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The Faith and the Power: The Inspiring Story of the First Christians and How They Survived the Madness of Rome [Paperback]

By James D. Snyder (Author)
Our Price $ 17.56  
Retail Value $ 19.95  
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Item Number 61532  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   415
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.02" Width: 6.1" Height: 0.89"
Weight:   1.28 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 1, 2002
Publisher   PHAROS BOOKS
ISBN  0967520029  
EAN  9780967520025  

Availability  2 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 27, 2016 03:05.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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Item Description...
Snyder examines the first century of Christianity: the period directly following the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and preceding the fall of Rome. Posing the question of how Christianity survived in the predominantly pagan Roman Empire, he interweaves Biblical, Jewish, and Roman sources, chronicling the turbulent, often violent, era subsequent to the death of Octavian Caesar Augustus. From A.D. 30 to A.D. 71, Christians lived in flux and peril, yet they managed to persevere and even to thrive in an extremely hostile environment. Paradoxically, the very chaos that threatened Christianity also provided members of this new faith with both a focal point and the opportunity to band together in opposition to a common enemy. Arranged chronologically, this digestible account provides a comprehensive overview of a transitional juncture in church history.

Publishers Description
When Jesus left this world he left behind a faith and power that sustained his followers in a treacherous, turbulent world. This stirring account of the first forty years after the crucifixion digs into the bedrock of early Christianity, rediscovering the strengths that empowered the apostles in the darkness of a debauched Roman Empire.The Faith and the Power brings readers face to face with the period?'s most powerful personalities - Peter, Paul, Caligula, Nero, Herod Agrippa, Josephus - and how they influenced each other?'s destinies. It illuminates Acts of the New Testament by unearthing such important new insights as why emperors purged the early Christians and why Nero?'s insatiable greed forced the Judaism into a suicidal rebellion. And it shows why Rome itself nearly self-destructed and in that process gave rise to a more powerful message of a loving, gracious God.

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More About James D. Snyder

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Jim Snyder has been a lifelong journalist since graduating from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in 1958. After 40 years as a Washington news correspondent and magazine publisher, he moved to South Florida and and has since authored several books on its rich local history. Snyder lives on the Loxahatchee River and is active in promoting and preserving its history and designation as the first federally-designated Wild and Scenic River.

James D. Snyder currently resides in Jupiter.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > History > Ancient > Rome   [1058  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > General   [6817  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Snyder hits a home run!  Jun 21, 2005
What a long overdue book! I wish I had access to all this information in one place 40 years ago when I was studying theology.
Mr Snyder has succeeded in placing, in parallel, both the great sweep of Roman and Judaean military and political history and also the rise of the struggling Early Church. Christian or not, the reader will be enriched and enlightened by Snyder's careful placing of major events with the people who lived in their shadow. The heroes of the Early Church, Peter, James, John, John Mark, Paul become intensely human in their following of the Way; so also do the rulers.....Herod, Tiberius, Nero, Caligula,Claudius, etc.
Snyder's account of the fall of Jerusalem is full of suspense, even though we know the outcome.
And Paul's journey to Rome is written so that we more fully understand how it came about and how Paul may have endured his trial. We experience the shipwreck, imagine the sights and wonders of Imperial Rome, smell the fetid and noxious aromas of a city of one million people, and imagine the daily life of Christians living in the belly of the beast.
Read this book! It will answer questions and provide insights you never even knew were available from the original sources.
Masterful Narrative  Jun 1, 2005
Considered solely as history or literature, the story of Christianity has an odd form to it. It's shaped something like an anaconda that ate a calf a few weeks ago. There's several thousand years of Jewish pre-history, then the brief span of Christ's birth, mission, crucifixion, and resurrection, then a couple thousand years of epilogue. After all, what--before or after--can compare with the story of the Savior?

