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Hurtado Lectures in Houston (April)

March 7, 2013

My hosts in Houston (David Capes in Houston Baptist University, and April DeConick in Rice University) have encouraged me to give advance notice of lectures I’ve been invited to give there in April.  These are all open to the general public, so if anyone out there is free and so inclined, do come along.

  • On 10 April (Wednesday), I give the Burkitt Lecture in Rice University, 7 pm, the Kyle Morrow Room, Fondren Library.  Title:  “Revelatory Experience and Religious Innovation in Earliest Christianity”.  I will engage again an emphasis I’ve made over a number of years now and in several publications that powerful religious experiences that came to recipients with the force of “revelation” comprised a major factor in producing significant religious innovations in earliest Christian circles, with special reference to the rapid emergence of the “dyadic” devotional pattern in which Jesus was reverenced along with God.
  • On 11 and 12 April, I give two A. O. Collins lectures in Houston Baptist University.  My lecture on 11 April (7 pm, Hinton Building, room Dillon 2) will be “Early Christian Dyadic Monotheism:  God and Jesus in Earliest Christianity”.  I will focus on the early Christian “mutation” in the pattern of ancient Jewish worship comprised in the programmatic place of Jesus in early Christian devotional practice.
  • In the lecture on 12 April (9 am, same location), “The Place of Jesus in Earliest Christian Prayer and its Import for Early Christian Identity,” I will survey the ways that Jesus figured in early Christian prayer beliefs and practices, noting how this lent a unique identity to circles of believers.

For more information on the Houston Baptist University lectures, see the web site here.

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4 Comments
  1. Professor Larry Hurtado , if the authors of the Synoptic Gospels considered him to be God or wanted to project him as God why then did they document in the Gospels things like Jesus being unaware of the last hour , season of fig etc and projected Jesus in a very human way

    If using terminology like son of God and son of man does not confer divinity then what is there in the synoptics which show Jesus as divine ?

    • Dear Ali: Your question shows that you don’t really grasp what the NT authors tend to hold. They distinguish “God” (“the Father”) and Jesus, while also ascribing to Jesus a unique status and significance, linking him with God in various (astonishing) ways. From our earliest texts onward (undisputed Pauline letters, ca. 50-60 CE), we find this. The Synoptics (dated typically ca. 70-100 CE) presuppose this sort of view of Jesus, but they also aim to present a narrative focused on the ministry of Jesus. Moreover, the “divinity” of Jesus in the NT (and in classical Christian theology) isn’t at all compromised by references to Jesus’ authentic humanity and mortality (e.g., limitations in knowledge, etc.). Indeed, in classical Christian theology it is essential to maintain a realy, full, “normal” human Jesus.
      So, the authors of the Synoptic Gospels (as true generally of NT texts) project a view of Jesus as sharing in divine glory and status, a view that emerged in early Christian circles after Jesus’ earthly ministry and that is attributed by them to God’s resurrection and exaltation of Jesus to heavenly glory. References to Jesus as “Son” of God carry varying connotations, some drawn from biblical/Jewish (Old Testament) uses of this term to designate figures (e.g., Israel, the Davidic king, or the devout person) as having a special favor with God. In GJohn, however, it seems to me that the term also takes on a connotation of divine status, a theme more explicitly put forth in GJohn.

  2. Garet permalink

    This will be quite wonderful. Looking forward to hearing you.

  3. I live in San Antonio, so I’ll do my best to make it!

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