Candida Moss, The Myth of Persecution: How Early Christians Invented a Story of Martyrdom (New York: HarperOne 2013), 320 pp., $25.99
This is an entertaining, at times thought-provoking, but deeply flawed book. For all of its underlying scholarship, it is reminiscent of those Christmas Specials on the History Channel where some learned scholar announces to the camera that the Bible never specified that there were three wise men. Cue portentous pause, the assumption apparently being that somewhere in the ensuing silence one can hear two thousand years of Christian theology (rather than a mere century of kitsch festive season artwork) collapsing into a heap of rubble.
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