In How on Earth Did Jesus Become a God? Larry Hurtado investigates the intense devotion to Jesus that emerged with surprising speed after his death. Reverence for Jesus among early Christians, notes Hurtado, included both grand claims about Jesus’ significance and a pattern of devotional practices that effectively treated him as divine. This book argues that whatever one makes of such devotion to Jesus, the subject deserves serious historical consideration.
Mapping out the lively current debate about Jesus, Hurtado explains the evidence, issues, and positions at stake. He goes on to treat the opposition to—and severe costs of—worshiping Jesus, the history of incorporating such devotion into Jewish monotheism, and the role of religious experience in Christianity’s development out of Judaism. Hurtado provides compelling answers to queries about the development of the church’s belief in the divinity of Jesus.
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Larry Hurtado is changing the face of New Testament studies through his persistence in searching out the origins of the extraordinary devotion to Jesus by his earliest followers. Here he presents his arguments with force and clarity while adding an important chapter on the high cost of Jesus-devotion to first-century believers within their sociopolitical and family systems.
—John Koenig, professor, General Theological Seminary
The pendulum has finally swung back! In stunning and dramatic fashion, Larry Hurtado has shifted the Christian world away from tired questers into the direction of high Christology.
—Calvin Theological Seminary