By Dean L. Overman

Even if Jesus was once quite the Son of God or now not is a principal query for Christians-and one 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 via books corresponding to Bart Ehrman's Misquoting Jesus and Elaine Pagels' The Gnostic Gospels, Overman builds a gently reasoned case for Jesus actually being the Son of God.

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Extra resources for A Case for the Divinity of Jesus: Examining the Earliest Evidence

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Hunter, Ethelbert Stauffer, Richard Longenecker, Martin Hengel, Ralph Martin, Joachim Jeremias, Richard Bauckham, and Larry Hurtado. 11 Neufeld noted that almost immediately after the crucifixion of Jesus, his followers developed statements of faith that were formulae of great significance in the life of the very early church. These formulae were used as faith and preaching formulae (Predigt-und Glaubens formel). According to Neufeld, the words in these formulae or confessions (homologia) “represented the agreement or consensus in which the Christian community was united, that core of essential conviction and belief which Christians subscribed and openly testified.

The evidence strongly indicates that this most ancient phrase is a prayer to Jesus as divine. The Greek-speaking Christians of Syria and Corinth knew and used this prayer because they had learned it from their fellow Christians in the Aramaic-speaking church; that is, the Palestinian church, most likely the mother congregation where the disciples of Jesus worshipped. Even though Paul wrote some of his letters within the first two decades after the crucifixion, the term was in use before Paul’s writings.

Neufeld noted that in the Platonic dialogues this Greek term was used to describe the premises agreed upon for purposes of discussion. )13 Lawyers can understand this term quite readily because it forms the basis of a contract or an argument or proposition about to be set forth by the writer. In other words, the confessions of the earliest church were the statements upon which the participants in the early church agreed concerning the basis for their faith. They are extremely important because they represent the foundation upon which the mustard 9 A CASE FOR THE DIVINITY OF JESUS seed of the church took root and grew.

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