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A Thoughtful (Spanish language) Review

June 28, 2012

My colleague from the Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca, Professor Santiago Guijarro Oporto, kindly sent me his review of two of my books, How on Earth Did Jesus Become a God? (2005) and God in New Testament Theology (2010), newly published in the journal, Salmanticensis 59 (2012) 129-36.   Because there are now so many Spanish-language readers worldwide who may find the review helpful, I am pleased that he also kindly gave me permission to post the review here.  To my mind, it’s both accurate and raises appropriate questions for further discussion.

Guijarro Oporto review–Hurtado 2012

He was also influential in arranging for the Spanish translation of my book, Lord Jesus Christ = Senor Jesucristo:  La Devocion a Jesus en el Christianismo Prmitivo (Salamanca:  Ediciones Sigueme, 2008).

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  1. Peter (based in Panama) permalink

    Always delighted to see serious works translated into Spanish, Professor – sorely needed.

    • Thanks. Ediciones Sigueme have an impressive list of items translated from English and German in theology.

  2. Sandwiches permalink

    Professor Hurtado

    I hope this question does not appear too naive (I am no scholar).

    It is your view that the very earliest Christians regarded Jesus as divine?

    I note that Professor Geza Vermes shortly has a new book appearing – Christian Beginnings
    From Nazareth to Nicaea, AD 30-325. A flavour of his views appears in a recent article in Standpoint magazine, where he says:

    “The switch in the perception of Jesus from charismatic prophet to superhuman being coincided with a geographical and religious change, when the Christian preaching of the Gospel moved from the Galilean-Judaean Jewish culture to the pagan surroundings of the Graeco-Roman world” and he cites “the Judaeo-Christian Didache” as only referring to Jesus as “pais” i.e. servant of God.

    Would I be correct in thinking that is almost the antithesis of your own views on this question and would the views of Professor Vermes in this respect be more “typical” of mainstream scholarship at present? Or has the debate moved on?

    • I haven’t yet read Prof. Vermes’ forthcoming/new book, but your characterization of his views would comprise a rather stark difference from my own. We don’t run official surveys of opinion in the field, but I’d dare to say that, among those who have directly investigated the matter over the last few decades, the sort of view you ascribe to Vermes would be seen as sadly wrong and outdated. As I and numerous others have shown over a few decades now (and as earlier scholars had shown from the early years of the 20th century), treating Jesus as somehow sharing in divine-like status and significance is presupposed in our earliest extant texts (Paul’s letters take us back to within ca. 20 years after Jesus’ execution). I would have to judge the view that you ascribe to Vermes as quaintly wrong and out of touch.

      • Sandwiches permalink

        Professor Hurtado

        Thank you for your reply. I will try “How on Earth Did Jesus Become a God?”.

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