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

When Jesus Became God: The Struggle to Define Christianity during the Last Days of Rome Review

A thoroughly researched and vivid re-creation of one of the most critical periods in the history of Western religion

 

The life of Jesus, and the subsequent persecution of Christians during the Roman Empire, have come to define what many of us know about early Christianity. The fervent debate, civil strife, and bloody riots within the Christian community as it was forming, however, is a story that is rarely told. Richard E. Rubenstein takes readers to the streets of the Roman Empire during the fourth century, where a divisive argument over the divinity of Jesus Christ was underway. Ruled by a Christian emperor, followers of Jesus no longer feared for the survival of their monotheistic faith, but they found themselves in different camps—led by two charismatic men—on the topic of Christian theology. Arius, an Alexandrian priest and poet, preached that Jesus, though holy, is less than God, while Athanasius, a brilliant and violent bishop, saw any diminution of Jesus' godhead as the work of the devil. Between them stood Alexander, the powerful Bishop of Alexandria, in search of a solution that would keep the empire united and the Christian faith alive.

Title:When Jesus Became God: The Struggle to Define Christianity during the Last Days of Rome
Edition Language:English

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    When Jesus Became God: The Struggle to Define Christianity during the Last Days of Rome Reviews

  • Eric_W

    Read this with The Subversion of Christianity by Jacques Ellul. Rubenstein describes the battle between the Arians and the Athanasians, a dispute finally resolved by Constantine in the 4th century. Th...

  • Jeremy

    Read this on the recommendation of a friend, and it was an amazing find. The Council of Nicea and the Arian heresy had been on the fringes of my consciousness, but I never really understood their sign...

  • Ron

    Scholarly development eschews sensationalist title....

  • Alisha

    I inherited a few nonfiction books from my grandfather years ago, this among them. I'm finally getting around to reading a couple of them to see what I want to hold on to.This book added somewhat to m...

  • Karen

    This is not an easy book to read. Mostly because there are dozens of people involved--including Roman statesmen, their friends and foes, and Christian bishops and their followers and foes. It's pretty...

  • Historygirl

    When Jesus Became God: The Struggle to Define Christianity during the Last Days of Rome is ideal for those who have an interest in early Christianity, but are not experts in theology. It takes one the...

  • Robert Schut

    I thought it might be interesting to see how a Jewish writer would portray the divinity of Jesus so I bought this book. Since I am a Christian writer and teacher I also need to stay aware of other wor...

  • Mike Moore

    A very readable and engaging history of Christianity's transition from a marginalized underground mystical movement to the state religion. The focus is on the Arian controversy, which was a major obst...

  • DROPPING OUT

    This book is engagingly written. That's about the best thing I can say about it. The book's Preface gives the sub-text. The author (whose books, Aristotle's Children and Thus Saith the Lord I admired)...

  • Lee Harmon

    After nearly three hundred years of persecution, Christianity made a breakthrough in 324, when Constantine became emperor of Rome. Led by two charismatic priests—Arius, who preached that Jesus is su...