Christian Beginnings: From Nazareth to NicaeaHardback
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- Publisher: Yale University Press
- Format: Hardback | 271 pages
- Dimensions: 160mm x 236mm x 30mm | 567g
- Publication date: 8 May 2013
- ISBN 10: 030019160X
- ISBN 13: 9780300191608
- Edition statement: New ed.
- Sales rank: 480,845
The creation of the Christian Church is one of the most important stories in the development of the world's history, but also one of the most enigmatic and little understood, shrouded in mystery and misunderstanding.Through a forensic, brilliant reexamination of all the key surviving texts of early Christianity, Geza Vermes illuminates the origins of a faith and traces the evolution of the figure of Jesus from the man he was--a prophet recognizable as the successor to other Jewish holy men of the Old Testament--to what he came to represent: a mysterious, otherworldly being at the heart of a major new religion. As Jesus's teachings spread across the eastern Mediterranean, hammered into place by Paul, John, and their successors, they were transformed in the space of three centuries into a centralized, state-backed creed worlds away from its humble origins. "Christian Beginnings" tells the captivating story of how a man came to be hailed as the Son consubstantial with God, and of how a revolutionary, anticonformist Jewish subsect became the official state religion of the Roman Empire.
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Geza Vermes was one of the world's greatest experts on early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls.
"This book represents the summation of [Vermes's] thinking about the early history of Christianity. It is a challenging and engaging book that sets out to retrace the route by which a Jewish preacher in 1st-century Israel came to be declared as consubstantial and co-equal with the omnipotent, omniscient only God."--Stuart Kelly, "Scotsman"