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Whether Jesus was really the Son of God or not is a central question for Christians—and one that has provoked heated debate since the time of Jesus' birth. Dean L. Overman examines the earliest Christian records to build a compelling case for the divinity of Jesus. Overman analyzes often-overlooked evidence from liturgies and letters written in the years immediately following Jesus' death—decades earlier than the Gnostic gospels or the New Testament gospels. Addressing questions raised by books such as Bart ...
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Whether Jesus was really the Son of God or not is a central question for Christians—and one that has provoked heated debate since the time of Jesus' birth. Dean L. Overman examines the earliest Christian records to build a compelling case for the divinity of Jesus. Overman analyzes often-overlooked evidence from liturgies and letters written in the years immediately following Jesus' death—decades earlier than the Gnostic gospels or the New Testament gospels. Addressing questions raised by books such as Bart Ehrman's Misquoting Jesus and Elaine Pagels' The Gnostic Gospels, Overman presents powerful evidence from the earliest Christian communities that will be new for many modern Christians and builds a carefully reasoned case for Jesus truly being the Son of God.
Posted December 13, 2009
Dean Overman's recently published book, A Case for the Divinity of Jesus: Examining the Earliest Evidence, is masterful in doing just that -- examining the very "earliest" evidence. It is a wonderful and enlightening sequel to his previous two books, A Case for the Existence of God and A Case Against Accident and Self-Organization. Throughout the book he emphasizes the earliest creeds, hymns and liturgies of the very earliest church. Here he is actually describing the beliefs about Jesus held by those who were most closely associated with him in the days immediately preceding his crucifixion and the days following his resurrection. He describes in detail how these creeds and hymns were incorporated into our very earliest Christian writings and sets forth evidence validating the reliability of these writings and the dramatic patterns of the worship of Jesus as divine prior to the composition of these writings. Of key interest and importance is the focus and extensive research Overman has done on the second-century Gnostic gospels. Overman clearly explains the speculative nature and inaccurate information disseminated by persons promoting these Gnostic gospels in an attempt to distort the traditional, orthodox faith of the earliest church. This is unfortunately a growing and popular sentiment in today's world. For the history buffs, this book is a history book. Overman's continuing extensive research in the theological area is also profound and invaluable to any reader. His comprehensive writing style and consistent attention to detail and factual information is remarkable in his honest effort to seek the ultimate truth.
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Posted July 18, 2010
The divinity of Jesus Christ has been a matter of fervent dispute since the Galilean
made his appearance on the human stage. Following his death and resurrection, numerous schools of thought arose to try to explain who this man was and why he mattered. Overman, a former Templeton scholar at Oxford University who studied religion at Princeton and Harvard, brings his considerable talents to this question, focusing on the scholarly evidence for early belief in the divinity of Jesus. This is the third in a series of studies from his able pen, including a volume examining the case for the existence of God. He spares no effort in dissecting and analyzing early liturgical practices and documentary bases. His examination of Gnosticism and its impact on Christian belief is nothing short of masterful: his reflections about a resurrected messiah among the Jews are thoughtful and pointed....he maintains a level of readability such that any student of Christianity and its leader will benefit from Overman's thorough examination.