New York Times bestselling author and Bible expert Bart Ehrman reveals how Jesus’s divinity became dogma in the first few centuries of the early church. The claim at the heart of the Christian faith is that Jesus of Nazareth was, and is, God. But this is not what the original disciples believed during Jesus’s lifetime—and it is not what Jesus claimed about himself. How Jesus Became God tells the story of an idea that shaped Christianity, and of the evolution of a belief that looked very different in the fourth century than it did in the first. A master explainer of Christian history, texts, and traditions, Ehrman reveals how an apocalyptic prophet from the backwaters of rural Galilee crucified for crimes against the state came to be thought of as equal with the one God Almighty, Creator of all things. But how did he move from being a Jewish prophet to being God? In a book that took eight years to research and write, Ehrman sketches Jesus’s transformation from a human prophet to the Son of God exalted to divine status at his resurrection. Only when some of Jesus’s followers had visions of him after his death—alive again—did anyone come to think that he, the prophet from Galilee, had become God. And what they meant by that was not at all what people mean today. Written for secular historians of religion and believers alike, How Jesus Became God will engage anyone interested in the historical developments that led to the affirmation at the heart of Christianity: Jesus was, and is, God.
Author: Michael F. Bird
Release Date: 2014-03-25
In his recent book How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher From Galilee historian Bart Ehrman explores a claim that resides at the heart of the Christian faith— that Jesus of Nazareth was, and is, God. According to Ehrman, though, this is not what the earliest disciples believed, nor what Jesus claimed about himself. The first response book to this latest challenge to Christianity from Ehrman, How God Became Jesus features the work of five internationally recognized biblical scholars. While subjecting his claims to critical scrutiny, they offer a better, historically informed account of why the Galilean preacher from Nazareth came to be hailed as “the Lord Jesus Christ.” Namely, they contend, the exalted place of Jesus in belief and worship is clearly evident in the earliest Christian sources, shortly following his death, and was not simply the invention of the church centuries later.
Author: Matthew Levering
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2019-02-21
The Resurrection of Jesus is at the very root of Christian faith; without belief in Jesus Christianity dies. In this thought-provoking work, Matthew Levering defends the credibility of the claim that Jesus rose from the dead. Drawing on the work of N. T. Wright, Levering shows that the historical evidence vindicates this assumption, and reveals that the Gospels were backed by eyewitnesses who were living and telling their stories even during the time of the writing of the Gospels. The author also emphasises the importance of evaluating the Old Testament to validate Jesus' Resurrection. By highlighting the desire—both in the ancient world and now—to make the Resurrection more comprehensible by spiritualizing it, Levering argues that the fact that the disciples themselves did not do this provides a further clue to reliability. Finally, the author addresses the question of why Jesus does not continue to show himself in his glorified flesh after his resurrection, which is often seen as a strong case for scepticism. However, he shows that Jesus' entire mission is predicated upon helping us to avoid cleaving to the present world over God. He is leading us to where he is—the kingdom of God, the beginning of the new creation at the Father's right hand. By developing these arguments for the historical reality of Jesus' Resurrection, this ground-breaking study expertly draws together historical and theological reasons for believing that Jesus' Resurrection happened.
Author: Mustafa Akyol
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: 2017-02-14
“A welcome expansion of the fragile territory known as common ground.” —The New York Times When Reza Aslan’s bestseller Zealot came out in 2013, there was criticism that he hadn’t addressed his Muslim faith while writing the origin story of Christianity. In fact, Ross Douthat of The New York Times wrote that “if Aslan had actually written in defense of the Islamic view of Jesus, that would have been something provocative and new.” Mustafa Akyol’s The Islamic Jesus is that book. The Islamic Jesus reveals startling new truths about Islam in the context of the first Muslims and the early origins of Christianity. Muslims and the first Christians—the Jewish followers of Jesus—saw Jesus as not divine but rather as a prophet and human Messiah and that salvation comes from faith and good works, not merely as faith, as Christians would later emphasize. What Akyol seeks to reveal are how these core beliefs of Jewish Christianity, which got lost in history as a heresy, emerged in a new religion born in 7th Arabia: Islam. Akyol exposes this extraordinary historical connection between Judaism, Jewish Christianity and Islam—a major mystery unexplored by academia. From Jesus’ Jewish followers to the Nazarenes and Ebionites to the Qu’ran’s stories of Mary and Jesus, The Islamic Jesus will reveal links between religions that seem so contrary today. It will also call on Muslims to discover their own Jesus, at a time when they are troubled by their own Pharisees and Zealots.
