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The Trial of Stephen: the First Christian Martyr

by Watson, Alan

  • ISBN: 9780820318554
  • ISBN10: 0820318558

The Trial of Stephen: the First Christian Martyr

by Watson, Alan

  • List Price: $25.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press
  • Publish date: 09/01/1996
  • ISBN: 9780820318554
  • ISBN10: 0820318558
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Description: Stephen, the first Christian martyr, was stoned to death by a mob outside of Jerusalem around A.D. 36, during his trial by the supreme rabbinic court for blasphemy against the Jewish faith. Alan Watson's study of this momentous event, which helped to set the course of early Christianity, focuses on Stephen's enthralling defense speech, which is both the pivotal and, until now, least understood part of the fatal proceedings. Watson discusses the meaning and structure of Stephen's speech, its historical plausibility and implications, and its place in the Acts of the Apostles, which is our sole primary source. Stephen, suggests Watson, was nearly alone among the early Christians in his particular approach to Jesus as the political Messiah, and certainly alone in the confrontational, rather than persuasive, nature of his preaching. In view of Stephen's departure from mainstream early Christian thought, says Watson, as well as the enmity he brought down upon all Christians, Stephen was perhaps not only Christianity's first martyr, but also its first heretic.
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