Was the Divinity of Jesus a Late Invention of the Council of Nicea? Probing Into What the Earliest Christians Really Believed

paul

One of the most common objections to Christianity is that the divinity of Jesus was “created” by later Christians long after the first century.  No one in primitive Christianity believed Jesus was divine, we are told.  He was just a man and it was later believers, at the council of Nicea, that declared him to be a God.

A classic example of this in popular literature can be found in the book The Da Vinci Code:

“My dear,” Teabing declared, “until that moment in history [council of Nicea], Jesus was viewed by His followers as a mortal prophet… a great and powerful man, but a man nonetheless. A mortal.”

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How Diverse Was Early Christianity? Clearing Up a Few Misconceptions

Applewhite

For some critical scholars, the most important fact about early Christianity was its radical theological diversity. Christians couldn’t agree on much of anything, we are told. All we have in the early centuries were a variety of Christian factions all claiming to be original and all claiming to be apostolic.

Sure, one particular group–the group we now know as “orthodox” Christianity–won those theological wars.  But why (the argument goes) should we think this group is any more valid than the groups that lost? What if another group (say the Gnostic Christians) had won?  If they had, then what we call “Christianity” would look radically different.

Thus, according to these critics, …

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Helping Your Freshman Survive His First Year in College: A Radio Interview

Moody radio

On the heels of the TGC video I did on surviving a university religion class, I have had an influx of inquiries into this topic. People have been asking all sorts of questions about how to prepare their high school student for what’s to come, or how to encourage their college student in the midst of struggles.

Last Thursday, I was invited to a radio interview with Chris Fabry Live on Moody radio in Chicago (which is nationally syndicated).  We had a fascinating discussion on this topic, and had folks call in from all over the country with their questions.  Here is what appeared on the moody radio website, …

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Is the Original Text of the New Testament Lost? Rethinking Our Access to the Autographs

Craig Evans

One of the standard challenges for New Testament textual criticism is whether we can work our way back to the original text.  Some scholars are notoriously skeptical in this regard.  Since we only have later copies, it is argued, we cannot be sure that the text was not substantially changed in the time period that pre-dates those copies.

Helmut Koester and Bart Ehrman are examples of this skeptical approach.  Koester has argued that the text of the New Testament in the earliest stages was notoriously unstable. Most major changes, he argues, would have taken place in the first couple centuries.

Ehrman makes a similar case. Since we don’t have the …

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