Christianity and the Hellenistic World

Nash R.H.

Many scholars still claim that early Christianity (first century A.D.) borrowed some of its essential beliefs and practices from the pagan religions and philosophical systems of that time.

Scholars in the fields of biblical and classical studies regard this claim as highly improbable; yet, the claim persists in fields (such as philosophy and history) outside those disciplines which are most familiar with the problem.

In this work, the author carefully examines the contemporary claims for Christian dependence on Hellenistic philosophy, the Greco-Roman mystery religions, and Gnosticism. He carefully discusses the historical-cultural milieu in which Christianity arose and during which its essential belief system gained ascendance. He finds the case for Christian dependence in the strong sense tenuous, demonstrating this by a philosophical and historical evaluation of the claims and evidence.