By Dean L. Overman
Even if Jesus used to be rather the Son of God or now not is a crucial query for Christians-and person who has provoked heated debate because the time of Jesus' start. Dean L. Overman examines the earliest Christian files to construct a compelling case for the divinity of Jesus. Addressing questions raised through books corresponding to Bart Ehrman's Misquoting Jesus and Elaine Pagels' The Gnostic Gospels, Overman builds a delicately reasoned case for Jesus really being the Son of God.
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Extra info for A Case for the Divinity of Jesus: Examining the Earliest Evidence
To understand the consistent high Christological content and essential core beliefs of the early church, any serious student needs to examine the creeds and hymns incorporated into the first-century New Testament documents, not second-century documents that have no hard evidence relating back to the first century. Richard Longenecker observed how Paul incorporated early confessional formulae in his letters as the foundation for his arguments and how the authors of the canonical gospels supported and remained consistent with these very early confessional materials.
Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. ” Paul may then have expanded on the Aramaic formula and referred to the other appearances. In saying that he “handed on” to the Corinthians what he “had received,” Paul is using the customary idiom that denotes receiving (paralambano) and handing on (paradidomi) a tradition. Paul affirms that 29 A CASE FOR THE DIVINITY OF JESUS the gospel message did not originate with him, but he received it from others to whom it had been committed before him.
Longenecker, however, realized that prior to sermons (Dibelius’s focus), prior to individual pericopes (Bultmann), and prior to the kerygma (Dodd), the earliest followers of Jesus of Nazareth memorized confessions or homologia. Longenecker concluded that these confessions were clearly incorporated by the authors of the New Testament in their writings, that a form-critical analysis could identify these confessions, and that such an analysis could highlight the central convictions of the followers of Jesus.