From the Jesus Movement toward Institutional Church

Robert W. Hefner

in Conversion to Christianity

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 1993 | ISBN: 9780520078352
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520912564 | DOI:
From the Jesus Movement toward Institutional Church

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This chapter opens with a discussion on the Jewish crisis of social identity. The subsequent development of Judaism and the rise of Christianity are explored. The origins of the Jesus movement are then presented. Mark depicts the gatherings of Jesus' followers as taking place in homes or in public settings. Matthew's transformation of the Jesus tradition from its charismatic, improvisatory origins is quite complete. Socially, conceptually, and structurally, the churches in the Pauline tradition had become by the turn of the second century unmistakably institutional. Although the tradition was to look back to Jesus and his message in the Jewish prophetic and apocalyptic tradition, the patterns that it adopted and adapted were those of the wider Roman world: two centuries later it would provide the emperor Constantine a centralizing and coordinating system.

Keywords: Jesus movement; Jewish crisis; social identity; Mark; Matthew; Pauline tradition; churches

Chapter.  7839 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology of Religion

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