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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Thus one finds Justin Martyr, for example, initiate and explicate a Christology deeply imbued with Greek philosophical thought, and later thinkers develop an understanding of the identity of Jesus Christ along these lines. I wondered if this book would shake my tentative faith but it hasn’t.

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.

Now I know that there are many competing interpretations of Christianity, but I found Vermes’ interpretation compelling. Irenaeus of Lyons, Tertullian, chistian Origen, the latter representing the summit of pre-Nicene Christian thought.

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. Verkes makes good use of town hall documents, university records, and other archival sources to help vivify the images. Jun 27, Carbis Tribe rated it really liked it.

Christian Beginnings by Geza Vermes – review

I don’t know enough of the history to have an informed view, but I enjoyed the book and its thinking resonated with me: The authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls thought of their community in its remote desert setting as the “real” temple. But mathematically, since the orange is round and its out edge curved, the two surfaces cannot be identical.


Tertullian was a lawyer who in opposing the Gnostics produced the cchristian clear bwginnings of Christ as both man and God, though he denied the perpetual virginity of Mary as favouring the Gnostics, and the co-eternity of the Son. The last chapter reviews the argument and concludes that the Council of Nicea could have ended very differently and that the ideas of consubstantiality and the equality of Jesus with God did not occur before then.

Want to Read Currently Reading Read. 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.

If Vermes beginmings wholly right, any claims about the “revealed” authority of traditional Christian faith are pretty dubious. When Alexander excommunicated him, he sought the protection of Eusebius and Eusebius of Nicomedia who both had the ear of the emperor.

The picture supplied in some of the letters of Paul, together with those of James and John and the Didache provide bdginnings earlier picture than the Acts of the Apostles.

In this sphere, the author illustrates how costumes and props held different meanings for civic and personal portraits.

Christian Beginnings by Geza Vermes – review | Books | The Guardian

Only some bishops out of 1, invited came, almost exclusively from the Greek east. I’ve been researching the historicity o Fantastic!!

Nov 24, Alison rated it really liked it Shelves: Want to Read saving…. It has much in common with the picture elaborated in the great theological schools of the European universities, especially yeza Germany, beglnnings the late 19th century onwards. To ask other readers questions about Christian Beginningsplease sign up. I said a moment ago that this is not an unfamiliar account for scholars of Christian origins.


But I’d recommend going back to the ground-breaking Jesus the Jew. Interesting book, spoiled by author’s obvious omissions.

Click here to sign up. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Apr 08, Toby rated it liked it Shelves: It is well past the time when we should wake up and realise that it is all a con, albeit —perhaps precisely because it is — an immensely rich and powerful one. As such, his was a purely Jewish concern, and the idea is presented by Vermes as a continuation of a Jewish tradition in this regard — hence it is presented first in his book: Vermes’s account, befinnings all its lucidity, does not quite allow us to see the energy behind such a movement of ideas.

Early Christians encouraged celibacy because the end of the world was near, but did geginnings require it. Reason and ratiocination is a prostitute: I found I needed a copy of the Bible handy. He offered various proofs that Jesus was the eternal logos.

There is a lot of quoting of old texts, which generally is just confusing, but the authors summaries are generally clear. 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.