The evolution of Christianity as it is known today began in Antioch, but as Becoming Christian reveals, it had once been quite different. While most histories gloss over the earliest period of Christianity to begin with the Christian establishment, this book uncovers the little-known history within the “gap” between 31 and 70 CE, when the Jesus Movement was headquartered in Jerusalem under the authority of James bar Joseph, the brother of Jesus, and the apostles served as missionaries carrying the teachings of Jesus throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria.
By the year 66 CE, James and most of the apostles had died, along with much of their teaching. Paul's spiritual Jesus had gained a foothold among Gentiles in Antioch and throughout the West, including Rome, where it finally blossomed into a powerful political hierarchy. No longer was Jesus' humanity important to the church. With the death of James, the original movement fell into disarray and split into factions, each developing its own doctrines. Thus, there arose numerous Christianities during the first two centuries, many of which had become heretical. The Jesus Movement had now become irrelevant to the church, and as Becoming Christian reveals, by the third century it would be publicly eradicated for all time.