Christian Beginnings pulls apart myths and misunderstandings
to focus on the true figure of Jesus, and the birth of one of the
world's major religions.
Geza Vermes was born in Hungary in 1924. He studied in Budapest and Louvain, and was the first Professor of Jewish Studies at Oxford. He is one of the world's greatest experts on early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls.
The subject is not exactly the Christian Church, which makes an
appearance effectively only half way through the text; it is Jesus
- what he was, what he said he was, and what Christians said about
him after his crucifixion. For anyone puzzling over such questions,
this is an exciting and challenging port of call, sweeping aside
much of the fuzzy thinking and special pleading that bedevils the
study of sacred scripture ... [a] courteously expressed and witty
little book -- Diarmaid MacCulloch * The Times *
This book represents the summation of [Vermes's] thinking about the early history of Christianity. It is a challenging and engaging book that sets out to retrace the route by which a Jewish preacher in 1st-century Israel came to be declared as consubstantial and co-equal with the omnipotent, omniscient only God -- Stuart Kelly * Scotsman *
A major contribution to our understanding of the historical Jesus * Financial Times *
A magnum opus of early Christian history and one of the year's most significant titles * Bookseller *
A very accessible and entertaining read -- Gareth Williams * Scotland on Sunday BOOKS OF THE YEAR *