Christian Origins in Ephesus and Asia Minor— Mark Fairchild

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Mark Fairchild is a Professor of NT at Huntington University in Indiana. I have spent lots of time with him exploring all sorts of Biblical, Greco-Roman, early Christian, and ANE sites in Turkey. It is thus not unexpected that he would produce a first rate book on Christian Origins in Turkey, this one focusing on the Western end of Turkey, namely Ephesus and Asia Minor. The book is published by an Istanbul publishing house, Arkeo-ege, and is full of Mark’s wonderful full color pictures taken over many years as he has explored the land. The book is worth the price for the pictures alone, but there is so much more to be gained by having this book. Mark is a seasoned NT scholar, and this is no ordinary guide book. It is more like a running commentary on numerous sites of importance in western Turkey, and the commentary is not merely about geography and history. For instance, there are detailed discussions about things like Gnosticism, and church fathers like Papias. He provides all sorts of background information about the history of cities like Ephesus and Pergamon and Hierapolis. One of the values of this book is that it shows how Christianity developed both during and after the NT era, as Christianity’s presence spread throughout this country, went underground, and eventually surfaced again during the time of Constantine and his successors. In addition to all the pictures and valuable descriptions and commentary, there are excellent detailed maps, and schematics of the Biblical sites, as well as helpful bibliographies at the end. There is not another book like this on the market, and it should provide endless hours of good education on the cradle of Christianity, namely western Turkey.

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