Hurtado, Larry W. 1943–

views updated

Hurtado, Larry W. 1943–

PERSONAL:

Born December 29, 1943, in Kansas City, MO; son of Frank (a truck driver) and Bonnie Jean Hurtado; married Linda Bellah (divorced); married Shannon Hunter (a historian), December 15, 1978; children: Tiffany Cerasoli, Elysse, Jesse. Education: Central Bible College, B.A., 1965; Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, M.A., 1967; Case Western Reserve University, Ph.D., 1973. Religion: Christian. Hobbies and other interests: Novels, woodworking.

ADDRESSES:

Office—New College, University of Edinburgh, Mound Place, Edinburgh EH1 2LX, Scotland. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Educator and author. Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, assistant professor of New Testament, 1975-78; University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, School of Divinity, professor of New Testament language, literature, and theology.

MEMBER:

Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas, Society of Biblical Literature, British New Testament Conference.

AWARDS, HONORS:

University of Manitoba Award for Outstanding Contributions to Research in the Humanities, 1986.

WRITINGS:

Critical Methodology and the Pre-Caesarean Text: Codex W in the Gospel of Mark, Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 1981.

One God, One Lord: Early Christian Devotion and Ancient Jewish Monotheism, Fortress Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1988, 2nd edition, T. & T. Clark (Edinburgh, Scotland), 1998.

Mark: New International Biblical Commentary, Hendrickson (Peabody, MA), 1989.

(Editor) Goddesses in Religions and Modern Debate, Scholars Press (Roanoke, VA), 1990.

(Editor, with Klaus Klostermaier) Religious Studies: Issues, Prospects, and Proposals, Scholars Press (Roanoke, VA), 1991.

(Editor, with David L. Jeffrey) A Dictionary of Biblical Tradition in English Literature, Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 1992.

At the Origins of Christian Worship: The Content and Character of Earliest Christian Devotion, Paternoster (Carlisle, Scotland), 1999.

Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity, Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 2002.

(Contributor) Timothy H. Lim, with A. Auld and Alison Jack, The Dead Sea Scrolls in Their Historical Context, T & T Clark International (New York, NY), 2004.

How on Earth Did Jesus Become a God? Historical Questions about Earliest Devotion to Jesus, W.B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (Grand Rapids, MI), 2005.

(Editor) The Freer Biblical Manuscripts: Fresh Studies of an American Treasure Trove, Brill (Boston, MA), 2006.

The Earliest Christian Artifacts: Manuscripts and Christian Origins, W.B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (Grand Rapids, MI), 2006.

Contributor to books, including Dictionary of Biblical Traditions in English Literature, D.L. Jeffrey, Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 1992; Prayer, from Alexander to Augustine: A Critical Anthology, edited by Mark Kiley, Routledge (New York, NY), 1997; Romans and the People of God: Essays in Honor of Gordon D. Fee, Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 1999; Studies in the Early Text of the Gospels and Acts, edited by D.G.K. Taylor, University of Birmingham Press, 1999, and Text and Artifact in the Religions of Mediterranean Antiquity: Essays in Honor of Peter Richardson, Wilifred Laurier University Press, 2000. Contributor to dictionaries and encyclopedias; contributor to periodicals, including Journal of Religion, Journal of Theological Studies, Canadian Evangelical Review, Theological Studies, Toronto Journal of Theology, Scottish Journal of Theology, Journal of Biblical Literature, Crux, Journal for the Study of the New Testament, Bulletin of Biblical Research, and Themelios.

SIDELIGHTS:

Larry W. Hurtado once told CA: "My primary motivation for writing is to contribute to and shape opinion in my field. I also want to contribute to the wider understanding of the origins of Christianity in the general public. Primary influences are many, from early scholars such as Deissmann, Dodd, Bousset, Cullmann, and on through more recent people.

"I am first of all intrigued by questions. I set out to investigate, to analyze, and to understand. Then, writing is my means of formulating and expressing the result for other scholars to test, and for the information of a wider public."

