One of my favorite subject areas in the realm of Christianity is history. So, when the possibility to review this volume arose, I quickly accepted. However, the book was not quite what I anticipated. Yet, at the same time, it was not disappointing.
Robert J. Hutchinson’s The Dawn of Christianity: How God Used Simple Fishermen, Soldiers, and Prostitutes to Transform the World is definitely an interesting read. He is the author of six of books primarily concerning Christianity. He is a student of Hebrew and has a graduate degree in New Testament.
This volume has three primary areas of focus: Jesus’ Ministry, Jesus Resurrection and the Early Church. Thus, it begins with Jesus gathering those who would eventually carry on His mission and ends with the Jerusalem Council. Hutchinson fills in the details with his own narrative built on the biblical account.
What makes this book interesting is that it is more than just Hutchinson’s retelling of the story. Throughout the entire volume he weaves in archaeological, geographical and biographical information that assists the reader in developing a greater appreciation for what’s happening in the story line. Virtually every page has additional material for our cultural understanding.
The Dawn of Christianity also has extensive and beneficial end material to include a “Time Line,” a “Who’s Who,” extensive End Notes and a decent Bibliography.
This is not a scholarly work (nor was it intended to be so). Rather, it is well suited for a Bible study group or a Sunday School curriculum where discussion is encouraged. (It should require a Bible to be read side-by-side). With its wide-ranging background information, it is essential material for those who are skeptical of the Gospels and Acts.
Disclaimer: This volume was provided to me by Nelson Books of Harper Collins Christian Publishing for a fair and honest review.