Book Review: From the Cross to the Church by A.C. Graziano
Disclaimer: I received this book as a Goodreads giveaway on the premise that I would review it. The copy I received is the first edition, which has a number of typos I am told were fixed in the second edition.
This book is a basic introduction to the subject of the creation of the canonical New Testament and the formation of the Roman Catholic church from the early community of Christian believers. It covers what scholars now believe (although there are great differences in opinion among Biblical scholars as to details) as to when the books were written, by whom as far as can be determined, and where they might have been altered to match then-current concerns.
This is a fascinating subject for those interested in learning more about where the Scriptures came from. It is likely to be less pleasing to one whose framework for interpreting the Bible requires it to be immutable, and by the writers tradition has assigned, directly inspired by God.
I found this volume poorly organized, with bullet points not always recapping the previous material, and inserted in non-intuitive places. A chapter on documentary sources of Genesis is just sort of plopped down at the end.
The author does not claim any original research, describing himself instead as a “journalist.” To that end, the list of sources at the end of the volume, ranked by importance and accessibility (but not by credibility, let the reader beware!) may be of more use to the interested scholar.
If you need a quick introduction to the concepts covered here, this book will do. For better choices, consult your pastor or a Biblical scholar of your acquaintance