From the Cross to the Church by Anthony Graziano

From the Cross to the Church

The Emergence of Christianity from the Chaos of the Crucifixion
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An introduction to the history behind the creation of the Bible.

Debut author Graziano explores the writing of the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Gospels, with an eye on the cultural and political climates of the times. He begins with the time of Christ and the Gospel of Paul before backtracking to search for historical proof of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, the Exodus and other Old Testament events. From there, he moves on to the development of the Gospels and how the social, political and theological interests of the early church founders influenced what became part of the biblical canon. Graziano’s book is thoughtful and measured, willing to uncouple the Bible from the assertion that it is the word of God. However, although the book’s lack of an agenda makes it broad-minded and reasonable, readers may find it difficult to draw specific conclusions about its content. It seems to be an effort to introduce historical study of the Bible to laypeople; as such, the text is clear, light and readable, although the “key points” ending each section may sometimes feel redundant and unnecessary. The author lists sources in the back of the book, but the lack of in-text citations—as well as references to unnamed “scholars” and “reliable sources”—make the book seem less of a rigorous scholarly work. The author does shed light on many intriguing aspects of biblical history, but overall, the book serves best as a concise introduction for newcomers. That said, more critical readers may be able to use the book as a jumping-off point for their own investigations.

An accessible, thoughtful biblical study that unfortunately lacks rigor and direction.

Page count: 126pp
Publisher: Ginger & Rosemary Publishing
Program: Kirkus Indie
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