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Understanding Christianity

Historians know stuff about Christianity that most of us don’t. Below are some easy options to learn from the comfort of your computer or mobile device.

Here are 2 excellent introductory video lecture series from Yale University.

The New Testament

The Hebrew Scriptures / “Old Testament”

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The “Church of Starbucks” Twitter feed posts lectures from these and occasionally others sources to help you stay inspired and motivated to study early Christianity regularly.

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The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings textbook, by Bart Ehrman. Possibly, the most used university intro text on the subject. You can read it online, or use the options to download it as a PDF, epub, or other formats, and read it locally / offline on your device.

– You can kick back and listen to the Bible any time. Start here with the Gospel of Mark. You can move to any place in the Bible you want, and if you check the “continuous play” checkbox, it will read from that spot and, like the energizer bunny, keep going, and going…

– An Online Bible with tools is always handy. This site allows you to look at virtually any version of the Bible that you like, and even look at all the versions of any passage of the Bible at the same time.

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– Paul Johnson’s A History of Christianity - excellent single volume history of Christianity overview.

The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings, by Bart Ehrman.

Who Wrote the Bible? by Richard Elliot Friedman

The Quest of the Historical Jesus, by Albert Schweitzer (free audiobook via

Paul and Jesus; How the apostle transformed Christianity, by James D. Tabor

The Amazing Colossal Apostle, by Robert M. Price

Ferdinand Christian Baur - Paul the Apostle of Jesus Christ: His Life and Works, His Epistles and Teachings (1845)

A Concise History of the Catholic Church, by Thomas Bokenkotter

Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest Christianity, by Walter Bauer

On the Historicity of Jesus, by Richard Carrier

Jesus: A Life, by A.N. Wilson

Paul: The Mind of the Apostle, by A.N. Wilson

The Jesus Puzzle, by Earl Doherty

Jesus Before the Gospels: How the Earliest Christians Remembered, Changed, and Invented Their Stories of the Savior, by Bart Ehrman

Forged: Writing in the Name of God : Why the Bible’s Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are, by Bart D. Ehrman

– ❗The Life of Jesus Critically Examined, by David Friedrich Strauss (free audiobook via - Warning… this is a very difficult book to read (not a beginners book, because it assumes you are familiar with many aspects of the subject already), but it is also perhaps the best book ever written on the “historical Jesus”. It also totally changed the industry, and the way Christianity was understood.

The Bible for Dummies - Adequate intro to the topic, better material than you’ll find at most most church group studies.

Christianity for Dummies - Adequate intro to the topic, better material than you’ll find at most most church group studies. More broad than the book listed above. Includes more material that most people want to know. Most people don’t want to know about the Bible, they want to know about why different Christian groups do x or y, that is different than the Christian group they belong to. This book is better for that.

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Online Resources

Online Bible -

Audio Bible

Complete writings of the Church Fathers

The Early Church Fathers Lecture series (24 lectures)

List of New Testament Papyri

List of New Testament uncials

Lists of New Testament minuscules


Gospel Parallels (This is the printed version, a classic; Gospel parallels by Jr. Burton H. Throckmorton )

Dr. Robert M. Price’s recommended reading list

Roman Catholic Lectionary

Episcopal Lectionary