In this national bestseller, John Dominic Crossan reveals how Christianity emerged in the period following Jesus's death. Very little is commonly known about the 30s and 40s BCE, compared to the years following. Crossan, the world's leading expert on the historical Jesus, reconstructs that era, relying on a multidisciplinary approach. Analyzing oral tradition, comparing Gospel manuscripts, and researching cross-cultural anthropological studies, Crossan shines new light on the theological and cultural contexts from which the Christian church arose. The Birth of Christianity thoroughly illuminates the mysterious period of time that set Western religious history on the path it has followed for the last two thousand years.