Geza Vermes, translator and editor of "The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls" and worldwide expert on the life and times of Jesus, tells the enthralling story of early Christianity and the origins of a religion.
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. With a forensic, brilliant re-examination 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 fully recognisable 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' 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 centralised, state-backed creed worlds away from its humble origins. Reviews: "A beautiful and magisterial book".
Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, "Guardian". Diarmaid MacCulloch, "The Times".
Christian Beginnings by Geza Vermes - Penguin Books New Zealand
Stuart Kelly, "Scotsman". Geza Vermes. A beautiful and magisterial book -- Rowan Williams, Archbishop Of Canterbury Guardian The subject is not exactly the Christian Church, which makes an appearance effectively only half way through the text; it is Jesus - what he was, what he said he was, and what Christians said about him after his crucifixion. For anyone puzzling over such questions, this is an exciting and challenging port of call, sweeping aside much of the fuzzy thinking and special pleading that bedevils the study of sacred scripture Embed Size px.
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Christian Beginnings: From Nazareth to Nicaea, AD 30-325
Full Name Comment goes here. Are you sure you want to Yes No. Be the first to like this. No Downloads. Views Total views. The lack of marital experience was considered in the Pauline church a disqualification from the office of bishop. In the religion of Jesus customary priorities were reversed. Now I know that there are many competing interpretations of Christianity, but I found Vermes' interpretation compelling.
The book uses quite a bit of religious technical terminology, so I found reading on a Kindle with easy access to dictionary definitions very helpful. Jun 27, Carbis Tribe rated it really liked it. This is the first of Geza Vermes' works that I've read, and was saddened to hear of his passing earlier this year.
It seems that he has left us a treasure trove of information. I've been researching the historicity o Fantastic!! I've been researching the historicity of the Gospels and Jesus for the last year, and along with E. I borrowed my copy from a local library, and will definitely be purchasing a copy to own. The book flows well, so don't expect to be bogged down in factoids and irrelevant theology, expect to be taken for a ride!!
I thoroughly enjoyed it, and will read more of Mr. Vermes' work. Highly recommended. Dec 27, Colin Heber-Percy rated it liked it. Vermes has made a very successful career writing the same book over and over again. The most interesting sections of Christian Beginnings add nothing to Vermes's work in Jesus the Jew He's still best at locating Jesus' ministry in a context of post-Biblical charismatic Judaism.
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. 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 Origen. His 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.
And it's not bad as an introduction to the thought of the period. But I'd recommend going back to the ground-breaking Jesus the Jew. This is much more scholarly than the book "Zealot", hence a little harder to read. It goes up to to the conference of Nicaea in and covers the historical record on how the Catholic Church came from the Jesus movement. There is a lot of quoting of old texts, which generally is just confusing, but the authors summaries are generally clear. Overall, Paul, John and a few others really created the theology, in some cases quite some time after Jesus died. If you have never read about this period o This is much more scholarly than the book "Zealot", hence a little harder to read.
If you have never read about this period or at least are unfamiliar with the Gospels, this book is not a good first one to read. Much of the struggle of the early Church was trying to come to an understanding of the Holy Trinity, which is still confusing at best. But if you are, it's comprehensive and will give you a clear historical view. I don't know enough of the history to have an informed view, but I enjoyed the book and its thinking resonated with me: in summary, it argues that Christ was a Jewish holy man, and was one of many who followed such a path.
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.
Did early Christianity betray Jesus?
The book traces how the unembellished message of Jesus was modified and expanded over years to fit the require I don't know enough of the history to have an informed view, but I enjoyed the book and its thinking resonated with me: in summary, it argues that Christ was a Jewish holy man, and was one of many who followed such a path. 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.
A glance at the author's Wikipedia entry is worthwhile - what a life! Glancing through the list of his books it appears nth at he has essentially one message that he re tells in various ways. Oct 20, Kelly rated it it was amazing. At times this book gets a bit dense in its academia but it's otherwise a powerfully insightful look into early Christian history Jesus to the Council of Nicea. The simple truth is we've never been clear or in agreement about Jesus.
Even the disciples when they were with him were always asking him who he really was and what his mi At times this book gets a bit dense in its academia but it's otherwise a powerfully insightful look into early Christian history Jesus to the Council of Nicea. Even the disciples when they were with him were always asking him who he really was and what his mission was all about. And they were standing right there with him!
I didn't realize that I still clung to some of the "story" of the early church, that I still hoped there was a time -- no matter how brief -- when we "got it". Never was. Never really will be. It's an eye-opener.
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Apr 08, Toby rated it liked it Shelves: church-history. Christian Beginnings was one of the last published works by this prolific Biblical writer before his death. It's written with verve and passion and yet the body of his argument hinges on whether the famous hymn in Philippians 2 is a later interpolation and therefore in no way representative of Paul's Christology. As there is no convincing evidence that this is a later addition his argument struggles to get off the ground. On the contrary, as Bauckham and others have argued, there is good evidenc Christian Beginnings was one of the last published works by this prolific Biblical writer before his death.
On the contrary, as Bauckham and others have argued, there is good evidence for a Jewish-Christian "stretching" of monotheism within a generation of Christ's death. Sep 09, Luke Echo rated it really liked it. This was quite an enjoyable read, and I thought it was the right scholarly level for an entry into the subject of Christology.
I thought it a very good overview of that first years of the Christian church - although I am not familiar with it otherwise. I would be interested to know how "unorthodox" of "controversial" this reading is considered amongst academia. This is a fascinating exploration of the journey of early Christianity, whereby Jesus develops from a charismatic Jewish preacher teaching that the end is nigh to the son of god.
A process shaped by numerous thinkers from Paul to Anastasius, each of whom adds to the accretion that became Christinity. What would Jesus have thought of it all?
Not much I suspect. An interesting book which effectively summarises a lifetime of academic work.
Hard going in places and not a book you can 'dip into' but one you need to read. Recommended for those with knowledge of the period a d issues under scrutiny rather than the casual reader. Jun 24, Garrett Glass rated it really liked it. Excellent book.
The author investigates the mystical element of Christ's teaching, and explains how mission evolved after his death into a formal church structure. Along the way, the original message becomes distorted as the church hierarchy pursues agendas different from those of its founder.
Oct 23, Michael rated it really liked it. A fascinating history of how the Christ story morphed over time from the early apostles to Nicaea. Christianity changed a lot in years and this author fully explains how it happened. If you are at all interested in Christianity then this is a great primer.
Interesting to read about the evolution of a major new religion - especially as this was totally unintended by the inspirer. Aug 18, Scott Davies rated it it was ok. More of a review of the early theological writings than an actual narrative history of the church in general, which the title seems to hint at and what I was hoping for. Feb 18, Paul Higbee rated it liked it. Good review of Christian theological development.
A little dense at times, but I learned a lot. Jan 23, Captain Caper rated it liked it. There seems to be two Jesus'.. There are no discussion topics on this book yet.
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