Early Christian Diversity

Larry Hurtado's Blog

Everyone working in early Christianity knows that there was much diversity, and were sharp conflicts in some instances.  A commenter on a previous posting emphasized this, implying that I was guilty of presupposing a “fixed” and uniform early Christianity (which I don’t).  Some scholars have even taken to referring to “early Christianities” (which I consider just a bit precious myself).  Today there are at least as many and as major divisions among those whom modern historians classify as “Christians,” but we don’t have references to “modern Christianities” (to my knowledge).  And I also note that Roman/Ancient historians tend to refer confidently to “early/ancient Christianity,” fully aware that the term designates an impressive diversity of forms.

But let’s not get hung up over terms.  “Christianity” or “Christianities,” whatever you prefer.  Let’s talk substance (I frequently tire of fellow scholars spending a lot of time over terminology and neglecting the data.)  Although…

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