Hurtado on origins

I regularly read a couple of academically oriented biblical studies blogs.   I should read more, but time and energy have their constraints.  One of the ones I read is by Larry Hurtado, a first-rate scholar, relatively recently retired from the University of Edinburgh.  His blog would not always be attractive to the masses since it focuses on academic research and chronicles his own contributions and exposures along with those of significant others.  However, as I said, his work is of high repute, and from time to time there is something that I wish every thoughtful person would read.

There have been quite a few posts about interviews and podcasts related to his 2016 book Destroyer of the gods (sic)m but this write-up on the intended audience(s) of the book will bring good summary, thought-provoking insights into aspects of Christian origins.  The nascent Christian movement (1st century CE) ought to be impressive to anyone of sound mind.

To give a taste to those who opt out of clicking into the full post, here are the final words, a quote that leads Hurtado’s book:

“Even in an age that some describe as post-Christian, the beginnings of the strange movement that was to become Christianity in all its varieties continue to fascinate thoughtful people . . . Yet something more than mere curiosity about an ancient puzzle draws our attention to the first centuries of Christian history.  Our interest in the question betrays our awareness that, whether or not we regard ourselves as Christians or in any way religious, we cannot altogether escape the tectonic shift of cultural values that was set in motion by those small and obscure beginnings.”  (The Origins of Christian Morality:  The First Two Centuries, Yale University Press, 1993, p. 1).

5 thoughts on “Hurtado on origins

  1. navcad56 03/26/2017 / 9:34 pm

    Couldn’t agree more. Did you watch his presentation and the Q & A afterwards with Mark Lanier (sp?)


    • Brian Casey 03/27/2017 / 11:02 am

      Thanks for reminding me of that lecture. You’ve sent me scurrying back to it. I remember going to find it but don’t think I listened all the way through. I’m doing that now!

      For anyone else who might be interested, here’s the link to Larry Hurtado’s Fall 2016 lecture at the Lanier Theological Library:


    • navcad56 03/27/2017 / 12:04 pm

      Good on you, Mate.

      Personally, I profit greatly from reading Dr. Hurtados material and insights.

      I also enjoy the Social Historian, Rodney Stark.



  2. navcad56 03/27/2017 / 1:16 pm

    Oh, of the making of books, there is no end!

    Just read the good Dr/.s recent blog where he makes reference to a new book skewering R. Stark’s thesis.

    Back to the drawing board for me…

    “Oh, the Joy of Learning”



    • Brian Casey 03/27/2017 / 1:18 pm

      My mother is close to your age, if memory serves, and she loves learning, too. Hers takes different tacks, but you’re both inspiring examples of reading and learning.


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