But if we take the longer view we begin to see just how remarkable the rest of the story is. Consider that at the time of the Crucifixion Christ was denied by even his own followers, a sect within an oppressed minority religion in a discrete portion of the mighty Roman Empire. Yet, from these rather inauspicious beginnings grew a religion of near 2 billion people, or one in three people in the world. For the believer this may have an air of inevitability--after all, how surprised can we be that the Word prevailed? However, even we must marvel that it spread so far, so fast. Here, surely, is a story worth telling.

Well, James D. Snyder details the years from A.D. 30-71 in a masterful narrative that follows the post-Christ missions of the Apostles against the backdrop (though it's often in the foreground) of a hostile Rome and equally hostile Judea, which were meanwhile in conflict one with the other. He weaves the three strands--Roman, Jewish, Christian--into one compelling tale that sweeps the reader through a pivotal, but easily overlooked, period in history. If the madness of Rome makes for disturbing but fascinating reading and the heroic struggle of the Jews proves ultimately futile, the successive martyrdoms of the Apostles pack an emotional punch. the climax, though not quite the end, of the book comes when Peter tries to escape from his captors in Rome but meets Christ on the road and asks: Domine, quo vadis? ("Lord, where are you going?):

Jesus replied: "I am going to be crucified once again."

Then Peter repeated himself: "Lord, you will be crucified again?

And Christ replied: "Yes, I will be crucified again."

"Then, Lord," answered Peter, "I am returning to follow you."

No sooner had Peter turned around than Jesus vanished. After weeping and collecting his thoughts, Peter understood that the words were meant for his own martyrdom, that the Lord would suffer with him as he would all who lived and died in his name. And so, Peter, bursting with new strength, returned to the prison glorifying God and singing praises to the risen Christ. [...]

It is said that Peter asked only one thing of his executioners: "I beg you crucify me in this way--head down--and no other way." And he explained that he was not worthy to be executed as had his lord and master.

That's strong stuff and goes some way to explaining the survival and triumph of the Gospel.

We got no small number of self-published books through here and titles from smaller publishers. For the most part, even when they're worth reading you can see why a bigger house didn't pick them up. Not so with Mr. Snyder's fine book. I'm not familiar enough with Pharos Books to know what kind of distribution and publicity they could generate. But this is a text that belongs on your shelf along with the much more widely-known Pagans and Christians by Robin Lane Fox and The Barbarian Conversion: From Paganism to Christianity by Richard Fletcher. Taken together they carry the story of Christianity's rise from the First Century to the Fourteenth in immensely readable and enjoyable fashion.
A readable, enjoyable, chronology and essay.  Jul 17, 2003
I really can't add anything to the reviews that have been written. This is an informative work that reinforces what many of us have learned about the early Christian church by reading the New Testament. However, the biblical account/history is placed against the backdrop of the Roman empire and enhanced by citing secular historians from the era who commented on the earliest Christians. Mr. Snyder intermixes some commentary throughout the book. This seems necessary since many questions about this era remain unanswered. The commentary gives the book an essay quality that in no way detracts from the history provided. Thank you, Mr. Snyder, for an enjoyable, scholarly read.
A scholarly, chronological documentary  Oct 5, 2002
Researched and written by writer, journalist, and Presbyterian elder James D. Snyder, The Faith And The Power is an informed and informative history of the early Christians who struggled to survive a series of bitter and lethal persecutions in Rome during the first century A.D. Highly recommended reading for both scholars and non-specialist general readers, The Faith And The Power integrates Biblical text with historical accounts by early Jewish, Roman, and Christian writers forming the basis of a scholarly, chronological documentary that accessibly explores the fascinating era of nascent Christianity.
The Way It Was  Aug 13, 2002
The reader is given a chronological time table of events (somthing I appreciated) that puts the world of the early Christians in perspective as they deal with the turbulent politics of the first century. I came away from this very readable account with a more personal understanding of, and a deeper appreciation of the men and women who survived and kept the faith. It will have a permanent place in my bookshelf.

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