By Dean L. Overman
Even if Jesus used to be particularly the Son of God or now not is a significant query for Christians-and one who has provoked heated debate because the time of Jesus' beginning. Dean L. Overman examines the earliest Christian documents to construct a compelling case for the divinity of Jesus. Addressing questions raised by way of books reminiscent of Bart Ehrman's Misquoting Jesus and Elaine Pagels' The Gnostic Gospels, Overman builds a delicately reasoned case for Jesus actually being the Son of God.
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Additional resources for A Case for the Divinity of Jesus: Examining the Earliest Evidence
6 By reviewing the evidence contained in these liturgical formulae, we can determine the beliefs and testimony of the very early participants in the Christian faith, participants who proclaimed the resurrection of Jesus within an extremely short period of time after his death. At 5 A CASE FOR THE DIVINITY OF JESUS the very beginning of the Christian church we find these hymns and creedal statements playing a principal role in the life and worship of the earliest communities. ”7 These creeds present statements of the beliefs of Christian communities in existence during the apostolic period (the time when Jesus’ disciples were alive and proclaiming the gospel).
Paul and the Christians in Corinth and Syria were not the first to refer to Jesus as divine. We know that the prayer marana tha was in use at a time when disciples of Jesus who had lived with him were engaged in worship. This conclusion becomes more obvious when we consider why Paul would incorporate an Aramaic prayer into his letter to a Greekspeaking church. This would only make sense if Paul assumed that the Corinthian Christians were familiar with the Aramaic term. The prayer must have been part of the liturgical routine in the Aramaic-speaking Palestinian church so that it carried a traditional meaning that could unite worshippers of Jesus across linguistic and cultural barriers in a common devotional practice.
21 A careful examination of the contents of the New Testament will disclose an abundant treasure of these formulae, particularly as they are concerned with the nature of the person and status of Jesus of Nazareth. ) As Stauffer emphasized, “Christological formulae are so profuse in the New Testament that they far outnumber all other creedal formulae put together. But this serves to strengthen our thesis that it is not the idea of God, certainly not ecclesiology, but the coming of Christ that constitutes the central theme of primitive Christian thought.