Author: N. Herold
Release Date: 2014-10-17
Genre: Performing Arts
Over the last decade a number of prison theatre programs have developed to rehabilitate inmates by having them perform Shakespearean adaptations. This book focuses on how prison theatre today reveals certain elements of the early modern theatre that were themselves responses to cataclysmic changes in theological doctrine and religious practice.
Author: Ronald D. Witherup
Publisher: Liturgical Press
Release Date: 2012-05-03
2009 Catholic Press Association Award Winner! A decade after the untimely death of renowned Scripture scholar Father Raymond E. Brown, SS, he continues to inspire and inform scholars and preachers, students and pastoral ministers, lay and ordained. It was only days after Father Brown's death that his final book was published by Liturgical Press. That book, Christ in the Gospels of the Ordinary Sundays, completed his six-volume series on preaching the Scriptures, a series that had begun in the mid-1970s with the publication of his popular An Adult Christ at Christmas. Those six volumes are collected here in one convenient commemorative edition to mark the tenth anniversary of Brown's death. Brown's work is left largely untouched, and readers will find that his wisdom is lasting. Yet Brown, being a scholar's scholar, would recognize the need for some enhancement in a work being republished some thirty years after the first volume appeared. Appropriately, then, this edition contains introductory essays by Brown's colleagues and friends John R. Donahue, SJ, and Ronald D. Witherup, SS, as well as useful indexes and a bibliography of resources for preaching the word of God in the context of the lectionary. As Witherup notes in his preface, Brown had the rare capacity to simplify complex biblical studies in a manner that did not 'dumb down ' the material but allowed it to be understood by a wide audience. . . . He did this in a fashion that was both inspiring and educational. That very broad audience 'those who grew up with Brown, so to speak, as well as a whole new generation of readers and preachers of the word 'will find this book to be a source of inspiration and knowledge that they will turn to again and again. Raymond E.Brown, S.S., (1928 -1998) was the Auburn Distinguished Professor of Biblical Studies at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. He was author of some forty books on the Bible and past president of three of the most important biblical societies in the world. By appointment of two popes (Pal VI in 1972, John Paul II in 1996) Brown was a member of the Roman Pontifical Biblical Commission. Time magazine called him probably the premier Catholic Scripture scholar of the U.S.
Author: Charles C. West
Publisher: A&C Black
Release Date: 1999-10-01
To help Christians discern their mission in today's world and to act with confidence and hope, Charles C. West examines the following areas: the gospel as truth; the gospel as community; the gospel, God's power, and human powers; and Christian hope in a fragmented world.
Author: Bruce K. Waltke
Release Date: 2011-04-19
The Old Testament is more than a religious history of the nation of Israel. It is more than a portrait gallery of heroes of the faith. It is even more than a theological and prophetic backdrop to the New Testament. Beyond these, the Old Testament is inspired revelation of the very nature, character, and works of God. As renowned Old Testament scholar Bruce Waltke writes in the preface of this book, the Old Testament’s every sentence is “fraught with theology, worthy of reflection.” This book is the result of decades of reflection informed by an extensive knowledge of the Hebrew language, the best of critical scholarship, a deep understanding of both the content and spirit of the Old Testament, and a thoroughly evangelical conviction. Taking a narrative, chronological approach to the text, Waltke employs rhetorical criticism to illuminate the theologies of the biblical narrators. Through careful study, he shows that the unifying theme of the Old Testament is the “breaking in of the kingdom of God.” This theme helps the reader better understand not only the Old Testament, but also the New Testament, the continuity of the entire Bible, and ultimately, God himself.