Prologue: The Mystique of Sacred Scripture
• Burton Mack outlines his intent to look at the New Testament as a collection of documents created by different people at different times for distinct reasons.
• Mack notes that the tendency to find hidden messages in the Bible stems from a lack of understanding, and hinders the true value of the documents.
• Mack points out that he plans to show how the myth of Jesus was developed and why, as well as examining the role of the Bible in American culture.
Chapter 1: Clashing Cultures
• The first century was a time of cultural conflict and uncertainty, as the idea of the Greek city-state conflicted with the Jewish concept of the temple-state, and although Roman rule provided political stability, it could not provide cultural direction.
• People formed associations and clubs to maintain their own cultural identity while merging in with new cultural...
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