Devotion to Jesus: The Divinity of Christ in Earliest Christianity


When, where, and why did people first believe in the divinity of Jesus?

In this course, Dr. Larry Hurtado, one of the world’s leading authorities on the subject of Christian origins, explores when, where, and why Christians first believed in the divinity of Jesus. He also clears away a mountain of popular misinformation. Dr. Hurtado focuses especially on what early Christian “devotional practices,” such as prayer and worship, tell us about their beliefs. Contrary to many popular — and nearly all sensational — treatments of Christian history, Dr. Hurtado demonstrates that such beliefs and practices arose extraordinarily quickly; they were not the product of a decades-long evolution. Furthermore, they were embraced first by Jewish, not Gentile, believers. These are keys which any account of emerging Christianity must take seriously.

Flexible Course Scheduling

Devotion to Jesus consists of eight sessions, each including a video lesson averaging 20 minutes. Ideally, each class session would last for at least 90 minutes. However, all of the video lessons are divided into two roughly equal segments — so it’s easy to split the lessons in two, fitting each comfortably into a short (e.g., 45-minute Sunday School) period.

Complete Study Package Includes

  • 8 video lessons
  • Leader’s Guide (PDF)
  • Participant’s Guide (PDF)
Available now on download.

Product Description


Dr. Larry HurtadoDr. Larry Hurtado is a scholar of the New Testament and Christian origins, with posts in higher education since 1975. In August 2011, he retired from his post as Professor of New Testament Language, Literature & Theology (University of Edinburgh) in which he served from 1996. Prior to that, he was in the Department of Religion, University of Manitoba (Winnipeg). His own research over the decades has focused mainly on the origins and development of “devotion to Jesus” in earliest Christianity, and also on textual criticism and the study of earliest Christian manuscripts as informative artifacts of ancient Christianity. In retirement, he resides in Edinburgh, and continues to pursue his research interests in the area of New Testament and Christian Origins.

Lessons and Video Presentations

  1. Introduction to Jesus Devotion (26:19)
  2. Roman and Jewish Backgrounds (18:53)
  3. Jesus in the Letters of Paul (24:12)
  4. Jesus in Jewish Christianity (23:12)
  5. Jesus in the Synoptic Gospels (23:13)
  6. Jesus in the Gospel of John (21:48)
  7. The Costs and Consequences of Jesus Devotion (21:32)
  8. How Did It Happen? What Does It Mean for Today? (22:44)
  9. Bonus Track: Selected images form the Methodist Church Collection of Modern Christian Art


Devotion to Jesus is a more academically-oriented course that will be best understood by those possessing some background in biblical studies. Those who are aware of modern controversies concerning the identity of Jesus will find the course especially interesting and helpful.

Free Publicity Materials Downloads

About the Download Files

This video-based study curriculum is 1.2 GB in total and may take several minutes to download. We recommend a broadband connection for faster download times.

Upon purchase you will receive links to download each video (MP4) and document (PDF) file separately. Video files range from 26 MB to 169.9, and document files are 2.1 MB.

Usage Rights

A Life Worthy of the Gospel is designed for use within a single congregation or charge. To purchase rights for further distribution, please contact the Lewis Center at (202) 664-5700 or Bulk rates are available.