Paul Wernle was a professor of church history and New Testament studies at the
University of Basel around the turn of the 20th century. Wilhelm Bousset, his professor at
the University of Göttingen and a student of Adolf von Harnack, had a lasting influence
upon his historical approach to biblical criticism. The Beginnings of Christianity, relying upon the Bible and then-current historical and textual scholarship, traces the
origin and development of the Christian religion. The first volume documents the rise of
Christianity, the early Christian community, and the theology of St. Paul.