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From Jesus to Christ: The Origins of the New Testament Images of Christ

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  179 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
In this exciting book, Paula Fredriksen explains the variety of New Testament images of Jesus by exploring the ways that the new Christian communities interpreted his mission and message in light of the delay of the Kingdom he had preached. A new introduction reviews the most recent scholarship on Jesus and its implications for both history and theology.

"Brilliant and enjo
Paperback, Second Edition, 288 pages
Published July 11th 2000 by Yale University Press (first published August 24th 1988)
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Shane Wagoner
Jan 07, 2016 Shane Wagoner rated it it was amazing
In what is probably the best assessment of early Christianity I have ever read, Paula Fredriksen analyzes each gospel and epistle in order to draw out the unique, rich worlds and worldviews that they present. By beginning with a discussion of the gospels in reverse-chronological order, Fredriksen draws out the surprises and asymmetries that exist in the Christian tradition. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the extremely early high-Christology of the Pauline epistles that takes a backseat wh ...more
Jun 18, 2010 Ruthiella rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2010
I found this book to be very interesting. The author analyzes how the teachings and life of Jesus were interpreted depending upon when the writer (Saint Paul, or the authors of Mathew, Luke, Mark and John) were writing. The first generation of Christians really believed that the kingdom of God was at hand and the apocalypse was near. As time wore on and the world (obviously) did not end, subsequent Christian gospel writers modified their philosophy accordingly.
Ben Hunt
Feb 25, 2017 Ben Hunt rated it it was amazing
This book was very well written, though at times it was difficult to get through longer chapters. Her first section well established portraits of Christ in the NT within a Hellenistic-Jewish context, though she could be accused of a heavy-handed presentation of how Hellenistic first-century Judaism was. The next section attempts an historical depiction of Jesus and the Judaisms of his time and space (first Century Palestine, Galilee, and the Mediterranean World)--nothing new for the most part. I ...more
Jun 29, 2011 C.J. rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Paula Fredriksen’s title, From Jesus to Christ, might at first glance seem to suggest a systematic Christological study, but this is not the case. Instead Fredriksen provides an unorthodox approach to the history of Christian origins and the various portrayals of the character of Jesus of Nazareth. The book is divided into three parts. The first part, the ‘descriptive cycle,’ looks at the canonical images of Jesus against their Hellenistic background in reverse chronological order; it starts fro ...more
Nov 27, 2011 Tyler rated it it was amazing
Everyone knows the story of Jesus. But have you ever wondered how we got from a charismatic Jew who left no writings to the messiah of the Christian world? This book takes you through the various New Testament records and attempts to situate them in the context of their authors' environments. In particular Fredriksen shows how each early Christian writer dealt with three problems: the crucifixion of their messiah, the general non-response of the Jews to their message, and the passage of time wit ...more
Joe Cummings
Apr 19, 2016 Joe Cummings rated it it was amazing
I recently reread this book, and I considered it a great Lenten read. Drawing from the gospels, the true Pauline letters, and other contemporary sources, Fredriksen shows what the earliest followers of Jesus might have believed at the time of his death and how that changed over time. This interesting and thought-provoking book helped inspired the PBS series by the name, but the book is much better.
Steven Williams
Jun 12, 2014 Steven Williams rated it really liked it
As an atheist, i am not in agreement with her historical protrayal of Jesus. Fredriksen offered no extra extrabiblical support for his birth or crucifixion which she seems to claim are the only for sure facts we know of Jesus. The only evidence that she provides is Josephus, but admits that it is corrupted.

This being said, I believe Fredriksen presentation of Jesus is a pretty good analysis of whta could have been if the sources are either true or reliable.
Nov 13, 2013 Jack rated it it was amazing
This book's scholarship and objectivity commands respect, even from fundamentalists who will resist much of what she says. It's not a bashing of Christianity, but a thorough explanation of how the Jewish tradition and cultural realities of the age impacted the development of the Christology of this era.

Scholarly writing, yet exciting as some long-held dogma is dispelled with good research in a comprehensive scriptural context. This is a book to study and savor.

Jul 25, 2014 David rated it liked it
Well written book with a lot of interesting insights. Generaly good book as a whole, but particularly not so original (mostly depended on Sanders, Vermes, Schurer, Gager, Theissen...). Nevertheless, her reconstructions of the mission in the Diaspora among Gentiles (without requring their conversion) or Jesus' trial are worthy of reading.
Dec 24, 2009 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was very interesting, but I wouldn't say it was for the "general reader" unless that reader is very well educated and prepared for scholarly vocabulary like "Parousia" and "irenic."
An interesting book on the historical Jesus and how our conception of Christ developed over time.
Jul 13, 2012 Carolann rated it liked it
Not only a fascinating & informative read but well written.
Definitely not the Jesus I learned about in my early catechism classes!
Thom Dunn
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