From Synagogue To Church: Public Services and Offices in the Earliest Christian Communities
by James Tunstead Burtchaell
Hardcover: 357 pages
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Date Published: 1992
Point: Because the Church was birthed in the context of the synagogue, the leadership structure and happenings of the synagogue were incorporated into the Church. Although there was a set structure, the charismatics lead while the officials presided.
Path: The author begins with four chapters of historical interpretation. The ideas of leaders from the Reformation, the 19th century, the early 20th century, and the last 50 years are all evaluated. The last four chapters discuss the need for a new hypothesis, one which reads history forwards instead of backwards. The final chapter gives his conclusions on the matter: the early church looked like the synagogue, but the Spirit led men were the leaders, no necessarily the officers.
Sources: Helpful footnotes and sources. Excellent source of background material for the history of the debate back to the time of Wycliff.
Agreement: I appreciate his desire to see a continuity between the two organizations. Helpful material. Seemingly thorough.
Disagreement: He questions the authorship of James (but places the pastorals early).
Stars: 4.5 out of 5
It would be worth another read and I would recommend it.