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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Christian Beginnings by Geza Vermes – review

Glancing through the list of his books it appears nth at he has essentially one message that he re tells in various ways. Early Christian wor An examination of the historical basis for Christianity bevinnings on documentary sources by a Jewish biblical scholar. Obviously many in the ancient world would disagree with his read of history. Retrieved Feb 5, Two thousand years later, the Second Coming is still fervently awaited. 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’.

Irenaeus of Lyons was the leading opponent of Gnosticismxhristian the dualistic Valentinus and Marcion in Against Heresies. Forged from a partnership between a university press and a library, Project MUSE is a trusted part of the academic and scholarly community it serves. Yet there is an organic development that takes place in history and the differinng steams of thought about Jesus are flowing side by side in the river which is the Christian movement.

Jan 09, Mikhail Belyaev rated it liked it. The Didacheor Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, is the earliest text which portrays the common rules of the early church.

Christian Beginnings: From Nazareth to Nicaea, AD 30– by Géza Vermès

The book is still a good read though. This is shown most clearly in the first chapter which was probably composed after the rest of the gospel since its ideas are not referred to elsewhere.

Likewise in discussing early Christianity the author makes extensive use of the texts of the synoptic cyristian but completely ignore t Interesting book, spoiled by author’s obvious omissions.


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The random nature of how core Christian beliefs were cobbled together from a verjes Jewish reformer is something to behold.

Review of Geza Vermes, Christian Beginnings: From Nazareth to Nicaea | David Brakke –

And it was great to flex some theology muscles again. View freely available titles: Aug 26, Elisabeth Marksteiner rated it it was amazing. But I’d recommend going back to the ground-breaking Jesus the Jew. It is, in Vermes’s words, vernes a “poetic” achievement, a “majestic synthesis”; but it is undeniably something different from the religion of Jesus and the religion of Jesus’s first followers. As a relatively new christian I found this book fascinating since in it Geza Vermes, noted on the blurb as “The world’s leading Gospel scholar”, shows how the image of Jesus changed and evolved in the centuries after his crucifixion and resurrection!

However, I suspect that he does have a Verms bias in interpreting some of the evidence. Apr 08, Toby rated it liked it Shelves: Geza Vermes, who passed away in Mayfocused most of his scholarly attention on the Dead Sea Scrolls and on the historical Jesus.

Later chapters had less appeal to me as they deal with the writings of the Church Fathers. The book traces how the unembellished message of Jesus was modified and expanded over years to fit the requirements of its current and potential communicants, particularly in terms of things like the positions of Christ and God.

He still held to the idea that Jesus would return to establish the Kingdom within the lifetime of people then living. I don’t like the idea of saying that any passage in Scripture that doesn’t agree with one’s thesis must have been interpolated later.

Nor, as other commentators have said, are we helped to see why this particular charismatic wonder-worker rather than others attracted the extraordinary claim that he was the vehicle of unconditional creative power and the enabler of a new kind of worship — the paradox that the creed of enshrined, in words Christians still use.

I found I needed a copy beginninfs the Bible handy.

An examination of the historical basis for Christianity based on documentary sources by a Jewish biblical scholar. For example, in several cases he dismisses evidence from the Synoptic Gospels christiaan. I wondered if this book would shake my tentative faith but it hasn’t.


Clement of Alexandria stressed the need for real knowledge rather than the false knowledge of the Gnostics. So the picture is not quite what Vermes portrays. And the less interesting sections are a series of decent but uninspiring and somewhat shallow vignettes of the pre-Nicene apologists and theologians – from Justin, Irenaeus through Tertullian and Or Disappointing.

Christian Beginnings: From Nazareth to Nicaea, AD 30–325

His expositions of individual theologians often end plaintively: So how do you resolve the question of what is genuinely an “unfolding” of the original vision and what is an arbitrary elaboration that distorts that vision?

The simple truth is we’ve never been clear or in agreement about Jesus. With the help of imported mythical, literary and philosophical categories, the Christian community develops a complex system of cosmology in which Jesus has become a co-creator, a pre-existent divine being manifested on earth.

Despite Vermes’s skilful argument, it is hard simply to deny that Christian scripture does show people praying to the exalted Jesus from very early indeed.

Ted rated it it was ok. And as this develops into the idea that the angelic high priest really carries in himself the divine name and power, the full-blown doctrine of incarnation, the divine life being clothed in human flesh and blood, steadily takes form.

I said a moment ago that this is not an unfamiliar account for scholars of Christian origins. No trivia or quizzes yet. The book traces how the unembellished message of Jesus was modified and expanded over years to fit the require I don’t know evrmes of the history to have an informed view, but I enjoyed the book and its thinking resonated with me: