The second volume in the magisterial Christianity in the Making trilogy, Beginning from Jerusalem covers the early formation of the Christian faith from 30 to 70 CE. After outlining the quest for the historical church (parallel to the quest for the historical Jesus) and reviewing the sources, James Dunn follows the course of the movement stemming from Jesus "beginning from Jerusalem."
Dunn opens with a close analysis of what can be said of the earliest Jerusalem community, the Hellenists, the mission of Peter, and the emergence of Paul. Then he focuses solely on Paul―the chronology of his life and mission, his understanding of his call as apostle, and the character of the churches that he founded. The third part traces the final days and literary legacies of the three principal figures of first-generation Christianity: Paul, Peter, and James, the brother of Jesus. Each section includes detailed interaction with the vast wealth of secondary literature on the many subjects covered.