Here’s an observation for consideration (or refutation): We have more evidence about the beliefs, behavioral practices/demands, and diversity in early Christianity in the first two centuries AD than for any other religious group of the time. From within the few decades we have real letters sent from a known author (Paul) to named and known recipients (e.g., Corinth, Thessalonica, Galatia), in which contemporary issues of belief and practice surface and are addressed, and in which also a whole galaxy of named individuals appears, along with information about them.
We have multiple first-century Gospels, which reflect also a diversity of emphases, and perhaps also a certain diversity of early Christians. And, as the decades went on, there are still more writings that are rich in information about early Christianity, e.g., the letters of Ignatius of Antioch, 1 Clement, Epistle to Diognetus, Epistle of Barnabas, Shepherd of Hermas, and others. We have…
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