Once Jesus Became God
Part of the Series: How Jesus Became God

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Christ's Dual Nature - Proto-Orthodoxy
Part of the Series: How Jesus Became God
By the fourth century, the theological understanding known as "orthodoxy" became predominant. Investigate the relationship between orthodoxy and "heresy", or conflicting conceptions of the faith, and evidence that orthodoxy was not the original form of Christianity. Learn about early "proto-orthodox" writers, and their contention that Jesus was both fully God…
Jesus's Exaltation - Earliest Christian Views
Part of the Series: How Jesus Became God
What did the earliest Christians believe about Jesus's divinity? Delve into Romans and Acts for what they may tell us about early Christian thought, identifying the "pre-literary" creeds they quote from. Observe how these creeds indicate a view that Jesus was adopted as the Son of God precisely upon his…
The Backward Movement of Christology
Part of the Series: How Jesus Became God
Over time, Christian thought pushed the origin of Jesus's divinity further and further back in history. Trace this development by looking at views of Jesus in the New Testament Gospels. Focus on the Gospels of Mark, Matthew, and Luke, noting their differing versions of when Jesus became the Son of…
Jesus - The Man Who Became God
Part of the Series: How Jesus Became God
First, consider the huge historical significance of the Christian belief in Jesus's divinity, in terms of its effects on Western civilization as well as today's world. Learn about different scholarly views of the historical Jesus, and trace the remarkable diversity of early Christian thought regarding Christian identity, scripture, and theological…
Jerusalem
Part of the Series: Sacred Journeys
Sukkot, or the Feast of the Tabernacles, is one of three great festivals in the Jewish calendar when, in ancient times, Jews from across Israel were commanded to come to the Temple in Jerusalem on pilgrimage. But although Jewish pilgrimage lessened in importance after the destruction of the Temple by…
The Conversion of Constantine
Part of the Series: How Jesus Became God
The Christian conversion of the Roman emperor Constantine was a momentous turning point for the faith. Learn about the relationship of the Roman Empire to early Christianity, and the specific reasons why Christians were persecuted by Rome. Grasp Constantine's motives for converting to Christianity and for becoming directly involved in…
Was Christ Human? The Docetic View
Part of the Series: How Jesus Became God
In the second and third centuries, Christian groups followed radically different beliefs and theologies. Learn about the "docetists", who believed Jesus was not human, but only appeared to be so, highlighting Marcion, a docetist who conceived of two distinct gods - a God of the Jews and a God of…
How Jesus Became God
What exactly happened, such that Jesus came to be considered God? To ask this question is to delve into a fascinating, multilayered historical puzzle - one that offers a richly illuminating look into the origins of the Western worldview and the theological underpinnings of our civilization. Explore the process by…
The Resurrection - What Historians Can't Know
Part of the Series: How Jesus Became God
Jesus's resurrection stands as the basis for the entire Christian faith. But what can we know historically about the resurrection? Here, dig deeply into the question of what historians can and cannot demonstrate about the past, and consider aspects of the stories of Jesus's resurrection that are historically doubtful or…
Jesus's Death - What Historians Can't Know
Part of the Series: How Jesus Became God
Look now at events surrounding Jesus's death that we cannot know about with certainty. Assess the plausibility of the Gospels' accounts of his arrival in Jerusalem, the date of his crucifixion, and the matter of his burial. Grasp how Christian writers made changes in the accounts of his death to…
The Council of Nicea
Part of the Series: How Jesus Became God
Constantine called the famous Council of Nicea in 325 CE, to resolve the conflicting views of Christ's divinity. Examine the theological issues at stake, pitting the Christological views of Arius against those of Alexander of Alexandria. Contemplate the political implications of the outcome, and the resulting orthodox creed, establishing Jesus…
Reading Biblical Literature: Genesis to Revelation
Rightly recognized as one of the world's most important spiritual texts, the Bible has shaped thousands of years of faith, art, and human history. Yet for all its importance to believers and nonbelievers alike, we rarely engage with the Bible as a collection of unique narratives that were only later…