When Jesus Became God: The Struggle to Define Christianity during the Last Days of Rome First Edition, Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 268 ratings
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ISBN-13: 978-0156013154
ISBN-10: 0156013150
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"[Rubenstein] has taken one of the major religious controversies of the early Christian church, a controversy that consumed its energies for most of the fourth century, and turned it into a flesh-and-blood encounter of real people that reads like an adventure story."-The Christian Science Monitor
"A splendidly dramatic story . . . Rubenstein has turned one of the great fights of history into an engrossing story."-Jack Miles, The Boston Globe; author of God: A Biography

Amazon.com Review

The Gospel narratives may suggest that Jesus was divine, but they do not insist upon it. Hundreds of years after Jesus' death, the Church councils made Jesus' divinity a central tenet of belief among many of his followers. When Jesus Became God: The Epic Fight over Christ's Divinity in the Last Days of Rome by Richard Rubenstein is a narrative history of Christians' early efforts to define Christianity by convening councils and writing creeds. Rubenstein is most interested in the battle between Arius, Presbyter of Alexandria, and Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria. Arius said that Christ did not share God's nature but was the first creature God created. Athanasius said that Christ was fully God. At the Council of Nicea in 325, the Church Fathers came down on Athanasius's side and made Arius's belief a heresy.

Rubenstein's brisk, incisive prose brings the councils' 4th-century Roman setting fully alive, with riots, civil strife, and spectacular public debates. Rubenstein is also personally invested in the meaning of these councils for religious life today: he wrote this book, in part, because he grew up in a mixed Jewish Catholic neighborhood and was bewildered by animosity between the religious groups on his block. Digging back in history, Rubenstein learns that before the Arian controversy, "Jews and Christians could talk to each other and argue among themselves about crucial issues like the divinity of Jesus.... They disagreed strongly about many things, but there was still a closeness between them." But when the controversy was settled, Rubenstein notes, "that closeness faded. To Christians, God became a Trinity and heresy became a crime. Judaism became a form of infidelity. And Jews living in Christian countries learned not to think very much about Jesus and his message." --Michael Joseph Gross --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.


Product details

  • Publication Date : August 16, 2013
  • File Size : 2049 KB
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Print Length : 290 pages
  • Publisher : Mariner Books; First Edition (August 16, 2013)
  • Language: : English
  • ASIN : B003UV8ZZ8
  • Screen Reader : Supported
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Not Enabled
  • Lending : Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 268 ratings