Larry Hurtado

Larry Hurtado is retired New Testament scholar, Professor Emeritus at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. He has continued hs scholarly work since retiring.

He has specialised in the study of early christian origins, and appears to have been instrumental in establishing the view among scholars that Jesus was worshiped alongside God from the very early days of christianity. This shows that the process that led to Jesus being identified as the unique “Son of God” began right from the beginning of christian belief.

I have followed Larry’s blog for many years, learning much in the process. I have bought and read one of his books, How on Earth did Jesus Become a God?, and found it extremely helpful.

Larry’s writing on his blog and in print is characterised by courtesy, careful scholarship and an insistence on correct method and evidence.

Sadly, it looks as if Larry’s blogging has finished. He was treated some time ago for leukemia, and in a recent blog post he reported that the leukemia had returned:

“The leukemia (AML) for which I was treated here last summer has reactivated, after some 9 months of remission. The further treatment options are quite limited, and may only be palliative care of various sorts. In any case, I am now fully occupied with exploring various arrangements for the situation and aftermath of my death on my wife and others. So, I shall have no time for blogging or my scholarly work. Signing off unless further notice. I hope that the archives on the site will continue to prove useful to interested readers.”

Readers who believe in prayer may choose to pray for Larry and his family at this time.

Photo from: CSCO, New College, University of Edinburgh website.

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  1. Rather sad to hear. I have been an avid reader of his work in general, his blogging (which will be missed), and especially some of his many most excellent books (which will remain to influence the Church long after we have all departed this sphere). His thinking has confirmed to me both that Jesus was and is to be worshiped alongside YahWeh Father, and that the Holy Spirit was never worshiped or prayed to as a distinct entity equal to the Father and Son. That is a challenge to “orthodoxy” that really hasn’t been dealt with in any substantial manner despite the evidence. Thanks be to God for the work of this his servant Larry Hurtado. I do pray his leukemia again goes into remission and he tarries with us for a long time.

  2. I’m glad you found him helpful, as I have.
    Interested in your comment about Father, Jesus and Spirit. Does that mean you believe in a ” binity” Godhead of Father & Son, or in Jesus as an inferior divine being to God but still to be worshiped, or something else?

  3. No, I don’t believe either of those things (too much trouble?), so it must be something else. I like the term Hurtado uses, dyadic, to describe the form of worship evident in the New Testament texts and earliest church witness.
    I do think it is important for we believers in Jesus the Messiah to not think our way beyond what has been revealed to Jesus and the apostles as recorded in scripture. Not going beyond those parameters helps keep me from thinking I know more than God wanted us to know, and perhaps thinking we know more than is possible to know.
    We are so infinitesimally finite in contrast to our creator God that the immensity of our ignorance should restrain our imaginations and keep us in our place. I’ve studied the histories of the doctrines and mined the texts of scripture to the extent I am able and have mostly concluded worshiping God in Christ, from whom together we have received their Spirit unto new life, worshiping both God and the historical Jesus who having died and been resurrected and is now seated at the right hand of God as our intercessor, is enough. Words do not wholly suffice, but I’m always glad to share my faith in Christ, however inadequate my understanding.

  4. Thanks. I’m sympathetic to the views you express. I too think much doctrine is claiming to know too much, and keeping doctrine simple and getting on with obeying is a better course. But I tend to accept the Trinity without kidding myself we can really know that stuff, not because I believe it is true, but because it kind of makes sense and I’m happy to go along with what other christians think. But like you, it’s no big deal to me.
    Thanks for your thoughts.

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