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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Jesus Wars: How Four Patriarchs, Three Queens, and Two Emperors Decided What Christians Would Believe for the Next 1,500 years

Jesus Wars: How Four Patriarchs, Three Queens, and Two Emperors Decided What Christians Would Believe for the Next 1,500 years

1 rating: 5.0
A book by John Philip Jenkins

*Starred Review* The fifth-century Christian church faced a doctrinal issue, now largely forgotten, that precipitated intramural Christian savagery unparalleled until the 11-centuries-later Thirty Years’ War. The bone of contention was the nature … see full wiki

Tags: Books
Author: John Philip Jenkins
Genre: Religion & Spirituality
Publisher: HarperOne
1 review about Jesus Wars: How Four Patriarchs, Three Queens,...

One nature, two natures?

  • Jun 28, 2010
Rating:
+5
If we think that the religious problems we are experiencing today are unique in history, reading this book will certainly squash that notion. Over 1500 years ago, when there was, basically, one Christian church, there was a tremendous amount of religious turmoil.

In an era where there were no newspapers or other types of media, it appears that what people talked, and argued, about the most were issues of religion. The biggest one that is covered by this book is the controversy about the exact nature of Christ: human or divine, or something in between.

Because of this controversy, which went on for centuries, throusands of people were killed, and patriarchs were expelled and returned, only to be expelled again. Of course, there was a monolithic Empire, and the rulers of it stuck their noses into this controversy constantly, either on one side of the fight, or the other. Was Christ wholly human, and then endowed with divinity at some time in his life (probably after his baptism in the Jordan), or was he always divine and merely took on the appearance of humanity? To we modern folks these disagreements seem silly, but when you realize that the Catholic and Orthodox churches split over the word "filioque" in the Creed, perhaps not so silly to the people at the time.

This is a fascinating read for anyone interested in early church history, or for someone merely wanting to learn more about how people lived and thoght almost 2 centuries ago. We'll find that they were not so different from us as we thought.

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