Christian Beginnings from Nazareth to Nicea, AD is a book by the historian Geza Vermes, Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Oxford. In this deeply learned and beautifully written book, Geza Vermes tells the enthralling story of early Christianity’s emergence. The creation of the Christian Church. Geza Vermes, translator and editor of The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls and worldwide expert on the life and times of Jesus, tells the enthralling.
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If you have never read about this period or at least are unfamiliar with the Gospels, egza book is not a good first one to read. Log In Sign Up. And it’s not bad as an introduction to the thought of the period. Jesus entered the public domain as a follower and disciple christiwn John the Baptist who he compared with Elijah. The shape of the narrative as he tells it is one that most Christian scholars will recognise.
The case that Christianity moved from an apocalyptic Jewish sect to a beginnnings inspired world faith is set out in impressive detail although he uses himself as source material rather too often but remains too much of an academic debate for me and leaves out the human story and This is an interesting and challenging book that, although I ultimately disagree with his core argument, has led me to re-read and in some cases read for the first time many of the oldest Christian sources in a new light.
Loading comments… Trouble loading? Wittgenstein made the point in “Culture and Value” p36e that maybe the whole point of the imperfections and inconsistencies in the Gospel accounts was so that we did not get so ebginnings up on the words but embraced the spirit.
Christian Beginnings: From Nazareth to Nicaea, AD 30– by Géza Vermès
Geza Vermes is the unchallenged doyen of scholarship in the English-speaking world on the Jewish literature of the age of Jesus, especially the Dead Sea Scrolls. Many, if not most, scholars would be very cautious now about too simple a polarity between “Hebrew” and “Greek” styles of thinking.
Someone reading the convoluted texts of early Christian argument might well see them less as a series of baroque elaborations on a theoretical theme than as a series of attempts to capture an elusive but inescapable insight. It soon extended to incorporate as many religious ideas as possible — I had quite some fun compiling the work — until almost 1, A4 pages had been accumulated. These texts demonstrate that early Jewish-Christian followers did not view him as divine, but understood Jesus simply to teach total surrender to God in expectation of the imminent arrival of the Kingdom of God.
Throughout his account of second- and third-century Christian thought, Vermes consistently emphasizes that, although thinkers elevated the figure of Jesus prior to Nicaea, all of them were thoroughly subordinationist in their Christologies. In short, Jesus comes to look less and less like himself, the charismatic Jewish teacher.
But if you are, it’s comprehensive and will give you a clear historical view. Paul’s view of Christ’s death as a redemptive act which saved the world from sin brings the idea of the Adam’s primeval sin affecting everyone into the Jewish tradition for the first time.
Oct 23, Michael rated it really liked it. How can a serious author have such a lapse. Perhaps the most distinctive feature of all is the way in which Jesus puts at the centre of his world the child, the one who responds without reserve to an unreserved gift befinnings love. He makes good use of town hall documents, university records, and other archival sources to help vivify the images. Most of his message was not in conflict with that of Judaism, and the major split came about mainly due to the inclusion of Gentiles in the Christian communities.
God did not live there but among his bbeginnings servants in the desert. Nov 24, Alison rated it really liked it Shelves: The obvious explanations involved combinations of complete submission to those in charge of me, brainwashing, acceptance that far greater minds than mine had thought bsginnings on these things so who was I to contradict them, etc. Based on his exposition of the changing views of Jesus it becomes apparent that the idea of the trinity did not become a coherent belief until two centuries after Jesus and that according to Vermesthe prevailing views were either chfistian Jesus as a charismatic prophet or Jesus as a kind of second and lesser God, subordinate to God the Father.
The Holy Beginnngs is personified in a new way, not seen in the other gospels, as the ” other Counsellor” or “Advocate”. It reflects traditional Judaism in the light of Messianic faith. If you would like to authenticate using a different subscribed institution that supports Shibboleth authentication or have your own login and password to Project MUSE, click ‘Authenticate’. But I’d recommend going back to the ground-breaking Jesus the Jew.
Christian Beginnings: From Nazareth to Nicaea, AD 30–325
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Cjristian aim in Christian Beginnings is to chart the process that led to Jesus the preacher, the prophet, the Jewish Messiah to become the Logos, the incarnate God, the second person of the Christian Trinity etc. Like the Ebionites pointed out in the Apostolic Constitutions he wants to proclaim Jesus is merely a man.
In the religion of Jesus customary priorities were reversed. A process shaped by numerous thinkers from Paul to Anastasius, each of whom adds to the accretion that became Christinity.
As Harold Brown, author of “Heresies” states “Undoubedly, many of the first Christians, if asked to describe the relationship between Jesus and the Father would have done so in adoptionistic terms Early Christians encouraged celibacy because the end of the world was near, but did not require it.
For Vermes, the essential qualities of the figure of Jesus, taken especially from the Synoptic Gospels, together with his understanding of pre-Christian concepts found in Jewish writings at the time of the beginning of the first century Beinnings, is one of Jesus as a charismatic Messianic figure, a Jewish prophet, concerned about the imminent coming of the Kingdom of God on earth.
John’s gospel has to be treated as a bit of an aberration — though Vermes rightly grants that we cannot write off John’s language as simply the result of borrowing from non-Jewish sources.