Two of Hurtado's books on Christianity have attracted particular scholarly notice. In Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity, Hurtado sets out to challenge the thesis of Wilhelm Bousset that devotion to Jesus as a divinity developed as a later stage among Gentile Christians who drew on earlier associations with pagan deities. In Hurtado's view, devotion to Jesus was present from the beginning, was not associated with other religious traditions of the time, and was exclusively monotheistic. "Hurtado criticizes Bousset for failing to recognize the degree to which first-century Jews had become Hellenized," wrote Delbert Burkett in a Journal of the American Oriental Society review, "yet his own reconstruction seems subject to the same criticism." Theological Studies contributor Kevin P. Sullivan, on the other hand, considered Lord Jesus Christ "a study of impressive scope and erudition that should be read and engaged by all those seeking to understand the origins of Christianity."

How on Earth Did Jesus Become a God? Historical Questions about Earliest Devotion to Jesus covers similar material, pointing out the influences of Second Temple Judaism on the early Christian movement. Charlie Murray, in a Library Journal review, deemed the book "finely researched, written, organized, and argued." In Reviewer's Bookwatch, Susan Bethany "very strongly" recommended the book as a "thought-provoking" analysis of the development of early Christian belief.

In The Earliest Christian Artifacts: Manuscripts and Christian Origins, Hurtado takes a look at the Christian manuscripts of the second and third centuries and offers readers an in-depth analysis of the ways in which they reflect upon Christian origins, not only in matters of textual content, but through their physical appearance and various visual details. He begins with manuscripts of this period that were discovered in Egypt, which, because of their Christian nature, suggest that there was a strong communications network in place between early Christians outside of Egypt and the Egyptians who followed the Christian faith. Hurtado goes on to address the apparent preference for the codex format over the scroll among Christians, the potential origins of the term nomina sacra, the staurogram, and the general physical attributes of Christian texts of this period, including size, length, formatting, and any aids that were included for readers. Jean-Francois Racine, in a review for Theological Studies, wrote that "this book, loaded with information about early Christian manuscripts, is for serious students of Christian origins." He went on to praise the author for having "gathered in a single work much information previously difficult to access." Jonathan More, writing for the Bryn Mawr Classical Review Online Web site, remarked: "Many of the ideas in this book will not be new to papyrologists or palaeographers, but to others it will provide an impetus to take note of and examine these artifacts more carefully."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Capes, David B., editor, Israel's God and Rebecca's Children: Christology and Community in Early Judaism and Christianity: Essays in Honor of Larry W. Hurtado and Alan F. Segal, Baylor University Press (Waco, TX), 2007.

PERIODICALS

Church History, June, 2005, William C. Weinrich, review of Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity, p. 345.

Internet Bookwatch, April, 2007, review of The Earliest Christian Artifacts: Manuscripts and Christian Origins.

Interpretation, April, 1993, Michael S. Moore, review of Goddesses in Religions and Modern Debate, p. 178.

Journal of Ecclesiastical History, January, 2005, James G. Crossley, review of Lord Jesus Christ, p. 118.

Journal of the American Oriental Society, January-March, 2004, Delbert Burkett, review of Lord Jesus Christ, p. 128.

Library Journal, December 1, 2005, Charlie Murray, review of How on Earth Did Jesus Become a God? Historical Questions about Earliest Devotion to Jesus, p. 138.

Reference & Research Book News, February, 2007, review of The Earliest Christian Artifacts; May, 2007, review of The Freer Biblical Manuscripts: Fresh Studies of an American Treasure Trove.

Reviewer's Bookwatch, April, 2006, Susan Bethany, review of How on Earth Did Jesus Become a God?

Theological Studies, September, 2004, Kevin P. Sullivan, review of Lord Jesus Christ, p. 637; December, 2007, Jean-Francois Racine, review of The Earliest Christian Artifacts, p. 925.

ONLINE

Bryn Mawr Classical Review Online,http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/ (April 29, 2008), Jonathan More, review of The Earliest Christian Artifacts.

University of Edinburgh, School of Divinity Web site,http://www.div.ed.ac.uk/ (July 20, 2007), "Larry W. Hurtado."

About this article

Hurtado, Larry W. 1943–

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article