Philippi: How Chris­tian­ity Be­gan in Europe

The Church of England - - RE­VIEWS -

by Ed­uard Ver­hoff (Blooms­bury) uses Paul’s let­ter and ar­chae­o­log­i­cal knowl­edge to draw up a pic­ture of the im­por­tant city of Philippi and to de­scribe the life of the Chris­tian com­mu­nity there down to the sixth cen­tury. Joseph of Ari­mathea was a mi­nor char­ac­ter in the New Tes­ta­ment but he fas­ci­nated later gen­er­a­tions and was be­lieved to have vis­ited Eng­land and preached the gospel there at Glas­ton­bury. In

(OUP), William John Lyons, se­nior lec­turer in Bib­li­cal In­ter­pre­ta­tion in the Univer­sity of Bris­tol, looks at the bib­li­cal Joseph and at the fas­ci­na­tion he has con­tin­ued to ex­er­cise down to the 20th Cen­tury. A mi­nor bib­li­cal char­ac­ter is shown to have had a con­vo­luted and fascinating af­ter­life. We of­ten use the phrase ‘God bless you’ with­out re­ally think­ing about what we are say­ing. In re­cent years US Pres­i­dents have taken to end­ing their speeches by ask­ing God to bless their coun­try. Ross Parker be­lieves that there is in all of us the de­sire for the good of oth­ers which lies be­hind this ap­par­ently ca­sual phrase ex­presses. In

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