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Was Early Christianity a “Cult of the Dead”?

Season 1: Episode 24
Was Early Christianity a “Cult of the Dead”?
Date Aired: 05/08/2023

Stephen was stoned to death. Peter was crucified (upside down). For early Christians, the highest form of devotion was to suffer and die like Jesus. Those martyrs became the first saints, and their bones and other “relics” were venerated throughout Christendom as part of a “cult of the dead,” explains our guest, Kyle Smith.  

Listen to the episode on the Biblical Time Machine website or wherever you get your podcasts.

Disclaimer: The Society of Biblical Literature is not responsible for the content of this podcast. The opinions expressed in this podcast do not necessarily reflect those of the Society of Biblical Literature, its members, or its staff.

  • The Biblical Time Machine Podcast is hosted by Helen Bond and Dave Roos. Helen Bond is professor of Christian origins at Edinburgh University. She is the author of Women Remembered: Jesus’s Female Disciples, The First Biography of Jesus: Genre and Meaning in Mark’s Gospel, and The Historical Jesus: A Guide for the Perplexed. Her research focuses on the social and political history of first century Judaea, the historical Jesus and the canonical gospels. Dave Roos is a journalist and writer who contributes to, HowStuffWorks and the popular podcast Stuff You Should Know. Dave has a degree in religious studies from Duke University.