member of the history faculty there) on a regular basis - he has a gift for making the First Century A.D. accessible.

In the Fullness of Time continues this tradition. Maier has basically consolidated 3 other books into one larger volume (with a few changes) and he discusses the first Christmas, the first Easter and the ministries of the early Apostles, especially Paul and Peter.

Dr. Paul Maier
Maier does a great job of bringing actual documentation that supports the stories of Christmas, Easter and the Book of Acts. He includes the works of Roman and Jewish historians, explains Roman and Jewish religious and political practices and deals with alternate theories that have been proposed. While this could be dry reading, Maier makes it lively and this volume reads more like a novel than a textbook.

So, who is this book for? If you are a well-read Christian who has looked into many of the facts that back the New Testament as it is written on your own, you won't find much new ground covered in this book. The internet has lots of this information scattered about. However, you are unlikely to find sources as concise and as well-written as this one. Plus, if you are interested in further research, it is well-documented with tons of footnotes.

If you are a new Christian or are newly interested in the history behind Christianity, this is a powerful introduction.

I give this one 5 stars out of 5.

This book can be found on Amazon.com here: In the Fullness of Time: A Historian Looks at Christmas, Easter, and the Early Church by Paul L. Maier.

Reviewed on May 14, 2007.

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