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

Christian Beginnings From Nazareth to Nicaea AD None

  • Title: Christian Beginnings: From Nazareth to Nicaea, AD 30–325
  • Author: Géza Vermès
  • ISBN: 9781846141508
  • Page: 394
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “Christian Beginnings: From Nazareth to Nicaea, AD 30–325”

    1. After becoming an atheist, one of the things that fascinated me was why I, who had been studying for years to become a Roman Catholic priest, should have been once so convinced in my beliefs: how did these beliefs become so unquestionable? The obvious explanations involved combinations of complete submission to those in charge of me, brainwashing, acceptance that far greater minds than mine had thought deeply on these things so who was I to contradict them, etc. In liberating myself from these p [...]

    2. I read this because I thought it might be a good way to get a crash course in the debates around the historic early Christian movement. I wouldn't say it was as smooth a ride as I hoped, but I think i achieved the objective in the end.It was a short, but extremely dense read. I tend to do a lot of my reading at night, before I fall asleep and more often than not found myself needing to re-read large sections to grasp the llogical flow of the described theology. This was particularly the case in [...]

    3. Vermes sets off to show that the Jesus proclaimed by the 1st Ecumenical Council is not the same as the Jesus portrayed in select New Testament writings. I say select because he discounts the Gospel of John and the all of the Pauline collection as distorting Jesus. Like the Ebionites pointed out in the Apostolic Constitutions he wants to proclaim Jesus is merely a man. So in that sense he book represents nothing new under the son. He is determined to show that the Jesus who is the Son of God is n [...]

    4. A bit repetitive. A lot of its contents were covered in 'Jesus the Jew', Vermes's first book that gained widespread attention. Later chapters had less appeal to me as they deal with the writings of the Church Fathers. Those writings were a hard chore when I was an undergrad student, and they have not ceased to be a hard chore today. The book is still a good read though.

    5. 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 2-3 centuries after his crucifixion (and resurrection!). In the course of doing so, he introduces the reader to some of the great minds of early Christianity, people such as Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Irenaeus and Origen. Interestingly many of these early Christian thinkers were later tarred as her [...]

    6. "Nothing is unclear in Arius' thinking, which is perhaps not a true desideratum in theology, nor is anything left unsaid." This was Vermes' statement--in spite of the fact that he wrote earlier that all we know of Arius is what his "arch-enemy Athanasius" wrote about him. I'm mostly okay with the "mystery of salvation" and probably am more so all the time as I age. I wondered if this book would shake my tentative faith but it hasn't. It's fine that Christianity developed over the first few centu [...]

    7. 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. The case that Christianity moved from an apocalyptic Jewish sect to a greek 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 [...]

    8. How Jesus Became ChristA fascinating trip through Jesus' ministry and the first centuries of the Christian church. The random nature of how core Christian beliefs were cobbled together from a charismatic Jewish reformer is something to behold. The whim of an emperor or the speculation of a philosopher will have as much impact on the religion as anything the historical Jesus may or may not have done.

    9. A lucid and concise account of the core features and ideas of early Christianity, their roots in what Vermès calls "charismatic Judaism", and the ways in which they developed from the preaching of Jesus of Nazareth and later came to be developed in the writings of his immediate followers and their intellectual heirs in the first few centuries AD. Despite not having read any of his other works, from what I know of them it seems to me that Vermès has simply used this book to reiterate the main l [...]

    10. Крайне идеологизированная работа. Практически во всех главах, касающихся Христианства 1-го века, автор сначала выделяет материал, поддерживающий его точку зрения, а затем заявляет, что всё противоречащие его точке зрения является "позднейшими вставками" и "исправлениями п [...]

    11. An examination of the historical basis for Christianity based on documentary sources by a Jewish biblical scholar. He examines the beginning of Christianity in terms of what messages can clearly be attributed to Christ and which cannot. He uses both the Bible and other sources from the time. He provides a concise summary of what Christians believed stripped of centuries of later accumulation and interpretation, which is more concise then I've derived from religious education: Early Christian wor [...]

    12. Disappointing. 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 (1973). 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 [...]

    13. Fantastic !! 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. "Christian Beginnings" gives a broad overview of the evolution of Christian thought from the time of Jesus to Constantine, touching on major turning points and the different "flavors" of Christianity prior to the Empire's coup d'état of the Son of Man's simple religion. I've been researching the historicity [...]

    14. 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. The book traces how the unembellished message of Jesus was modified and expanded over 200 years to fit the require [...]

    15. 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 325 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 [...]

    16. 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). It's not just "who was where and did what" but a really great look at how our theology developed, particularly our understanding of who Jesus is / was / will be.The simple truth is we've never been clear or in agreement about Jesus. Ever. Even the disciples when they were with him were always asking him who he really was and what his mi [...]

    17. 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 [...]

    18. 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.

    19. 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 400 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.

    20. A semi-academic walk-thru from Jesus doctrines (to Jews), the first "apostolic" Jew Christians, Paul's "Gentile expansion", John's shy introduction of Jesus's divinity, the platonic identification of Jesus with the platonic logos/demiurge so God to the Nicea Council (AD 325) declaring "one God in 3 persons" and declaring heretical any other view.

    21. 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.

    22. 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.

    23. Interesting to read about the evolution of a major new religion - especially as this was totally unintended by the inspirer. the writing style is a bit heavy and a bit too much like an academic paper.

    24. A fascinating history of how the Christ story morphed over time from the early apostles to Nicaea. Christianity changed a lot in 300 years and this author fully explains how it happened. If you are at all interested in Christianity then this is a great primer.

    25. 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.

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