Christian Beginnings: From Nazareth to Nicaea, AD 30-325
Author: Vermes Geza
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's 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. Christian Beginnings tells the captivating story of how a man came to be hailed as the Son consubstantial with God, and of how a revolutionary, anti-conformist Jewish sub-sect became the official state religion of the Roman Empire.
This fascinating book is Vermes's masterpiece, pulling apart the many myths and legends to focus on the true figure of Jesus and the birth of one of the world's major religions.