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Christian Fasting


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Table of Contents

Introduction Chapter 1: An Anthropologist Reads the New Testament Chapter 2: Fasting in the Old Testament and Ancient Mediterranean World Introduction Chapter 3: Fasting in the New Testament: A Social-Scientific View of Fasting in the First-Century Mediterranean World Chapter 4: Fasting in Evangelical Christianity Chapter 5: Evangelicalism and the New Testament in Dialogue

About the Author

S. H. Mathews teaches at Fruitland Baptist Bible College.


The significance of Mathews's work is unquestionable. Besides the misuse of other spiritual gifts, the nature and practice of Christian fasting is the most misunderstood in some African church contexts... Mathews has provided the church with a very important tool for addressing the challenges related to the practice of fasting. In short, the book is the outcome of a thorough analysis of a topic that seems neglected by evangelical Christians today. It is relevant and worth reading. * Word & World *
Mathew's book provides reliable information on the meaning and practice of fasting in the first-century world. Before one can decide on what a text means for today, one should first ask what it meant in is original setting. An interpretation of the meaning of texts in their original setting can easily be anachronistic, especially when the cultural scripts evoked by these texts are not taken into consideration. By employing a social-scientific approach, Mathews does not only show what the practice of fasting entailed in the first-century, but also how these texts could and should be applied by Christians today who see the practice of fasting as an essential element of religious devotion. The book also shows that critical scholarship indeed can enhance the faith of believers. -- Ernest van Eck, University of Pretoria

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