New book from OSU ecologist Luke Painter: Finding the Roots of Christianity


Luke Painter

Luke Painter, OSU wildlife ecologist and instructor in the Colleges of Forestry and Agricultural Sciences, has a new book out: Finding the Roots of Christianity: A Spiritual and Historical Journey (Resource Publications, 2017).

Painter, who teaches ecology and conservation in the Departments of Fisheries and Wildlife and Forest Ecosystems and Society, has degrees in religion and philosophy as well as ecology. His interest in the history of the early Christian movement stems from his upbringing as an evangelical Christian and son of church pastors.

“This is a book for people curious about who Jesus was in history, how Christianity began, and how the New Testament came to be,” Painter said. “I tried to separate fact from fiction, and to relate the evidence of history to my own experience as a Christian believer and seeker of truth.”

The book addresses basic historical questions about Jesus and his followers and explores relevant sources outside the Bible. It is intended for general readers, but also suitable for the classroom, with sources referenced for further study.

“My aim was to help readers better understand the origin and meaning of the Christian faith and Christian Bible,” Painter said. “I meant this to be the kind of book I was looking for when I was 19 and trying to understand these things.”

~ Gail Wells

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